Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Meatless Chili

Susan's healthy meatless chili or an awesome sauce for spaghetti.

Cook one and one-fourth cup of Lundberg Black Japoncia rice in a one quart container of Pacific Mushroom Broth. This takes about 50 minutes so at the 30 minute mark add one quart container of Kitchen Basics Vegetable Stock and one cup of rinsed Red Quinoa and one half cup of rinsed and sorted French lentils. Bring the pot back up to a boil and then cover and turn down to simmer for another 20 minutes. (If you are making chili or soup you can also add a cup of cut up carrots, celery, and potatoes or other root veggies at this point. For soup you will need to add another container of the stock or broth.)

Next add a can of rinsed and drained low salt black beans.
Saute onion, mushrooms, garlic, peppers to add for a chili dish. I added a can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes and corn for the chili dish I served today. You can also add a bit of butter, olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar according to your taste.

I just made up this dish today but with spices such as cumin, curry, cloves and or oregano you could use it in place of meat for pasta dishes or in the chili I served with cheese and crackers today. Mr. Mickey asked me twice if there was meat in it.

Wishing you good health!

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

I am on Polyvore!
I am also on Pinterest!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Friday Date Night

We bundled up and braved the cold to go out to dinner last evening. So did a lot of other people. The restaurant was crowded! Good for them!

Boiled wool jackets are the warmest items of clothing I own. This is an old one that you have seen many times before. I paired it with a fabulous necklace which was a gift from Kathleen Mannix, one of my very talented clients. She incorporates old pieces of broken jewelry into new sculptural jewelry. You can see more of her work here.

I also wore a bright purple long sleeve tee and black travelers pants from Chico's with black heels.

For all of you who asked about the portrait behind me above. This is a close-up of the David Clapp portrait taken about three years ago.

The bag is old from Kenneth Cole Reaction via T.J.Maxx.

Thanks for reading my blog and for joining me on this journey through midlife and beyond.

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

I am on Polyvore!

I am also on Pinterest!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Basics!

A wardrobe that includes items which can be mixed and matched will serve you well.

1. A good trench coat can go to the grocery store over jeans or to the opera over an evening gown. Just remember to tie that belt in front or in back and push up the sleeves and scrunch the collar to keep it from appearing too stiff. There are other colors that might flatter your skin tone more than the common tan color. Consider gray, navy or red for your go to coat. Avoid Polyester. 
2. Great fitting dark wash jeans are almost always appropriate. 
3. A low heeled comfortable boot in black or brown can take you through most of the fall and winter.

1. A black straight or A line skirt that ends at or below the knee. 
2. A blazer in a color that you like to wear near your face. It can go over jeans, dresses, skirts and slacks. Wear it belted with sleeves pushed up with a pair of jeans for a great casual look.
3. Tank tops can be worn as a first layer all year long. Slim fitting, not clingy is a good investment. Chico's has really great ones. They don't cling and they launder beautifully
4. A black pair of pumps. It doesn't matter what heel height or toe shape but you will want to own at least one pair.
5. A clutch bag for evening or any special event. A bulky shoulder bag ruins the lines of any outfit. 
6. A pair of earrings that make you feel special when you put them on.

There has been at least one little black dress (LBD) in my closet since I turned 18. 

Note the amount of cover of the shoe relates to the amount of cover of the dress. The coat, jacket and sweaters also shown here here on this page can be worn with these dresses to totally change their look.

1. A straight leg (not skinny) pair of black jeans or tailored pants will serve you well on many occasions.
2. A simple white long sleeve tee that fits close to the body, not clingy, will work well under vests, jackets and partially buttoned cardigan sweaters.
3. Scarves in bright colors that flatter your complexion can make an otherwise dull look come to life and tie an outfit together.
4. Flat comfy brogues for those days when you know you will be walking and standing a lot.
5. A casual bag that isn't all one color and is made of durable fabrics such as canvas and leather.
6. Accessories add the finishing touch. Don't forget them even on a casual day!

I also find it is great to own neutrals which can be worn with everything else. Nude pumps, a luggage color bag, tortoise sunglasses, khaki pants and last but not least a white blouse.

One last important note: There is never a time that a white bra will work. It will show through no matter what you wear it with. A nude bra (the color of your skin) is always a much better choice. Foundation garments are just that, the building blocks upon which everything else rests. If they aren't doing their job, you will never look as good as you could in your great new wardrobe. Get a professional bra fitting. You will be so glad you did!

Thank you for reading my blog and for joining me on this journey through midlife and beyond. 

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

I am on Polyvore!
I am also on Pinterest!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sapphire Blue

You may have noticed that one of my favorite colors is sapphire blue.

Today we attended a memorial service so I wore a black skirt from Chico's So Slimming Ponte collection from last fall with a thin black long sleeve V neck tee I found at TJMaxx last year. The blue boiled wool jacket is from the Chico's outlet in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The heels are by Nine West.

The beaded clutch is old. I found it at Stein Mart and the mink scarf was a gift from Mr. Mickey a few years ago.

Thank you for reading my blog and for joining me on this journey through midlife and beyond. 

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

I am on Polyvore!
I am also on Pinterest!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Winter Dressing Tips

Mr. Mickey picked me up to take me out to dinner just as it started to snow.

I apologize for indoor pictures again. The lighting is dismal.

I wore a necklace I made using rose quartz and a chunky silver chain that can be tied like a scarf. I like to wear it to give me a V neckline in winter with warm tops with a higher neck. Since I have a round face I like to wear a V whenever possible to elongate it. 

My regular stylist will be cutting my hair on Thursday and I am so ready!

The base of my outfit includes a column of black in a Chico's tee with Talbots side zip pants from last year. If you cannot wear black near your face try navy, dark brown or dark gray which also work as great bases. The boots are by Nine West. 

Now on to the jacket! I was thrilled to find this one on the sale rack at Chico's for about a forth of it's original price. Score! The knit material is almost like a burnout velvet in a deep sapphire blue and black. It has a swing style with a waterfall front that works so well over a simple slim base. When I tried it on in the store the lady who was helping me looked at it as if she had never seen it before. I read between the lines "Why didn't I see that?" I love it when I try something on and I know immediately that it is me. 

I am sure you have noticed a pattern in my cold weather dressing. I start with a slim fitting solid color top and bottom, then add an interesting jacket, scarf or other accessory to give it a little pizzazz. This base is slim fitting or body skimming because I never want to add bulk underneath the jacket but a slim fitting first layer also helps to keep me warm.

Wearing a top and bottom in the same color with a contrasting color or patterned jacket is known as column dressing. It helps you to look taller and thinner for several reasons. There is no horizontal break on your body. The vertical breaks from an open jacket show only a portion of your body making you look longer an leaner.  

Thank you for reading my blog and for joining me on this journey through midlife and beyond. 

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

I am on Polyvore!
I am also on Pinterest!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


The style shows for 2014 are showing a return to the minimalism of the nineties.

It's all part of the fashion cycle. For a few years we are draped in layers of jewelry, scarves and lots of color. Eventually we get tired of it all and go back to navy, black, gray and white with very simple lines and minimal accessories. I have always embraced a certain amount of minimalism in my personal style.

I feel most comfortable in clean lines and solid colors with only one or maybe two bold accessories. It seems a lot of you also gravitate to minimalist looks. My Polyvore sets have been viewed more than four and a half million times!

I created this necklace as a special order this week and posted it on Facebook. The responses I received included offers to create for stores, and hundreds of people asking how much. This is a very simple style of pendant necklace on only one strand with two simple stations of beads and caps as part of the strand. It is timeless and regal looking. I can imagine the President of a company wearing this with an elegant black suit as easily as a young woman would wear it with jeans and a tee and high heels. 

The point of this post is to encourage you to wear (and create if you are one of my clients) accessories that celebrate individuality and personality. One or two bold pieces are all you need. Matching necklaces, bracelets and earrings are sure to make you look overdone and dated.

A bold elegant necklace can be something as simple as this large pendant piece with a simple bail and a bold silver chain. I've seen it offered as such a necklace for as much as $60.

Some may say that minimalism is bad for the economy but during the nineties I sold enough of my own jewelry designs to quit my retail manager job and almost double my salary the next year.

Opportunity is always there. Be flexible. Open your mind and your eyes to what is appealing at the time. Respect that trend and then do what suits you and your own style. 

Thank you for reading my blog and for joining me on this journey through midlife and beyond.

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Another Adventure

Have you ever had to totally change your plans after you arrived at your destination?

We planned to go shopping in Abingdon, Virginia for part of the day and then make early dinner reservations at a great restaurant we recently visited. Since this is not a busy time of year for them, I thought we would just call earlier in the day for the first seating. We found that restaurant and many others in town were either closed for the whole month or operating with a very limited lounge menu.

This is the always inviting porch at the Martha Washington Inn where the desk manager told us about a great new café around the corner.

So off we go on a new adventure.

Earlier we stopped briefly at their small T.J.Maxx. I have been looking for a luggage or camel color bag to replace my Liz Claiborne bag. After being carried for several years, it was time to retire it because the zipper finally broke. I was thrilled when I found this Michael Kors one that I have been coveting for more than a year! None of the other stores I have visited still had one in stock so I was thrilled to find this one at a much lower price than the ones I had been looking at on line.

Instead of complaining about my lack of planning the wonderful Mr. Mickey smiled and suggested we try the new place. It turned out to be great! We will visit 128 Pecan again.

The Virginia Creeper Trail starts a couple of blocks from downtown Abingdon.

An old railroad track was converted to a bike path which extends to the top of Whitetop Mountain. We have actually ridden our bikes from the top of the mountain into Damascus but not all the way back to Abingdon. Perhaps on another day we will try that.

No Saturday adventure is ever complete until we have shared an afternoon desert. On this day we stopped at Anthony's Desserts for a coconut cream pie tart. Mickey found the old book on French Country style in one of the shops we visited. He knows how French my heart is.

Off in the distance we saw a large house on the hill so of course I suggested we get a closer look. The road that passed by the house continued upon the ridge so we drove to the end of it where we saw this awe inspiring panoramic view of mountains and rolling pastures on three sides.

My outfit today includes a long sleeve white tee, a blue Ponte jacket and black So Slimming jeans all from Chico's. The short boots are Madden Girl from Belk a couple of years ago.

Thank you for reading my blog and for joining me on this journey through midlife and beyond.

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

At Last!

We finally had a Friday date night.

After the holidays, a bad cold and the storm of the century made me stay home for a couple of weeks but last night we were so happy to be back at our favorite restaurant for dinner. Life is good!

I have posted in the past about wearing black and how it isn't always flattering for everyone. If you are like me and have invested in an abundance of black in the past, there are ways to make it work for you. Here I've added a bright aqua scarf and gemstone ring in the same color as accessories.

All of the pieces of this outfit are a couple of years old. The boiled wool jacket may be ten years old! I love that it has black embroidered details on the collar. The cuffs can be turned up and it has one decorative button closure so I wore it with a long sleeve black tee from Chico's. The black knit pants were a find at Ross a couple of years ago. They are by Tahari.

The scarf is a very soft gauze in a color I know works well for me. The shoes are low heeled with a tiny gold trimmed bow detail. The bag is Kenneth Cole Reaction from T.J.Maxx. 

My wardrobe is made up of pieces I like to wear and that I feel comfortable in. I am motivated to buy new pieces only if I believe they can be worn for several years with many other pieces in my closet. Classics changed up with accessories has been my secret to dressing well for many years.

About three years ago I lost more than forty-five pounds so I had to give up almost all of my wardrobe. As I replaced those items I once again looked for classics that could be worn in many combinations and for several seasons.

Thank you for reading my blog and for joining me on this journey through midlife and beyond.

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Jeans and A Tee... At My Age?

If you were also in high school in the early seventies, you may be like me in that you find the ultimate comfort is that "uniform" you wore for most of high school.

Occasionally I still see one of my high school friends wearing the same look we loved at seventeen but a Harley tee and faded out jeans will not work for me anymore. Comfort now has to do with more than just how if feels on my body. I want to communicate the fact that I have been on a tremendous journey for these past forty years. I have traveled the world, owned several businesses, lived in great cities and learned volumes since I graduated from high school in 1974.

My Junior Class Picture 1973

I still wear jeans and a tee quite often but my comfort zone now includes great fitting dark washed jeans, a slim fitting tee with a scoop or V-neck with a nice jacket or open cardigan sweater. Knowing my body shape is key to putting together comfortable outfits. There is a "sweet spot" between mid-hip and mid-thigh where I like my jackets to end. They should be neither too short showing all of my too flat bottom nor too long making my short legs appear even shorter. The jeans fit my body, neither too tight nor sagging in the back. Dark wash looks more appropriate and much better with most of my jackets, but I do have one faded pair of classic Levis which I wear with flats and a navy blazer on sunny fall days. The NYDJ cropped jeans I am wearing below remain one of my summer favorites also.

Autumn of 2013

I hope that sharing my inspiration sets from Polyvore and explaining why I make certain choices helps you to put together great outfits that make you feel confident and comfortable. Here's to our next forty years!

Thank you for reading my blog and for joining me on this journey through midlife and beyond.

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Flat Shoes

When I mentioned in an earlier post that I was starting to wear flat shoes more often for daytime, I was amused at the howls of protest from some of you. I have worn heels for most of my adult life but now, two and a half years away from my sixtieth birthday, I am starting to invest in flats because my feet recently started letting me know it's time.

I found these Enzo Angiolini® Liberty Loafers at Appleseeds. They were one of the first pairs of flats I purchased. Not all flats are created equally. These looked like just the right style for me but I am going to be wearing them around the house for quite some time to break them in. They are a bit narrow where they are stitched together at the ball of the foot.

These Hush Puppies Dalby Moc Flats are super comfortable. (I used my Christmas money from my parents to buy three pairs of shoes from Macy's. Thanks Mom and Dad!)

I also bought these Alfani Women's Allegra Step N Flex Flats from Macy's. Love them!

These Aerosoles Clean Slate wedge heels in brown are also from Macy's. I haven't worn them yet but they feel comfortable from just trying them on.

These are Vince Camuto animal print flats from Nordstrom. Remember to treat animal prints as a neutral. Wearing them with black tights will give you the Minnie Mouse effect. (Sorry Minnie but that isn't a good look for me!) I wear them with nude pantyhose or bare feet in warmer weather.

I found some wonderful jeans at Chico's which I wear quite often during the daytime with a jacket or open cardigan and long sleeve tee. These shoes will all work with jeans or any slim leg pants. I do not wear athletic shoes with jeans.

Thank you for reading my blog and for joining me on this journey through midlife and beyond.

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.