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

Feb 29, 2012

All Signs Point to ....SPRING!


SPRING IS BUSTING OUT ALL OVER:

Peeking out from down the street

 In My Window Box

There are several ways that I know that spring is here in South Texas. My female co-workers begin to wear sandals. Our Mountain Laurel blooms (magnificent aromas). The days are longer. Teachers and students dream of Spring Break! We turn off the heater…until next winter. We no longer have nights in the 30s and 40s. So the transition to warmer weather has officially begun:


Neighborhood Mountain Laurel

Today, I decided to take one of favorite winter looks and transition it with a sleeveless Chico’s Travelers blouse, and a spring scarf with a touch of yellow! Instead of the boots I have worn all season, I selected a flat shoe…much cooler on the legs! The hardest items for me to put away are my dark tights, orange coat and boots. I have loved them this year!


Jacket and Skirt: Lane Bryant
Travelers Chicos Blouse
Spanx Tights: Nordstroms
New Target Shoes: Goodwill, $1.99

Tomorrow, make sure and check out Jill and Adrienne to see everyone's cherished possessions.  Also, I will officially announce the winner of  the Foxcroft Collection Blouse.


Scarf: Lane Bryant
Bracelet: Chicos, clearance

My dogwoods know how to dress for spring...the budding has begun!


Lush green grass just makes me want to hide Easter Eggs...
I know its too early for that!


Wow, feeling old, so sad to say goodbye
to Davy Jones today!


Takes me back to fifth grade!!

Feb 28, 2012

Not Easy Being Green!




Travelers Jacket: Goodwill
Foxcroft Collection Blouse
Lee Black Denim: Kohls

William Shakespeare must have hated the color green. After all, he is the one who coined phrases like “green with envy,” and “green eyed monster.” Though I really love Shakespeare’s works, I have to disagree with his connotations of “green.” It is one of my favorite colors. I have also heard women with green eyes referenced as “green eyed monsters.”


Wanted Ballet Flats: Garment Exchange Consignment


Labeling is one of my pet peeves as a communications teacher. I have little patience with labels and with generalizations. All people are not all of anything. All women with red hair do have short tempers. All women with blonde hair are not airheads. All overweight people are not lazy. All Baby Boomers are not ready to retire. I constantly caution students about what they do and say on Face Book. Recently, a group of young men began to refer to girls as “sandwich makers.” That turned me into a green eyed monster!


Chain Necklace: Chicos
Pendant Necklace: Lane Bryant
Bracelet: My daughters!!
I prefer to think of green as one of the colors of spring which brings to mind fresh air….freshly cut grass…new growth abounding…laughter as kids play outside again. It’s all in our perspective…no disrespect to Mr. Shakespeare!


The Foxcroft Collection
 If you like my blouse today, you can win one exactly like it from the Foxcroft Collection. Just CLICK and follow the instructions to enter…I will give one away on March 1 (yes, in two days!)….time running out quickly!!

Feb 26, 2012

Spring Trends 2012: Making Them Work


I am wearing another great pair of sunglasses from Carmen Marc Valvo!
“Color blocking. That’s the trend. It’s everywhere,” Gigi said after a trip to SA’s trendiest mall, The Shops at La Cantera. “But, I have no idea what to do with it!” I assured her that this was not rocket science and began to discuss pieces in her wardrobe which she could easily wear together and VIOLA….it’s color blocking!


There is no need to be afraid of fashion trends and avoid them from lack of confidence. The trends for Spring 2012 are really nothing to fear…so for VISIBLE MONDAY…I decided to be visible in a couple of trends. My trend information was mostly gathered from Harper's Bazaar.

Jacket: Stein Mart
Blouse: Ross
Red Denim Jeggings: Lane Bryant
Ballet Flats: Target


 1. Colored Denim. I said in an earlier post, I was determined not to get colored denim, but now that I have given in…I LOVE IT! I would like to add green and blue to my wardrobe, if I find a way to make it happen.


2. "Tailored" White Pieces. Notice, the trend is “tailored.” That is why I wore this white jacket today and it is a great reason why everyone should enter my contest for a fabulous, no-iron, tailored blouse from the Foxcroft Collection. The winner will be drawn soon, on March 1.


3. Graphic Design. I bought this top last year for $7.00 at Ross not really knowing that the trend would follow for two seasons. Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx are great places to find the trends in season…at reasonable prices.


4. Safari….I am not wearing it, but the safari/military trends continue with khaki and army green garments the best ways to take these trends forward.


5. Sports Influence. Not hard, ladies. I think I would do jeans, a great fitting T-shirt, and a sports knit jacket on top….maybe even with an athletic shoe.


6. Drop Waist and Sequins. I do not own a drop waist item, but I do have sequins and can pull out the sequined T-shirts and tanks to wear under jackets.


7. Intricate embellishments and light colors. This is where it is good to be a girlie-girl or stylish lady with a little bit of lace, or florals, or pearls.


Bracelet:  Forever 21


See, it is not that difficult to stay and look in style. This is the fun part of fashion. But, don’t overdo or try to hard….keep it you!!


Now, go join the other ladies of VISIBLE MONDAY and MONDAY MINGLE!!



http://www.bonbonrosegirls.com/2012/02/monday-mingle-baby-bump-style-spring-handbag-giveaway.html




Feb 24, 2012

Cardigans for Crazy Weather


Tahari Cardigan: Stein Mart
Michael Kors Black T: Ross
Black Lee Jeans: Kohls
Liz Claiborne Boots: Marshalls

Yesterday, we were sweating…today, a little chilly! Crazy weather …and that is why I love cardigans! They are perfect


1. For all types of weather

2. For transitions between seasons

3. For adding color or pattern to any look

4. For relaxed professional style


Here are a couple of my recent cardigan looks. Great separates will give the appearance of your wardrobe being HUGE, when it reality you are just switching the same pieces around and around.


Cardigan and Tank: Chicos
Denim Skirt and Tights: Lane Bryant
Flats: Target


Also, make sure you check out the great denim on denim looks Wendy Brandes put together for her column in the Huffington Post…I would like to thank her for including ALL types of ladies in her report!!  Denim Article


Wendy Brandes



Necklace: Kohls
Tortoise Shell Bracelet: Chicos


Now, grab a cardigan and go out and have a fabulous weekend!!


Scarf: Coldwater Creek
Bracelet:  Special Show during Fashion Night Out 2010






Feb 23, 2012

Knitwear…Sunglasses…and Hand Creams, Oh MY!




Red Traveler's Cami: Chico's
Necklace:  Resale Shop
Dana Buchman Bracelet: Kohls
If I had more money to spend on me….wow, that could be a really long post! But, actually, what I was pondering recently is what would I buy for myself if money was not an issue? One line of clothing I would have in my closet would be Eileen Fisher…I love the minimal, casual, ease of the knits and just the overall style for this time of my life.

Love Eileen Fisher's styles!!
Alas, I do not have the income for Eileen Fisher…but I can try my best to get close to the look and that is why I was drawn to purchase this jacket after Christmas at Stein Mart. With coupons, it was $22 and I really like the way the knit feels and looks. I think I will get much wear out of this one especially as I transition to spring.  I do want to make note that I like it better unbuttoned and open, but for some reason took the pictures this way.  Next time I wear it on the blog, it will be open.  Open is more flattering!!


Grace Elements Jacket: Stein Mart
Lee Jeans: Kohls
Target Flats: Goodwill $1.99 NEW!
Speaking of warmer weather, today in San Antonio we are expecting close to ninety degree temps! So, I am loving my new sunglasses by designer Carmen Marc Valvo! Valvo’s professional career began as a ready to wear designer for Nina Ricci in Paris followed by a stint at Christian Dior. This was after he attended Parsons School of Design in New York and soon became known for his fit and masterful detailing. In 1989, he launched his own sportswear that was an instant success; but, it was the launch of his Couture collection in 1998 that captured the hearts of the buyers at Sakes Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.




Today, he is known for his sportswear collection,shoes, limited-edition jewelry designs, swimwear and a now a highly anticipated eyewear line. He brings to his designs an aesthetic for glamorous dressing which was founded in the roots of a Spanish/Italian family in New York. Women's Wear Daily (WWD) wrote of him, “Over the years, the designer has demonstrated the talent to do it all.” I love the classic beauty of these glasses and will most likely live in them as summer nears.


Finally, my hands are ready for summer after a month of using hand cream from The Organic Skin Company. I am always painfully aware that our skin and system absorb what we rub on to it and that it why I try to pay attention to what is in the creams I use. This hand cream has worked wonders for keeping wrinkles away and I do not have to worry about what is in it. Check out their website…they have many products online.


WORKED GREAT!!
Now, do not forget to enter my Marvelous March 1 Foxcroft Collection Giveaway...you can have this quality, beautiful blouse and pick the color you would like to win!  Great deal and so easy to enter!!


Foxcroft Collection Blouse to be given to a lucky follower!

True Confessions....how many pair of sunglasses does everyone own??

Make sure you check out the bloggers at Katie's Blog Hop

http://katherinescorner.com/2012/02/23/thursday-favorite-things-blog-hop-linky-party-24/

Feb 22, 2012

Dreaming of Dresses


Ralph Lauren Jacket: Macys
Chaps Leopard Blouse: Kohls
Lee Jeans: Kohls
Brown Flats: Old Navy
I am dreaming of dresses these days as the temperatures heat up. Dresses and skirts are the best alternatives in Texas heat, but in summers past I have found myself too often dressing as I am today in denim and jackets. Last summer, I wore skirts more and this summer I hope to add some dresses to the closet.


Belt: Thrift
Bracelet: Langford Market
Necklace: Stein Mart
So, as we dream of dresses, I thought I would give you an opportunity to get to know the founder of Karina Dresses, up close and personal. Meet Karina Cousineau in the article I wrote from an interview with her:








Hard Work Pays Off
From dairy farm to dress designer. Some may not think that this transition makes sense, but, actually for Karina Cousineau it makes perfect sense. From practical, diligent, frugal parents she learned great skills for running her own business important to any entrepreneur.




At 53, Cousineau is the founder of Karina Dresses, "a thriving Brooklyn-based apparel company with a unique business model and rapidly expanding wholesale customer base of 65 plus stores across the United States."


Cousineau’s mother taught her many things from sewing clothing to loving hard work. “I learned that whatever you do in life, do the best you can and people will notice,” she said. She now encourages young women to do what they love and not be afraid of hard work. “I worked at a coffee shop and restaurants while building my business… often in double shifts. Success does not happen overnight. It wasn’t glamorous, but I loved the journey,” she said.


For women over 50, Cousineau believes it is important for us to explore what is in our hearts, because we can never go wrong doing just that. For us, she recommends the classic cuts with contemporary prints. She said, “At any age, this approach is appropriate.”




“Karina Dresses are so flattering and comfortable that is impossible to deny just how wonderful you feel,” she says. “And when you feel wonderful, your day is just better.” She believes that women need to love their shapes and sizes no matter what those shapes and sizes are. “How you feel transcends all you do. I support women loving their unique beauty in all sizes because love is the way…nothing can come from negative thoughts.”


Love is the way for Karina Cousineau…she believes the mission of her company is to build it based on simply loving her customers back!

Check out Karina Dresses at this link today and begin planning for the warmer weather!  They advertise that they have a "dress for every-body!"

Do you plan to add dresses to your wardrobe for spring and summer??

Feb 21, 2012

Chicos+Pedicure+Rosemary…..That Did It!!






I have to confess that I woke up yesterday on my day off in a pretty deep funk. There were three big stress factors hanging over my head…(one being my weight)…and I was finally letting them all get to me….after a couple of weeks of buildup. Now, I usually don’t allow things to get me down, but when there are several big ones with me in their sights….it is hard not to be affected. So, I understand when we all occasionally get that way.




I am sure this audience has a variety of things that you will do first. But, the only way I, personally, can ward off a serious funk (the kind which keeps a woman in bed or parked on a couch in front of the television) is to pray. After I cried out to God for a time and then prayed over my family, I felt like going out into the day. Little did I know that a few precious gifts waited for me outside my door.




First, I really needed to go shopping though I really did not want to. In two weeks, I will be standing in front of the attendees to the Texas Style Council’s Blogger’s Conference in Austin. I am going to moderate a panel discussion about blogging and journalism. Guests in the panel with me are

Ann of  Cult of Pretty

Caroline of Lucky Magazine

Jessica of Refinery 29


These Texas Style Council Ladies know how to have fun!!
I need to look and feel my best. Chances are pretty good that I will be the oldest at this conference, so I want to look stylish, fun, youthful, and chic…all at the same time. Ines de la Fressange has been in my mind for the type of look I want. The picture I carry around is posted here. Two big problems loomed over this decision: My slight weight gain and serious funds for shopping!! After looking over some of my usual haunts, I made my way to Chico’s. That put a smile on my face. Their sale items were wonderful and abundant! Though I have gained back some of the weight I lost, I am still down a size at Chico’s….for years I was a 3 and 3.5. Now, I am a 2!! Other smile-factors included a beautiful, attractive store; very helpful salespeople; a new large dressing room with a three way mirror inside and I got to use it! I also think I have found the perfect look!! With my Passport membership and the coupon from the mailed catalog, I left there laughing over how reasonable the jacket and top totaled. You will have to wait a couple of weeks to see what I wear to the conference, because, of course I will blog about it.



My inspiration shot of Ines de la Fressange

Since, I felt much better….I decided to stop and get a pedicure with a gift certificate my son gave me. Being in a better mood, I decided to live on the wild side and selected an army green color by OPI that I have never tried before. Saying good bye to callouses and the massage chair, just made me even happier.




Then, I went home to walk the neighborhood. Part of my weight gain over the holidays came from eating lots of sugar and flour, and not exercising at all. But, I have now walked 6 days out of the last two weeks…so I am back to it…and hoping to get back to weight loss. On my walk, a neighbor I did not know came up to me and said, “Would you like a handful of rosemary for your kitchen? I just trimmed my bushes and I hate to throw it away.” SCORE! Another unexpected blessing!




Now, I realize this is a long post. But the morale of this story is….get out! If you are in a funk and feeling down, just go out into the world…you never know what blessings and precious gifts you will discover!! Yes, those pesky big problems are still there, I just can face them better today!

So, how do you get out of a funk??

Feb 19, 2012

Zelda Kaplan: Lessons in Visibility

Zelda Kaplan taken by Ari Seth Cohen

I did not know Zelda Kaplan.    But I wish I had. I have read several eulogies of Zelda in the past few days and it’s not the fact that she is the ultimate New Yorker, an incredible style icon, very funny, with overboard energy in her 90s that captures my attention. But, I am taken with the fact that she died at age 95 doing what she loved…sitting on the front row of a fashion show during New York Fashion Week. While sitting in the Fall preview for Joanna Mastroianni's collection, Zelda quieting slumped over and elegantly died. I would welcome the chance to live until 95 and then pass on doing what I love. But…what would that be..I wondered.


Maybe, I could simply slump over…

1. When surrounded by my family around the Christmas tree opening gifts.

2. Or while attending a Broadway musical

3. Or shopping in Nordstrom’s

4. Or eating lunch with Gigi at a fabulous restaurant

5. Or in a Bed & Breakfast in Fredericksburg, TX

6. Or at a fashion show….but it should be a really fabulous designer!!

7. Or eating ice cream…wait a minute that might actually kill me before 95!!



Jacket: Old Navy
Blouse: Ross
Skirt and Tights: Lane Bryant

These are all things I love. Zelda had an amazing presence about her and it is fitting to have her join me on VISIBLE MONDAY I styled this look with her in mind…bright color, pattern mixing, and big bling! Here’s to you Zelda! Thank you for modeling the courage to be visible everywhere at any time and at any age!!



Bracelet: Chicos
Tie:  Very old, don't remember where it came from






What would you like to be doing when you are called to the great beyond???


Liz Claiborne Boots: Marshalls



"Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in life."  - Wayne Dyer
 
Now, go enjoy the other fabulous women having fun with life for VISIBLE MONDAY and the Monday Mingle!!
http://www.momtrends.com/2012/02/moms-strut-at-fashion-week-2/

http://notdeadyetstyle.blogspot.com/2012/02/visible-monday-34-review-of-eshakti-and.html



Feb 18, 2012

IF YOU COULD OPEN A DEPARTMENT STORE…..

.
Macys has a blog on their web page, http://www.macys.com/
Tom Van Riper, Forbes.com, identified this week five retailers struggling and fighting the good fight to stay alive. Here are a few of the highlights from the article:
"As retailers crawl out of the worst recession in decades, many realize that they overbuilt and have too many stores. Declining sales have forced several chains to pare down their number of outlets and, in some cases, file for bankruptcy.U.S. chains announced roughly 3,000 store closings in 2011, down from the 5,000-plus announced in 2010, according to Retail Traffic, a trade publication that tracks retail real-estate trends. One result is that the nation's malls and shopping centers are reporting near-record vacancy rates as anchor tenants retrench.

Sears (SHLD), the nation's biggest seller of household appliances, is struggling. Department store chains like Macy's (M) and J.C. Penney (JCP) are treading water, while apparel retailers like Gap (GPS) and Talbots (TLB) have fallen victim to changing fashion preference

And while the job market is improving and consumer credit is easier to get, a renewed spike in store closings can't be ruled out in 2012, according to Retail Traffic. Especially vulnerable are consumer electronics chains, which are under intense price pressure from Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and don't have many hot new products coming to market. Meantime, store openings will likely come from discounters like Family Dollar Stores (FDO), Dollar Tree (DLTR) and Wal-Mart.”


They said NO SALES...looks like a sale to me!!


By now you should know that I am fascinated with fashion retail and being a part of a healthy, productive conversation to help retailers stay alive.





So, I ask…..if you were to open your own department store, what would it look like?? How would it be different? How would you “fashion” it to survive?

http://www.talbots.com/online/home_page.jsp

Let's give them some advice....you are a perfect focus group!!