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

Oct 30, 2011

Simply Visible Monday!




Ellen Tracy wool jacket: $5 at Goodwill
Leopard Sweater: Ross
Jana Kos Pencil Skirt









“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci





Well, on this over-the-top, crazy attire, massive makeup Visible Halloween Monday, I find myself desiring to make a statement for simplicity.


The sweater from Ross is so soft and beautiful...but I do not
know how to read the brand before the"by Cyrus part!"


I think Da Vinci was on to something when he said,"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I actually understand and agree with Leonardo. During my 40s when I was craving visibility, and was just tired from a very full life, my weak efforts would often be to over accessorize…sadly, sometimes along the lines of a Halloween costume. I remember one horrifying night when I tripped over an electrical chord in the gymnasium where I went to watch one son play basketball. My rather humongous necklace hit the floor with a cymbal-like sound and everyone turned to stare!! Long earrings and bracelets in shambles around a very large print jacket, I wanted to crawl under the bleachers and pretend that I was the hired pre-game entertainment. I am shaking my head and sweating a little just remembering the moment!! Fortunately, the memory does serve me well today….all I have to do is think about that moment and I start taking things off!


Fabulous are the statement pieces here worn simply with a watch
and wedding ring.


Whenever, I want to make a big statement about strength or confidence, I tend to take the simple route. After all Coco Chanel also said, “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

Happy Monday everyone…now head on over to Not Dead Yet Style and visit the other fabulous women who participate in Visible Monday.
http://notdeadyetstyle.blogspot.com/2011/10/visible-monday-19-being-seen-in-city.html



Oct 29, 2011

Team Spirit! That Delicate Balance! Go Lions Go!!

I LOVE THIS COAT!
c/o Jana Kos
Jones of New York Blouse: Burlington Coat
Factory
Lee Jeans:  Kohls
Boots:  Ross



Last year, I wrote about how much I love high school football and Friday nights in Texas!!  Though I no longer have sons on the field, I still must go support the home team and experience the life and exuberance of Friday Night Lights!!

But, I have learned there is a fine line you walk with spirit fashion between appropriate support and just over-the-top craziness.  I have learned to let the students be the ones to don crazy head grear, ninja suits, and face paints!!  I don't want to be discussed on Face Book later that night as the butt of teen jokes.  There are days that I cringe at some of the spirit looks I wore in the past...oh well, let's just leave the past in the past.


Homecoming Accessories:  A MUM!
Bracelet: Kohls

I had a couple of goals last night when preparing for the game.  I really wanted to wear my new Jana Kos coat, and I needed to wear a headband and mum gifted me by students.  Though the coat was not team colors, it worked well with the maroon and gold.  Over all I was pleased with the total look.  Comfortable, warm, and a little style thrown in!!


Designer: Alyrose Chesser
Top Knots and Polka Dots
http://www.topknotsandpolkadots.etsy.com/
Can order in any colors!  Great gifts for Christmas...
young girls love them!!

This is how I will dress until one day I am given a T Shirt that says, "My grandson (or daughter) is on the team!"  Then I might have to get a little crazy once again!!

Oct 28, 2011

Dress Your Countenance With: #3 Dreams


Light was not great in Gigi's room!
Black sweater: Lane Bryant
Pewter Knit Sweater:  Jennifer Lopez
at Kohls
Ralph Lauren Denim Skirt: Macys
Spanx Tights: Nordstroms




“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” - Henry David Thoreau






Dream Big….in America we hear this message over and over again. I am certain the idea of dreaming big, especially later in life, may frustrate some of you, but Thoreau actually has the right message. If we dream big, we are likely to hit close to the dream we are seeking if not right on the bulls eye. However, if we do not dream at all, then we will hit exactly where we are aiming….nothing.


Earrings:  Stein mart


Is it too late after 50? Is it too late after 50 in a suffering economy? Absolutely, NO! I like to operate on a “NO EXCUSES Policy”….this is how I run my classroom. High school students will whine and invent every excuse in the book why something cannot be accomplished…..so I just choose not to accept the excuses. I have learned personally the dangers of allowing excuses to be in control in contrast to the small successes which can result from dreaming big. I also understand that some of you may have gone after your dreams and hit a wall…I would like to encourage you to keep at it…do not be discouraged, get up and keep going.




I am certain there will be readers who say that it does no good at all to dream big….nothing will happen…it only happens to the privileged…or those with “family” money…and today’s world does not support new dreams. I would like to challenge you to PROVE IT! Give everything you have to a dream and in a couple of years if you truly gave it all and absolutely nothing beneficial happened then I give you permission to get in my face and say I TOLD YOU SO!!


Sam Edelman Ballet Flats: DSW


I submit that if you give it everything, you will meet with some semblance of “a success unexpected.” (Thanks, Henry David)


For the most part, I am still really impressed with
the Jennifer Lopez Collection at Kohls.
Now, there is a woman who dreamed BIG!






“Dreams are the stuff of which leaders are made. If you don’t dream, your leadership is seriously limited. I have a close friend who leads an organization that is admired and appreciated by many. He sets aside one day every month to do nothing but pray and dream. I am not surprised that his organization is considered a pacesetter.” - Chuck Swindoll


It is actually a dream that I would one
day write about encouragement for women!
 See, anything can happen!!

Oct 27, 2011

Dress Your Countenance With: #2 Value







Value: Relative worth, merit, or importance





Trials and Adversity: Will they make us or break us? ….is always the question…and over time I have observed that one of the first casualties during a trial…when things are beginning to crumble… is our sense of value.


We so often allow circumstances and other people to define our sense of worth; but, the truth is that every single person has value. We should not need validation of it. It is something we should be confident to possess and understand that only we can give it away. Now, I understand our gifts, talents, education, and experience have different values in the market place. However, if we believe in our value and walk confidently with it, then we are much more likely to convince a future employer they have a need for us. We must believe completely in what we have to offer…what makes us special and unique.


Cardigan: Ann Taylor
Print Cami: Avenue
Scarf: Marshalls
Lee Black Jeans: Kohls
Miss Bison Flats: Consignment Shop





I am often saddened by women who have given up on their value. Currently, our school is in a battle with a men’s nightclub. When they opened the club, they were within the law. But, since opening, they have decided to become a topless club. The local law says they must be 1000 feet or over from a school in order to operate this way…they are 700 feet from the school. One of our local television news crews went in under cover and shot some revealing pictures of the dancers. All I could think about while watching this footage was how sad I am for these young girls who have no value. Who knows what they could accomplish in the world if they thought more about themselves.


Pearl BraceletL Silver Dollar City, Branson MO
Ring:  Stein Mart



Are you struggling today with a lack of value? Just for starters write down a full page of what makes you special and focus on it every day…until you internalize it. That’s a beginning.  The next step is believing in your value...believing that no one is a mistake.  Also, once you give up on self worth...you can get it back.  If you want more details on this subject, just send me an email, I would love to discuss it with you!!


No trial…no battle…no hardship is worth giving over our value.


The cami and scarf were on clearance racks in different stores...marked
significantly down...but they have great value to me...two of
my favorites!


After I wrote this post a couple of days ago, I saw that Une Femme also penned a piece about value (the day after)....the value of possessions specifically...so I wanted to share the link with you, because it is excellent!

Oct 25, 2011

IFB Autumn Uniforms: The Dark Side







I am going to pause my current"ENCOURAGEMENT SERIES” for just a moment to participate in IFB’s Autumn Uniform challenge. I started to look over my posts since autumn technically began and would sum up my wardrobe choices with one word: GRAY!





Now, I realize for some it can seem a bit dreary, but I love gray and obviously gravitate toward it. I love it with almost every color I can think of, including browns and greens. Elegant sophistication seems to me the best way to describe this neutral.






When walking through quotes about the color gray, most associate it with cold, dreary, winter, depressed days. But, I prefer to look at the color and think cozy, dignified, sophisticated, warmth.


What are your thoughts on gray?? After you tell me, then head over to IFB'S FALL UNIFORM PROJECT and check out some other bloggers and their cool autumn looks…..


http://heartifb.com/2011/10/21/ifb-project-18-whats-your-fall-uniform/

Oct 24, 2011

Dress Your Countenance With: #1 Determination


Ralph Lauren Jacket: Macys
Lauren Jeans: Macys
White Blouse: Langford Market








Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you. – Denis Waitley






Yesterday’s post seemed to touch a chord with many of the readers. As I said, these are interesting times we live in and the struggles with our professions and the economy are more widespread than ever before. This all gave me the idea to focus this week on a few of the character traits which will assist us in persevering through these trials.


Today, I wanted to speak about determination. Determination is really about a stubborn resolve to get through no matter what. I actually teach this in my journalism class. Reporters must be determined to get a story even when door after door slams in their face. If the reporter is weak willed or easily discouraged, then they will show up at deadline time with nothing….except a huge scowl on an editor’s face.


Cejon Scarf: Marshalls
Bracelet:  Blanco, TX Boutique


I have signs in my room which read, “Thou Shalt Not Whine!” My student reporters know that I will not accept whiny excuses for not getting a story….as Tim Gunn would say, They Must Make It Work. I realize this is much harder when dealing with the loss of a paycheck. But whether we fill the bank account as a Wal-Mart Greeter or cash register checker, we must determine that we will make it. Joy is a decision and can be found in any occupation. My husband and I have determined that we will be open to whatever comes our way….we must choose to put behind us what other family members or people think; we must choose to enjoy each day that has been given to us; we must choose not to allow financial success define who we are; and we must choose to focus on the real priorities of life…not just what we would like our material possessions to be.


You need a good pair of cowboy boots to dress with determination and go
kick some bo-honky!!



Dress with Determination this Day!!





Here is a great soup recipe from this past week...I took it and made it
low-fat and it turned out delicious!


Low Fat Baked Potato Soup





2 – 3 baking potatoes (such as russet or Yukon gold)


3 Tbsp. diet butter  (I like Smart Balance, http://www.smartbalance.com/)


½ cup chopped onion


¼ cup chopped celery


2 gloves crushed garlic


3 Tbsp. all purpose flour


½ tsp. dried thyme, crushed


¼ tsp. sea salt


1/8 tsp. ground black pepper


4 cups non-fat half and half, or non-fat milk


1 ¼ cups of Weight Watchers shredded cheddar cheese


1 cup fat free chicken broth






Garnishes (if you like): crumbled bacon, fat free sour cream, thinly sliced green onion






First, put the chicken broth in a small pan. Add a tsp of Mrs. Dash garlic & herb seasoning. Add a small amount of the chopped onion and celery and thyme. Simmer, covered for at least 30-60 minutes.


Scrub the potatoes; pat dry; pierce with a fork. Bake at 425 degrees for 60 minutes or under tender. Cool. Peel. Chop and set aside.


In a Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic. Cook and stir about five minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in flour, thyme, salt and pepper. Add half and half all at once. Cook and stir for 5 to 6 minutes until thickened and bubbly. Add potatoes, and 1 cup of the cheese and the broth and stir until the cheese melts. Slightly mash the potatoes with the back of a spoon or a potato masher.


Garnish if you like and enjoy!!!




Oct 23, 2011

The Importance of Visibility When You Just Want To Hide


Ellen Tracy Jacket: Marshalls
Simply Vera T Shirt: Kohls
Pencil Skirt: http://www.janakos.com/
Black Hose: Kohls
Target Shoes: $1.99 Goodwill



There is no doubt about it, we live in tough times. Though Texas has not been hit as hard as some areas; it doesn’t seem to bring consolation when you are the one hit. We have many friends in this fabulous 50 age group who have undergone layoffs or forced retirements in the past six years. Then there are those who lost a business because it did not survive the current economy. My husband experienced a layoff three years ago and has been working by the contract since then…as of this writing, he does not have a contract.



Serendipity Clothing SA
Consignment Boutique


So, I ask this question: Should we hide during tough times and become less visible? I would say a resounding, NO WAY! While I might not be able to shop at all for a while, I still have a closet of some incredible pieces and with a little ingenuity and creativity; I should look and feel my best for a long time. In fact, I think it is more important than ever to be visible. If I feel confident and experience joy each day, then my husband of 27 years will not get discouraged but press forward to remedy our situation. However, if I crawl in a hole and become overly scared and despondent, then it puts more pressure on him and I run the risk of losing him to depression.


It is important to keep smiling and hang on
to hope!


Positive, hopeful attitudes…our faith…confidence….joy… wisdom...and dressing for success will all help see us through.  It also helps to get out and be seen...employers cannot find you or will not desire you on the team, if you are hiding in an abyss. I know it sounds hokey, but this philosophy is a little like: When given lemons, make lemonade! 

 No matter what the circumstances, I am going to show up and be visible!!


Belt and Bracelet: Kohls

Now head on over to Visible Monday and experience the visiblity of the other incredible women!




http://notdeadyetstyle.blogspot.com/2011/10/visible-monday-18-karina-dress-giveaway.html

Oct 22, 2011

Owned by Louis Vuitton and Tory Burch














There is just something about the atmosphere of a beauty salon that I love. Oh I realize they have quite a distinctive odor, but the sounds of women laughing and talking just seem to make all distractions go away. I always smile as I witness ladies who do not know each other bond together in conversation on whatever the topic of the day seems to be. Today, I looked over at the young lady waiting patiently while my color was applied. Her feet were beautiful in a gold pair of Tory Burch sandals….she sat texting away on her I-Phone...comfortably styled in skinny jeans and a pink Ralph Lauren Polo button down…sitting next to her was a large Louis Vuitton hobo bag. During the conversation, I discovered she was 20 years old and attending college in another state. While her brows were waxed and her hair trimmed, we discussed internships and whether she should go to New York or the Bahamas during spring break.

Found these beautiful rings at Serendipity Clothing SA, a local
Consignment Boutique.  They are on sale for $17.  Which one
do you think I bought??

She pleasantly surprised me when, after her hair was trimmed, she picked up a broom and swept the salon floor. Smiling and remembering, she said she had done this since she was a little girl and had been coming to this same place most of her life…it was a touch of home. After she left, I commented that her parents must do very well to keep her and other siblings in college especially dressed the way she was dressed. My stylist just shook her head and mumbled in Spanish before telling me, “They have the most credit card debt of anyone. They live on so many cards and just give minimum payments. Their children do not offer to get jobs while they are in college, but they want the nicest stuff possible. It is very sad that the parents did not learn to say no.”


I admit Tory Burch is fabulous! I stared at this pair recently
for a very long time!



I drove away thinking about the times I have wanted to be the woman who only shops at Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom’s, Neiman Marcus and the nicest boutiques. But, that is just not the life I have….nor would I want to be a slave to many credit cards living under the constant stress of how those cards will get paid. The Tory Burch shoes were amazing, but I would not want to be owned by them….I would want them to be owned by me.


If I had the money, I would so be here;
but for now, it can be an inspiration!



Last week, when I was a guest on the radio show, Kristin (the host) said that she likes this blog because it is for the everyday woman. I hope that is true…we can still look fabulous, ladies, and not be stressed by credit card payments. Yes, I shop at Kohl’s, Ross, Marshalls, and consignment boutiques; and use many coupons and special offers.  Today I picked up money at one consignment shop and took it over to spend with another!  I love to discover a designer treasure at Goodwill or a garage sale.  I hope that encourages the readers to do the same. It’s so much better than a ball & chain around your neck!


While I would love some
Tory shoes, there are none here!
Jacket: Goodwill
Jennifer Lopez Blouse: Kohls
Lee Jeans: Kohls
Sam Edelman Flats: DSW



Simply Vera Bracelet: Kohls

The knits in the Jennifer Lopez Collection are
perfect...with an ultra soft and expensive
feel to them...but not expensive!
You can look and feel your best without going bankrupt!

Oct 21, 2011

Favorite Autumn Colors: #5 Powerhouse Red!



Red Jacket:  Dress Barn
Liz Claiborne Blouse:  Ross
Lee Slimming Jean: Kohls
Ballet Flats: Target
Headband: Target






And whenever I'm in a situation where I'm wearing the same as 600 other people and doing the same thing as 600 other people, looking back, I always found ways to make myself different, whether it be having a red lining inside of my jacket, having red shoes, it hasn't changed.


-Jeremy Irons



My Inspiration:  http://www.chico's.com/


This week’s series has been about my favorite autumn colors, and there is no better way to bring this to conclusion than with the power of the color RED. Red makes a statement by itself alone….it is vibrant….and begs to be noticed. As if on cue, Chico’s introduced a new line of red this week with one of my favorite style icons, Diane Keaton, so I decided to select one of their looks and put together an inspiration style for today.


http://www.chicos.com/store/home.jsp


Let start at the bottom….I received so many compliments lately on the fit of the Lee Slimming Jeans that I decided to return to Kohl’s yesterday for a pair in black! Kohl’s ran a $10 off coupon in the newspaper this week…making it possible for me to walk away with these jeans for around $21!! I would have bought them in brown as well if my size had been on the shelf.


Belt: Kohls
Dana Buchman Bracelet: Kohls


Though I really am happy with my look, the winner of MOST FABULOUS DRESSED IN RED is Gigi!! After our cold front blew in  morning temperatures in the forties, Gigi came in a fabulous new look from the “W” collection topped with a Michael Kors red jacket she purchased at Costco for only $49!! She looked fabulous!








Michael Kors Jacket, $49: Costco!
She reported that Costco carried
this coat in many colors!


http://www.worthw.com/
Dress and Belt: W Collection
Boots:  Kohls
Spanx Tights: Nordstroms


 I hope all this talk about red will inspire you to go out and have a fiery red weekend!!





Harper's Bazaar for November also features RED!!

Oct 20, 2011

Favorite Autumn Colors: #4 Green


South Texas Autumn Landscape!




Those of us who celebrate Autumn in Texas acknowledge that one of our predominant seasonal colors is green! Though we now can see pops of color in our landscapes, we have much more green than any other color. As with orange, I have favorite shades of green.


Military Jacket:  Lane Bryant
Ralph Lauren Sweater: Macys
Lee Slimming Jeans: Kohls
Brown Flats:  Old Navy



 My favorite is the military, olive green rather than a lighter, brighter green. This is the shade that compliments my skin, hair, and eye color best. Prior to eight years ago, I never paid attention to colors that made my eyes stand out, but after learning more about color and receiving some comments by friends, I have begun to pay attention to this when dressing.


Scarf:  Lane Bryant


In honor of Jill at Everything Just So, whose favorite fall color is burgundy or merlot, I wore a rich Ralph Lauren sweater today underneath this fun military jacket. Burgundy is a must in my closet since it is one of the school colors for the high school where I teach…that is also a reason I weary of it…but agree… it is beautiful. I also love to put red and purple with the military green!! Something on my radar for the future is to wear black polka dots with a military green jacket. I saw this the other day on television and I loved the combo.


I have had my earrings for so long that I just do not remember
where I orginally bought them. But I really love them!
Bronze Bracelet:  Blanco, TX


So, do you ever dress to compliment your eye color??