Showing posts with label casual attire for women. Show all posts
Showing posts with label casual attire for women. Show all posts

Monday, August 15, 2016

Saturday Exploring

If we don't have a special get-away planned for the weekend, we often go over to Asheville or the surrounding area to explore.

We've learned it's wise to stop in downtown Asheville to share an appetizer before heading out on our journey to unknown places. There may not be a restaurant around for miles when we find ourselves hungry on the top of one the many surrounding mountains.

Laughing Seed Café is one of our favorite places to visit. We often share the hummus trio. During this visit, we also tried an apple, carrot, and ginger smoothie. My favorite thing to have with hummus is cucumber slices, so I always ask for a side order of those.

That's a spicy black bean hummus, vegetable pâté, and chickpea hummus. The pita bread is made in house.

Three things are constant with me when I travel even if only for a day-trip. 
Always take a sweater, jacket or wrap because at some point during the trip I know I am going to be cold. 
Visit every restroom. You never know when you will see another one. 
Always drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is so important for the digestive tract, eyes, skin, and muscles. Leg cramps in the middle of the night are never fun!

Wall Street in Asheville, North Carolina is home to many interesting shops and restaurants. It's also fun to people watch and there are usually several entertaining street performers.

Just strolling down the street and stopping to pet a dog or visit a shop along the way is great fun. Many dogs live with their owners in swanky lofts and condos in downtown Asheville, so most of the shops have water dishes out front. Well behaved dogs are often seen at sidewalk cafés waiting patiently for their humans to dine.

Around the corner from Wall Street is the Chocolate Fetish which is home to some of the best gourmet chocolates ever. My favorite indulgence is a dark chocolate covered coconut mound or one of the fabulous truffles. Just one is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth for the day.

Many of the mountains in our area rise to five thousand feet or more above sea level.

The temperature in the valley below was 90 degrees. The temperature at the summit was only 70 degrees.

If our exploring gets more off-road than this, Mr. Mickey may have to put brush guards on his sedan!

Much later in the day after a long drive on numerous mountain roads and through quaint small towns, we returned to Asheville to have dinner at the Lobster Trap. Their lobster roll is the best I have ever found outside of Maine. The roll is made in a local bakery, and the lobster is perfectly prepared. It is indeed delicious, but I can never finish all of it.

We drove through a brief summer storm along the way home. Rain is becoming a rare thing here in East Tennessee, so it was wonderful to hear it on the rooftop. I love the sound of rain falling on a tin roof!

I wore one of those Portofino blouses from Express. It is one of the only button front shirt styles I have found that works with my top heavy figure. I have it in several colors, and I buy a size larger than I usually wear.

The pants are old from Fabrizio Gianni. The sandals are old by Jessica Simpson. The bag is several years old.

Easy breezy classic separates always seem to work well for me.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

All words, styling, and creative direction are my own.
I no longer accept products in exchange for reviews.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Into the Clouds

As my sister and I drove away from Johnson City heading for Roan Mountain State Park yesterday, we had plans to wander around the trails and take some photos. It was a hot summer day with temperatures near ninety.

All that changed as we approached the mountain, which is only about a forty-minute drive from my house. Dark clouds gathered, and the rain began to fall.

Hoping for better weather after lunch, we traveled on to Fosco, North Carolina where we enjoyed a delightful lunch at Eat Crow. Mr. Mickey and I had planned to eat here many times but had never been there yet. I highly recommend it!

The weather did indeed improve after lunch, so up the mountain, we drove.

As we neared the top of Roan Mountain, we were completely engulfed in clouds. As a child, I took great pleasure in being able to reach out and pass my hand through a cloud when we would visit the park on such days.

We continued our hike and the clouds began to disperse.

I have always loved roaming this park alone with my thoughts. This craggy forest has remained mostly unchanged for millions of years. Some of the rare plant life is only found at more than 4,000 feet above sea level on rock outcrops.

A few years ago, I gave away all of my hiking and camping gear and boots since this is something I so rarely get to do now. On this day I made do with what I usually wear to walk in my neighborhood. Knowing the temperatures would dip on the mountain I took a jean jacket with me. It was indeed sixty-five degrees there.

My sweet sister is always well prepared for any outing.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the photos from our wonderful Sister Day in the mountains.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

All words, styling, and creative direction are my own.
I no longer accept products in exchange for reviews.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

How to Pose

For a short time, while in my twenties, I taught modeling to preteens at a charm school in Norfolk, Virginia. I have also been asked to model many times over the years, but I do not consider myself a professional by any stretch of the imagination.

Professional models give the photographer great shots one after the other. Poor Mr. Mickey sometimes has to take seventy pictures for me to get four or five photos that are acceptable for publishing on the blog.

Many of you have asked me to share tips on posing for the camera, so this post is for you. I am happy to share what I have learned.

First and foremost is lighting. Always face the light source. The golden hour for perfect lighting is as the sun is setting on an overcast evening. The worst time to take a photo is noon. When the light source is coming from directly overhead, your features will create harsh shadows and look more pronounced.

Look for the right background. My Covered Perfectly V-Neck top is black, so a light neutral background allows you so see more of the details of what I am wearing. If I were standing in front of a dark bush or wall, there would be too little contrast.

Stand tall with good posture but relaxed. Imagine a string holding your head high and your body falling in a nice straight line beneath it. Whenever I model with someone, and it is their first time, they always ask, "What do I do with my hands?" Pretend your nails are wet. Relax your hands and keep them soft and natural when you pose. Every move should be fluid and small. The camera will capture it if you are stiff and unnatural in your poses.

Learn your best side and practice how much smile is enough. Straight on is best for me since I don't like my profile at all. If I am laughing, too much of my gums will be showing. I have learned to look straight into the camera, relax and give a small smile.

Create angles with your body. Put one foot in front of the other or out to the side or turn one hip toward the camera. Put one hand on your hip or just bend one arm at the elbow and angle it out from your body. Create space between your arms and legs to avoid looking larger than you are. For example, if your arm is straight by your side, it will look bigger than if you angle it just slightly away from your body. If a part of your body bends, bend it.

Relax and have fun with it. When we are shooting, I am always moving, and Mr. Mickey is clicking away with each shift in movement. I hear a click; I move to a slightly different pose. It takes us less than five minutes to shoot fifty photos.

Remember that whatever is closest to the camera will look largest. For example, when I am sitting, I never cross my legs to the side and angle the upper leg away from the camera. That makes my thighs look huge!

In the photo above, my hands and feet look larger than they are because they are closest to the camera. That is perspective. You can use this to your advantage if you understand how to manipulate perspective with your poses.

In these two poses, I am keeping my face, hands, and feet in line with my knees so that nothing appears a lot larger than it is.

Below, my hands are closest to the camera, so they look bigger.

It is almost always better to be looking up at the photographer instead of down. Below is an example of a poor angle. My neck looks every day of its almost sixty years here.

Two steps down so that I am more eye to eye with the camera is much more flattering. Slightly looking up at the camera is the best angle of all.

I hope these little tips help you to have fun and get better photos for your book of memories.

In these photos am wearing one of my favorite easy casual looks. The top is the Simple Comfort V-Neck from Covered Perfectly. My waistline is rather thick, so I used one of my favorite tricks to make it look more defined. That is an old hook and eye belt from Chico's that I am wearing low in the front to create a V rather than a straight horizontal line. For example, if I tucked this top in and wore a belt (horrors!) I would look twenty pounds heavier. 

The Jag Jeans are from The Fig Leaf in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I love the fact that they have a smooth wide waistband with no zipper or loops to create lumps and bumps under my tops.

The shoes are at least three years old by Vince Camuto. The bag is a couple of years old by BCBG via T.J.Maxx. It is a great light neutral color, so I carry it often in summer. My favorite sunglasses are by Balmain via Saks Off 5th.

The cuff is by Made In The Deep South, and it is from The Charlemont in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Fifty, not Frumpy followers get a 20% discount on up to two items! Use the discount code FNF20 when you check out at Covered Perfectly. There are several styles to choose from, and the discount will apply on up to two items. You may also take advantage of the buy 2 get 1 FREE special. Only one of the discounts will work.

Thank you so much for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Created in collaboration with Covered Perfectly
All words, styling, and creative direction are my own.

Monday, April 25, 2016


Do you have a mission?

Beyond sharing style tips and encouragement for eating more plants, I want to make a difference in lives. I have experienced not knowing where I will be sleeping tonight or when my next meal might come. 

I was fortunate that when my time of need came, there was a wide circle of friends who offered shelter and helped me through the toughest time of my life. I know that the worst decisions ever made can be followed by the best ones.

It is now part of my mission to help women in need by being a part of several projects which offer a hand up through temporary shelter, training, and education.

J.Jill has always been one of my favorite sources for timeless casual clothing, but they are known for much more than great fashion. 

J.Jill just launched their new "Compassion Connects Us All" social campaign where every time you use the hashtag #JJillCompassion, the brand will donate $1 to the Fund up to $350,000.

The lightweight J.Jill linen tote bag with an artisanal floral print at the front was designed to help women in need: 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of the exclusive Compassion Fund tote bag will provide support to community-based organizations that help disadvantaged and homeless women become more self-sufficient.

J.Jill has donated more than six million dollars to over sixty organizations across the country.

All of the elements in this look were provided by J.Jill.

The deep blue cardigan from J.Jill is lightweight making it the perfect warm weather topper to take with me everywhere. Air conditioning quickly becomes unpleasant for me, so I always take a cover-up of some sort with me, even in summer.

The perfect weight three-quarter sleeve tee is very nicely made. The design details make it more flattering and feminine than most tees.

The white comfortable cropped jeans are also from J.Jill.

Cognac has always been one of my favorite colors for neutral, go with everything leg-lengthening sandals. These Corso Como® for J.Jill stacked heel sandals are the perfect summer shoes.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Created in collaboration with J.Jill
All words, styling, and creative direction are my own.