Sunday, August 2, 2015

Fashion Show for Monkees!

We are so excited to have a fabulous new store here in Johnson City! Monkees will celebrate their grand opening on the 15th of August. Yesterday we got a preview of the wonderful things to come in a fashion show at the Blackthorn Club.

My beautiful friend Krista Wharton is the owner of Monkee's of Johnson City.

The guests will be arriving soon!

In the dressing room, we are all getting excited for the show to begin!

Krista has chosen a wide variety of clothing and accessories for the store so that there is something for women of all ages and style preferences.

It's showtime!

Informal modeling is so much fun since we can interact with the people in the audience as we are showing the clothing.

We had such a great time presenting some of the excellent lines you will find at the new Monkee's Store

There were also beautiful and inspiring ladies in attendance so you will get to see some of them in the next post. 

To be continued!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Keep Learning!

Have you heard the saying, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts”?

In high school, I convinced myself that I had to make my hair as straight as possible or else keep it very short in order not to look like a wild woman. So all these many years later I was still clinging to the belief that I needed to make my hair straight. 

Recently I decided to let nature take its course because our weather has been so humid it was a losing battle. The result has been that every person who knows me tells me "Your hair looks so much better like that!" So I have surrendered my blow dryer and flat iron. It's curls for me!

Today I am wearing a cool comfortable casual crinkle cloth tunic from J.Jill. The perfect summer bracelet is also from J.Jill. They have some really great accessories as well as clothes! I have owned many pieces from J.Jill over the years and I am always pleased with their well made classic styles.

Yesterday I found these Rampage sandals on the sale table at Belk. They are perfect to wear with these white jeans, which are old from Kut from the Kloth.

 I often get the question "What do you wear for everyday?" This is my favorite look for ease and comfort during summer. In cooler weather, I will wear this tunic with a white tank and faded jeans.

Along with my natural curls, you will also see me in brighter lipstick in the future. Being flexible enough to try something different can be so liberating! Have you changed your thinking about some long-held personal style policy recently? 

Here are a few more of my favorite items from J.Jill.

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

Susan Street is the President of

Visit me on Twitter.
Visit me on Pinterest.
Visit me on Polyvore.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Alone Part II

Back in June, I published a post about enjoying life and going out there and doing whatever you wish even if you are alone. 

I joined friends for a drink after work yesterday wearing white jeans from Chico's with a navy Portofino shirt from Express.

The Cole Haan bag is from T.J.Maxx. The fringe sandals are by Steve Madden and they are from Macy's.

This week I received a wonderful email from a reader named Karen. It is full of more great tips I wanted to share with you who are often alone. 

Karen writes, I never married, by choice, so I've spent my entire adult life largely alone, mostly without any regrets. (I will confess to becoming weary, over the last several years, of attending some events and making long drives solo. But if I were newly alone, I'd probably find these refreshing.) I do many of the things you suggested in your post -- the breakfast out is a good one, although I actually prefer an old-fashioned diner if I can find one -- but here are a few more ideas for your readers:

It has to be the right kind of place, but I prefer to eat lunch or dinner at the bar vs. a table when I dine alone. A practiced/friendly bartender will chat with you if not too busy, other people at the bar will often chat with you as well, and you don't have that "everyone is looking at me" feeling that a big, open room creates.

While traveling, if you would like to go out for a drink but don't want to feel like a middle-aged barfly, seek out small "back bars" in upscale or small, out-of-the-way restaurants. When the bar isn't the main attraction, the vibe is low-key and relaxed. The other patrons there are likely just waiting for a table, so you don't feel like you're waiting for a pickup.

Attend outdoor festivals and talk to the vendors. My favorites are arts festivals, where the artisans are often making their creations right there and are happy to talk about their work. (You can learn amazing things!) I also like antique fairs and flea markets. Farmers markets, too, are great places to find wonderful food and talk to the fascinating people who grow and produce it.

Do dress the part -- a stylish hat, dark sunglasses, artisan jewelry are all good -- so you feel less like a "woman alone" and more like a "woman of mystery." 

Find a group working for a cause or interest you care about and volunteer. I've made new friends and gained free admission by volunteering for film and music festivals, and found great reward in working in soup kitchens and with animals in need.

Speaking of animals, if you don't already have one, adopt a loving animal companion. Dogs, of course, give you the opportunity to get out and even mix with others at the dog park, but cats can be devoted companions who make your at-home hours a genuine, tactile pleasure. (I'm a cat person myself.) If you adopt vs. buy from a breeder, you also do a very kind thing on behalf of animals who will otherwise be euthanized.

Consider activities that really might better alone. For instance, I walk along a scenic trail by a river almost daily, and I relish the sounds of the water lapping, birds singing, cicadas humming and farm roosters crowing. 

If you don't already, learn to love to read. Not only is reading an immersion in other worlds and lives (and necessarily solitary), but libraries are also lovely places where a companion is only a hindrance.

Take a class to learn about something that intrigues you. Learn to make jewelry or soap, to speak Italian or French, to take amazing photographs or start a new business. You can attend a class through local community centers or college adult learning programs, or enroll in an online course.

One of the things I always refused to do alone until recently was go to the movies because I just HAD to discuss the film at length afterward. Now I go alone and when I come home, I go to online review sites where plenty of folks are commenting and discussing and I can join in.

If you try something alone and have a bad experience -- you just don't feel comfortable at all -- try again at another time. Sometimes it's not that you were alone, but other factors were in play (timing, other people's moods) that detracted from your adventure. I try to give a place 3 strikes unless I'm overwhelmingly repelled.

Thank you so much for offering your experiences to help others get over the hesitation to go out and do things alone, Karen. I appreciate all of you who have offered to help out with future blog posts. More to follow! I love when we join together to help and inspire each other. I believe we have one of the best communities on the net!

Another reader made this great suggestion as an option for single folks to join in activities and meet other people. Meet-up groups are in every city in the world. It started in NYC right after 911 with all the people who lived there alone and were frightened to get out and be around others. They have every interest group from A-Z. Dining groups, wine groups, adventure groups, sports groups, book club groups, going to the movies groups, political groups, hobby groups, spiritual groups, knitting groups, music groups, exercise groups, singles groups. You name it, you'll find it. Just go to and pick your city to find the offerings. You can even attend a group event in a different city or country that you're planning on visiting.

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

Susan Street is the President of

Visit me on Twitter.
Visit me on Pinterest.
Visit me on Polyvore.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Goodness Recipes!

Diane K. Smith's health improved a great deal when she started eating a plant-based diet a few years ago. She and I both lost weight when we changed to a plant-based diet, but our main goal was to enjoy better health. 

Diane has created a very informative website where she shares her easy to prepare delicious dishes. Today she has graciously allowed me to share a couple of her fabulous vegetarian recipes with you.

Serves 4
2 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and well drained
1 cup chopped tomato or cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped peeled jicama
1 cup fresh corn kernels, uncooked (or frozen or canned)
3/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
A whole ripe avocado diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4-5 corn tortillas

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 Tbl. honey
2 Tbl. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 tsp chopped jalapeño pepper (optional

Stack 2-3 corn tortillas on a cutting board and cut in half. Then cut into about 1/3" strips. Place the strips on a microwavable plate. Sprinkle or spray with water or apple cider vinegar and lightly salt. Microwave for about 2 minutes. Check for crispness, keeping in mind that the tortilla strips will get crunchier as they cool. Add more time if they aren't crispy enough. **

2. Toss all the salad ingredients except the avocado and tortilla strips in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, mix dressing ingredients. 
4. Pour dressing over salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss. 
5. Top individual servings with avocado and the crispy tortilla strips. 

*NOTE: You can also try microwaving them. It works really well! Just put your cut tortillas on a microwavable dish and let them cook for 3 minutes or so. The more tortillas are on the plate, the longer the cooking. Keep testing them for doneness.


Serves 6
1 package whole grain or gluten-free penne pasta
1 package fresh green beans stems removed and cut into thirds
1 carton cherry tomatoes halved
2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 handful fresh mint
2 tsp white or red miso
2 cloves garlic, rough chopped
1 shallot, rough chopped
1/4-1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/3 cup toasted almonds
Cashew Topping: (optional)
3/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp salt

1. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling and add pasta. Cook according to directions on the package, drain and reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
2. Steam the green beans until crisp-tender. Add them to a large bowl along with the halved tomatoes.
3. In the meantime, make the pesto by adding the vegetable stock to the bowl of a food processor along with the spinach, mint, miso, garlic, shallot, and toasted almonds. Salt and pepper to taste. Process until combined, scraping the sides as needed. Add more vegetable stock if it’s too thick.
4. Add pasta and the pesto to the bowl with the green beans and tomatoes along with enough pasta water to loosen the sauce to the consistency you like. 
5. If topping with cashew crumble, put cashews, nutritional yeast and salt into a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped and crumbly. Don't over process or you'll have cashew butter.



Serves 4
·         1 package corn tortillas
·         1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained
·         1/2 cup diced red onion
·         1/2 cup diced cilantro
·         1 avocado, peeled and chopped
·         1 mango, peeled and chopped
·         Juice of 1 lime or lemon
·         1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (if you like it hotter, leave in some of the seeds)
·         Salt & Pepper to taste

1.      To make the tortilla chips:
2.      Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Stack about 4 tortillas at a time on your cutting board and cut in half and then each half into thirds. Place the chips on a baking sheet. If you'd like to add salt, first mist them with a spray bottle filled with water and then add the salt. Sometimes the chips are a little moist and you can salt them without misting. *(For an easy microwavable option, see below.)
3.      Place in the oven for about 7-10 minutes or until they are pretty crispy and starting to turn golden. 
4.      For the salsa:
5.      Place black beans, red onion, cilantro, mango, avocado, jalapeño and juice into a large bowl
6.      Salt & pepper to taste. 
7.      If it needs more zing, add more lime (or lemon) juice.

*NOTE: You can also try microwaving them. It works really well! Just put your cut tortillas on a microwavable dish and let them cook for 3 minutes or so. The more tortillas are on the plate, the longer the cooking. Keep testing them for doneness.


Diane K. Smith is the editor of

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

Susan Street is the President of

Visit me on Twitter.
Visit me on Pinterest.
Visit me on Polyvore.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Coral Red with White

On Saturday, we took a drive over to Asheville to do some shopping and have lunch. 

I wore white ankle jeans and a white tank along with a coral red casual jacket all from Chico's.

The shoes are by Kenneth Cole from Dillard's. The bag is by BCBG from T.J.Maxx.

I bought the necklace at Chico's a couple of years ago. The main coral red bead in the necklace matched the color of the jacket exactly. I love when that happens! Great planning Chico's!

Lunch at the Bistro at Antler Village at the Biltmore Estate was great as usual.

We drove the little blue convertible this weekend and rode with the top down most of the day until a threat of rain came rolling down the mountainside.

We stopped at one of the first Ranger Sation/public rest stops they ever built on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were literally on the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere North Carolina just before a huge rainstorm came. I was approached by this beautiful lady named Amanda, who said "I follow your blog!" That made my week! I love it when I get to meet those of you who enjoy what I share. Thank you for coming up to say hi, Amanda!

Here comes the storm! Time to put the top up and nap for most of the way home. Thanks for driving safely Mr. Mickey.

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

Susan Street is the President of

Visit me on Twitter.
Visit me on Pinterest.
Visit me on Polyvore.