over50feeling40: January 2014
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Jan 30, 2014

SuperBowl Party: What to Take, What to Wear!



Sunday, we are headed out to watch the Superbowl with the same group of friends we have partied with for several years...it is always a fun time.  


I might wear this:
Python Pants: LANE BRYANT (couple of years old)
Purple Turtleneck Knit: COLDWATER CREEK
Tunic Top: CHICOS (new purchase, on sale)
Gold Shoes: MARSHALLS
Designer Necklace: DEBORAH LONG-SHIRLEY



Love the game...love the commercials...can't wait for the food!  My favorite last year was this fun football cheese ball!


Football Cheese Ball










what you need:



2
PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese


1
pkg.  (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese


1/2
KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese


1/2
cup  MIRACLE WHIP Dressing


1/4
pepper


2
 green onions, chopped


1
PLANTERS Pecans


2
Tbsp.  pimiento strips


RITZ Crackers



make it

BEAT first 5 ingredients with mixer until blended. Stir in onions. Refrigerate several hours.

FORM into football shape; coat with nuts.

ADD pimentos for the lacing. Serve with crackers.

Want more Super Bowl watching recipes..... just visit the creative women of Midlife Boulevard, HERE!!!


HAVE A FUN WEEKEND AND ENJOY THE GAME!!!

Jan 29, 2014

Dressing My Body to Show I Matter...Plus the Thursday Blog Hop!!


Meet Kim…a healthy midlife mother of four, school nurse, and dedicated to service.  As a nurse, Kim knows to care for her health; but, she also knows to care for the outsides as well.  She maintains a professional, stylish look despite her very busy lifestyle.  Working with other parents and teenagers during her workday, Kim has discovered how important her appearance is to calm those in her small clinic and give them confidence in her abilities.

As I have written before, when I woke up and really saw myself in the mirror (at age 50), my reflection was pretty sad.  Even more dismal was my trip into the closet.  As I lost myself during my mommy years, I obviously lost my way with wardrobe decisions.  There were many hand-me-downs from my mother and mother-in-law…you read that right.  In hindsight, I have to ask myself WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

I did not have a clue how to dress my overweight body.  In an attempt to hide it, my clothing choices were often oversized and drab.  Men’s sweatshirts and polos had their own section of the closet.  When I did dress up, I often selected old maternity clothes and over accessorized to the max.

She must be in there somewhere!

When I became a student of what to wear, I was fascinated with the fact that smaller clothes actually could make me look smaller.  For me at that point, it took so much courage to wear clothing which fit my body.  What a surprise when I stepped out of my comfort zone and discovered the experts knew what they were talking about!!

First, I had to accept the fact I could look fabulous with little money to budget for it.  Please remember as we begin to discuss my fashion journey…I am not talking about big dollars…it is possible to learn, apply, and be very wise with the expenditures.  When you learn how to dress for your body, you waste less as well.
The changes I made first in order to gain confidence were:
1.       I found a retailer with clothes which fit and flattered me. For me, this was Lane Bryant.  The clothes were quality, youthful, and stylish.  It took so much courage to walk in the door ten years ago…but I am so glad I did. Many retailers I visited really featured clothing I was attempting to get away from and kept me in the frumpy phase of life.  Thank you LB, for getting me started!
2.       I purchased several fitted jackets.  A great jacket with good seaming can take off the appearance of ten pounds!  I wore (and still wear) them with everything…jeans, trousers, skirts, dresses…you name it.
3.       I donated all of the hand-me-down denim and purchased great fitting, dark denim jeans.  The dark denim was more flattering and appropriate for many occasions.
4.       I discovered knit blouses with V-necks were the most flattering fit for me.  They opened my face and slimmed my top half.   I also made sure these knit tops fit and hugged my hourglass figure…no more huge men’s polo shirts….donated!
5.       I also discovered I look taller and leaner when I wear long pants and avoid capri pants.  I live in Texas…it’s hot and the midlife woman’s answer to shorts has been the capri.   Most of mine were donated…I confess to still owning a couple of pairs…but they fit my body, at least.



The small steps helped me to look in the mirror and see that I MATTER.  We will continue the journey next Thursday.  For those just stopping in, here are the other posts…then HOP on to Katie’s Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop!  To catch up with us about #I MATTER:


ITS TIME FOR THE THURSDAY FAVORITE THINGS BLOG HOP!

It’s time to hop! Party and link up! The Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop is where you can link your favorite post of the week or write a post about your favorite things and share it with old and new followers. The hop is hosted and posted on 4 different blogs! Your link will appear on the blogs of Katherines Corner,  Over 50 Feeling 40Vintage Mama and The Tablescaper.  Four times the opportunity to make new bloggy friends and to share your wonderful blog and discover others too.    
RULES
  • Please DO NOT link and run…….
  • Please visit a few of the wonderful blogs that are sharing here.
  •     Please leave comments when you visit
  •     Please Link to your post and not to your blog home page
  •     Linkback on your post (optional, but always appreciated)
  •     Grab the hop button code from The button page (optional)
  •     No adult content blogs
  •     No links directly to your shops or websites selling things/services please! (sorry they will be removed)
  •     Yes you can link giveaways (they are everyone’s favorite thing) Add your giveaways to Katherines Giveaways Page too!
Adding your link to this blog hop gives Katherines Corner permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Katherines Corner. Note- All features on Katherines Corner will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the hop




Because I am a REBEL....



With a headline like that, you perhaps were expecting to see me in leather or a short skirt, but not find a crockpot full of soup!


Well, today at Midlife Boulevard, the ladies are sharing their chili recipes.  I used to make chili a lot when the whole family was at home...but I haven't made it in awhile.  So, I am going to show you how to make a turkey and dressing soup!  You start with a crockpot and fill with water, three slices of Applewood Bacon, three stalks of celery, one large sweet yellow onion (cut up), three cloves of garlic, fresh sprig of rosemary and three large turkey legs.


The secret ingredient are apples...cut up two and toss them in.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of sage, and 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper.

Cook overnight.  



The next day remove all of the big pieces.  Take the meat from the turkey legs, shred and return to broth.  Mash garlic cloves and return to broth.  Cut celery and onion and return to broth.  Mash apples and return to broth.  Add your favorite veggies.  I like green beans, carrots, and sometimes corn.  Cook about an hour longer.  While the soup is cooking, make the cornbread!

Grandma’s Cornbread
1 cup sifted flour
¼ cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 eggs
1 cup milk
¼ cup melted butter
Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.

For a little extra punch, stir in some chopped onion, chopped green and red pepper and chopped celery!



Cut a big slice of cornbread, place in the bowl and pour the soup over it.  A hearty bowl of holiday
flavors.

Now, for those who want chili recipes...head on over to MIDLIFE BOULEVARD CHILI ROUNDUP..eat hearty and stay warm everyone!!

Happy Wednesday...see you tomorrow for another segment of I MATTER...and the blog hop!

Jan 28, 2014

Treat Yourself Like A Box of Kleenex



Yes...we live in a new day and time...and career planning at any age is a challenge.  Today on Midlife Boulevard, I am discussing PERSONAL BRANDING.

Just go HERE  for The Joy Boutique!





And I will explain
how you are like a box of Kleenex!








Happy Tuesday, everyone!!





Jan 26, 2014

New Jeans, New Glasses, New Day!

Yep, things are looking up!  I am definitely beginning to see changes in my body from working out!

And since I am a lover of jeans, I found myself looking in my closet with Goldilocks on my mind...
some were too big...
some were too small...
So, I ordered these INC JEANS FROM MACYS and they are just right! (Designed for a curvy figure!)

I love the skinny leg and the dark denim...and the smaller size!!

Now, my glasses, are the cool, IVY LEAGUE BIFOCAL READERS sent to me from READERS.COM.  The only problem is my husband keeps taking them and wearing them as well!  These are fashionable, affordable readers for everyone!

Go out with confidence today, ladies!  MACYS has some great sale prices right now if you need to go jean shopping like me!!

Now, go enjoy the wonderful women of VISIBLE MONDAY!!  and MONDAY BLOOM!!  and Fashionista Style Hop!


I Believe In Strength



"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.  I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.  I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."

-Audrey Hepburn



Find a way to laugh today...no matter what...
And always stay

Strong........







See you later this afternoon for Patti's Visible Monday!  Have a joyous Sunday everyone!










Jan 25, 2014

A Bucket List Confession




“I am so excited to meet you! You are so courageous and fun…I bet you would just jump out of an airplane if you could.  Do you hope to skydive someday?”
I wish someone had snapped a quick Instagram of my face the day in November a woman said this to me.  I met her in a local retail store and she reads my blog.  She had a distinct impression that I am someone of risk.  I do hope I portray joy…fun…living out loud…but I honestly do not know why she thought I would sky dive.  Anyone who really knows me, knows that I am a CHICKEN!  I do not like speed or heights or any activity associated with speed and heights.  I respect those whose bucket lists include skydiving and speed racing…not me. 

There are many things I would like to do in my lifetime…but by comparison to other lists, I am really boring.  However, I thought I would confess one today.  My struggle with weight has really been over a lifetime.  When I decided to take care of myself at age fifty, part of that journey was learning to accept my body and dress it as it existed.  I learned the fundamentals of fashion so that I actually looked smaller than the scales read and learned to look in the mirror as I was… and be pleased. 

Because eating disorders became such a problem a few years ago, the media began to send messages of body image acceptance no matter our size.   Full figured women became models and plus-size bloggers gained audiences.  I have lived in the plus size world for many, many years and I was thrilled to see all of this happen.  I still believe it is important for all of us to accept and love who we are today…right now…this minute.

So, is it bad or hypocritical that I would like to know what it is like to be smaller??
Does it make me someone to worry about?

I don't want to be a stick, but perhaps go from my size 16 to a 12 or a 10?? Yes, I will tell you that I am working out for my health.  That is a huge part of it…but I am also working out because I desire just for a time, to be able to wear smaller clothes!
There I said it…it's out there.  I believe I have a balanced perspective of the issue.  However, it would give me such joy to finally have the extra weight gone.  I am working on it slowly and the journey is more consistent than it has been in a long time.  Hopefully, I will get there.

 Now, seriously, does it make you think less of me?  For some reason, I have been hesitant to confess to anyone that I wanted to lose weight...for more than just health reasons.   I guess the implication is that I do not believe you can look great in your clothes as a plus size.  That is not truth...because I believe you can look fabulous at any size.  But, this is a personal wish, and a personal one only.  I really want to believe I conquered the beast!

 Does anyone else have this on your bucket list?  Please join in the conversation and have a wonderful, warm Saturday!

This is part of a Saturday blog hop with Midlife Boulevard...just click HERE!

Jan 24, 2014

Girlfriend Gift Idea!


Happy Friday, everyone...are you warm?  We are even freezing down in South Texas...so I know most of you are cold!


Thanks for all of your great comments and kind words this week...You are the best!  Now, here is another little tip...next time you need a girlfriend gift consider this beautiful new book, SHE, A Celebration of Greatness in Every Woman. The beautifully illustrated book recognized the unique temperament within each woman.

Mary Anne Radmacher and Liz Kalloch have creatively intertwined works of art as well as empowering inspirational topics in the realms of purposefulness, leadership, friendship, and much more. Each unique page demonstrates these qualities while providing enlightenment. Indeed, we are equipped to fly. We already have what it takes to soar. 

Radmacher is the official artist for the William Jefferson Clinton Library, and her work has been featured in CNN, HGTV, Oprah, and The New Yorker. She is included in the most recent edition of the Oxford Dictionary of American Quotations. Kalloch is a designer, illustrator, painter and teacher. Her art has been featured in Christine Mason Miller's book Desire to Inspire, as well as a documentary about working as an independent artist, Indie Kindred.

"She" is a gentle, inspired, lovely book.

Find it on Amazon HERE.

Now I am off to read by the fire....stay warm this weekend!

Jan 22, 2014

I MATTER: 5 Steps to a New Hairstyle (Plus Thursday Blog Hop!)


Meet vibrant, fiery, Panamanian Esther!  She is one busy 42-year-old small business owner…and she knows she must carry the I MATTER sign daily to accomplish all on her plate.  As I said, Esther runs a small business, cares for her husband with cancer, and visits her large family in Panama at least twice a year and so often helps family members with needs.  On top of that, she has arthritis. So, you can find her daily either in cycling class, Zumba, weight training or, at other times on the Salsa dance floor.  She drinks lots of water, eats small portions, and always looks her very best!  There are many people relying on her, so she must put herself first in order to keep that gorgeous smile and serve the ones she loves.



“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit and think about it. Go out and get busy.”  - Dale Carnegie

When we decide to go through a personal makeover, start-over, reinvention…whatever you desire to call it…I believe it helps so much to do at least one big change right away.  By doing something noticeable, we make a statement that things are new.  I wanted something that sang, “I’ve got a new attitude!”  I am important…unique…created for a purpose…not a mistake…and I am back!!

For me, the step of courage was my hair.  It is kind of amazing the attachments women have with their hair. So, many of us are slow to make major changes because somehow we fear it will change who we are.   Most of my life, I had long hair…thick, natural curly, long hair.  I was born with a light brown/tinted auburn natural color…but in Texas, blonde is big.  So, beginning in college until I was 50, I did everything possible to be blonde! I loved my long hair.  When fixed, it was beautiful…but that took a lot of time out of busy days to do.  As a working mom, I began to pull it back into a ponytail every single day.


My advice for making changes with your hair follows 5 steps:
     Decide what YOU want.  Family and friends always have opinions on how we should wear our hair.  You must first listen to you.  My husband wanted the long, blonde hair to stay. I had a dilemma. 
     Consult a stylist you trust.  Listen to their advice…look at pictures…decide what messages you want to send with your overall style.  What makes you smile?
    Consider your lifestyle and how much time and money you have to invest in your hair.  After I began a daily workout schedule, I decided to have my hair thinned a bit, so it did not require so much time to fix every day.
     Select a style you can look great in daily.  Our self-esteem dims when we tie it back, pin it up, pull it tight and hide it day after day because there is just no time.
     Have courage to step out of your comfort zone…that might even mean you go completely gray or shorter…but you might discover a new confidence you did not know existed within.


    Remember, hair grows.  If you do not like your first change…you can change again…don’t panic or get down.  Work with a stylist you trust.  I firmly believe you should always budget in your hair appointments…they are that important.  


I decided to listen to my stylist and I made a radical change! (My husband survived, by the way)  I went
Darker, closer to my original color
Shorter
Added Bangs
Thinner
Straight…at age fifty, I began to flat iron my hair.  The advice of most people around me was to let my natural curl go and to get a style which worked with it naturally…not feeling it…I wanted it straight…that makes me smile.

I will never forget when she turned me around to look in the mirror.  For the first time, in a long time, I was looking at me.  This felt so right and gave me more confidence than I ever could have imagined.  The color made my hazel eyes POP …it was as if I saw them for the first time.  Yes, I am gray underneath…but will joyfully live with this look for a few years…it is me!
Make sure your hair gives you confidence…if not…then that’s where you should begin. If you love your hair, then what is another way you can signal a new improved you and make a statement of courage.  I will see you next week… please, encourage other women to pick up their I MATTER signs and join us on Thursdays!

Do you need to review I MATTER POSTS...here they are:
POST #1
POST #2
POST #3

Also, look for Tweets@over50feeling40, #IMATTER!


Now, please go join the fun bloggers of Katie’s Favorite Things Blog Hop!


ITS TIME FOR THE THURSDAY FAVORITE THINGS BLOG HOP!


It’s time to hop! Party and link up! The Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop is where you can link your favorite post of the week or write a post about your favorite things and share it with old and new followers. The hop is hosted and posted on 4 different blogs! Your link will appear on the blogs of Katherines Corner,  Over 50 Feeling 40Vintage Mama and The Tablescaper.  Four times the opportunity to make new bloggy friends and to share your wonderful blog and discover others too.    
RULES
  • Please DO NOT link and run…….
  • Please visit a few of the wonderful blogs that are sharing here.
  •     Please leave comments when you visit
  •     Please Link to your post and not to your blog home page
  •     Linkback on your post (optional, but always appreciated)
  •     Grab the hop button code from The button page (optional)
  •     No adult content blogs
  •     No links directly to your shops or websites selling things/services please! (sorry they will be removed)
  •     Yes you can link giveaways (they are everyone’s favorite thing) Add your giveaways to Katherines Giveaways Page too!
Adding your link to this blog hop gives Katherines Corner permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Katherines Corner. Note- All features on Katherines Corner will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the hop.





New Way to Find Fabulous Candles

A sponsored post
  I have written often of my love for candles...especially this time of year!
I love to rise early, light candles and work in peace and quiet.  Of course, I love scented candles so I was thrilled when Scented Candle Shop introduced me to their website.  They carry one of my favorites, Yankee Candles, at excellent prices.

You can see I love the "spicy" aromas...in fact, one of these smells like warm spice cake in the oven!  I found the site to be affordable and the candles were packed exceptionally well for shipping.


If you are a candle lover as I am, you just might want to give them a try.  If you missed the link above, here it is again...Scented Candle Shop!

Have a Wednesday full of sweet aromas!



See you tomorrow for I MATTER.....





Candles provided by Scented Candle Shop

Jan 21, 2014

Personal Style Importance: What the Experts Say!

Hello everyone, it's Midlife Boulevard day and we are in the middle of a discussion on personal style. 

Today, we are looking at what some of the experts say about paying attention to personal style. These are the people who helped me find my "sweet spot." Just click HERE!

Experts like, Stacy London, who writes, "It's not an overstatement to say that style teaches me over and over again how to live in my skin. It helps me find courage and confidence and control when I feel I have none. While I was drawn to the world of fashion as a little girl because of its sparkle, I love the world of style now because I understand its transformative power."






YES, I also understand that...because I experienced it myself.




Join us for the discussion in THE JOY BOUTIQUE




Now, Ta Da....the winner of the ONE NECKLACE PERSONALIZED JEWELRY is Charlotte Issyvoo...Congratulations, Charlotte..Enjoy!

Jan 19, 2014

OOTD Inspiration: Winter Brights

It's been a cold winter for almost everyone with more on the horizon (or Canadian border at least!).
So, looking for some bright inspiration can add a "spring" in our step!
I saw this picture of Nicole Richie on another blog recently and it inspired me to take a bright summer garment and wear it in the winter.
I wore this jacket from CHICOS last summer with a tank underneath, however, Nicole's style sent me to look for a collared shirt instead.
I like it and it really does brighten a winter day.  
Even a dormant Texas cactus can use a bit of cheer.
Beauty can be uncovered ...no matter the season!
Have a fabulous Monday, everyone!


Skinny jeans and necklace: Lane Bryant
Steve Madden gold flats: Ross
Black Shirt: Kohls