Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hilton Head Island Speaking Engagement

Speaking at the Prime Of Life Chamber of Commerce event on Hilton Head Island recently was an incredible experience.

The grand ballroom at the Marriott Hotel and Resort was the location for this event.

I wore one of my favorite looks by IC Collection provided by If you find that they have sold out of this very popular set, please email or call them from the information listed on their website. They will back-order the items for you.

The shoes are by Sam Edelman. The necklace is from S.M. Bradford Co., located at the Harbour Town Yacht Club on Hilton Head Island.

The camera was not cooperating very well. Sadly, this was the only photo that turned out from my talk.

I spoke about the benefits of eating a plant-based diet and how cultivating a positive attitude has impacted my health in the past five years.

I am already looking forward to my next visit to Hilton Head! With me above is Michelle Taylor, who owns a new shop on the island. Birdie James is opening this weekend at the Shelter Cove Towne Centre. One of my other favorite shops in the same Centre is the Copper Penny. I am shown below on another day with the owner Mary Margaret McGaughey.

Shelter Cove Towne Centre is a fabulous new Centre that offers many great places to shop, eat and browse. 

We really enjoyed being pampered for a day at the fabulous Faces Day Spa.

In the evening, we had a fantastic dinner with some of the hardworking members of the Chamber of Commerce at the Red Fish. It was the perfect ending to our first full day on the Island.

I was showered with genuine southern hospitality and gifts during my stay.

A Fifty, not Frumpy follower, Debbie Carr came all the way from Delaware to spend some time with me!

I enjoyed meeting many leaders in the community who attended the event and stayed to hear me speak.

The lovely woman with me below is a retired Physician. We were discussing how little training about nutrition is provided in Medical School. 

The warm and welcoming spirit of each person I had the pleasure of meeting this week, made this a delightful experience, I will never forget.

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

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

Friday, May 20, 2016

Blush With Jeans

My favorite Bank President is retiring today.

Our dear friend Harvey Mitchell is retiring after 40 years of service in banking within our community.

Mr. Mickey let me know he would come by to pick me up in five minutes to attend the reception in Harvey's honor. Really?

I stopped what I was doing and put on my blush colored jacket from White House Black Market and a pair of many years old heels. Seriously, those shoes by Anne Klein are at least ten years old. 

No time to think about what you are going to wear? There is an art to being able to throw yourself together at a moment's notice. It is a skill I have learned over time. Thank goodness for Pantene dry shampoo!

The super comfortable dark wash jeans are by Fabrizio Gianni

The tank top is by Clara Sunwoo (love!) from ShopMyFairLady. If you want something shown on their site, and it is sold out, they will be happy to backorder it for you. Just email them or call the number on their website. My best friend, Mitzi and I order from them often. They are always so very helpful. 

The vintage brooch embellished leather cuff is by Made in the Deep South, and it is from my sweet friend Myra's fabulous boutique, The Charlemont

If I don't get the chance to share another post with you before I leave for my next speaking engagement at the Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce Prime Of Life event, I want to tell you how very much I appreciate you. 

Thank you for all your kind words!

I purchased all the items shown in this post. 
The words and styling are my own.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Subtle Changes

Each spring, I put out new ferns and move all the orchids out to the screened porch. That process sets in motion other changes to lighten up my home decor for warm weather.

This year, the time was right to upgrade some of my "make do for now" furniture and art. The changes are subtle, but the upgrade in style and function make my daily life much more pleasant.

The foyer (below) remains the same.

My office is just inside the front door across from this foyer. I create the blog and conduct the daily business of my company in this room. I spend many hours each day here, so form and function are of the utmost importance.

This view is from in front of the window.

This angle is the view from the door.

A new desk to hold my computer was the most urgent change needed. The old mission style table had no drawers and snagged my clothes often with its rough edges. Another change that lightened this room was to remove a table from in front of the window.

I admit to having some difficulty with letting things flow like a river in my home decor. New additions were coming in, but not enough was flowing out.

The dining area remains much the same. However, I did remove several items to give the area a lighter feel. This view is turning from the dining area to the stair wall.

The link here shows the previous decor.

This shot from the balcony shows the sitting area changes. I removed several layers of Italian trays, tables, and other items to give the space a lighter more modern look. I replaced the Mediterranean terrace print with a more contemporary piece of art on a plain canvas.

The dark, heavy table that was previously under the oversize Hudson River style painting is now being used upstairs as my makeup table. I added the Art Deco style small mirrored chest to the back of the sofa. 

Mirrored surfaces, straight legs, glass tables and unframed canvases all serve to lighten up and modernize spaces. I studied hundreds of Architectural Digest articles before making these changes.

I moved the pedestal with the urn to the other side of the room and added a small metal and glass table to the area by the stairs. I had too many curved dark wood pieces of furniture, so I replaced the curvy coffee table with a more modern straight edge dark distressed piece which relates nicely to the piano painting.

Fresh flowers and an urn full of seashells I gathered from beaches around the world are now on the bar cart. When my favorite Stargazer and Casablanca lilies appear in flower shops, they will be placed in crystal vases throughout the main floor. I adore lilies and white orchids.

I added a new round pedestal table to the breakfast nook.

In the master bedroom, I replaced two old mismatched chests with a five drawer chest and a matching three drawer chest. Their style complements the bed and the bench.

My very talented father made the table in the corner by the air purifier. The bronze Victorian fairy figurine was a long ago Christmas gift from Mr. M.

The walls are rather blank for now in anticipation of adding original modern art. My eyes have finally adjusted to the look, so I am ready to embrace contemporary pieces mixed with old. Future purchases will include different light fixtures and blinds, modern glass objects and original art (likely my own) on large simple canvases.

The upstairs sitting area outside the guest room also has a new lighter look. I removed some pieces of furniture and art here but did not add anything new. I shifted the location of several pieces to open up the area and make it appear larger.

The guest room is ready for your visit!

The table which was previously in front of the window in my office is now in the guestroom.

I enjoy the extra space for my makeup. That's a small fan on the floor under the table.

The Mediterranean terrace print looks so much better in the guestroom!

Below is a shot of my "store" located in the finished room over the garage (FROG). Home accessories are like jewelry; you need not show everything you own at all times. I will keep these unique pieces to use in rotation with the seasons. 

My high heel shoes collection also "lives" in this bonus room along with a bookshelf and other items. More on this collection in a future post.

Now that this project has been completed, I must move on to preparing for my talk at the Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce Prime Of Life event. If you attend and we get to meet each other, you will know why I have all these bumps, bruises, and blisters. Moving around furniture and hanging, then rehanging (too many holes in the walls now) art gave me quite a workout this week!

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

Monday, May 16, 2016

Dress For Your Personality

A lot has been published about what colors and styles to wear or not to wear. I believe that dressing in what makes you happy is the key to successful style.

We met with friends over drinks and hors d'oeuvres to discuss a project a few days before I got my hair cut. I always try to dress appropriately for the weather, the event and lastly I bring my personality into the mix. I have been saving these photos to share with you when the post calls for it. 

It was a cool evening, and the professional nature of the event called for a more polished look than my usual combos.

Even though I am wearing old pieces from my wardrobe in the picture above, I do not usually put them together in this way. The more relaxed cut of the dress pants combined with low heeled shoes and the loose fitting tank top with a neutral blush color jacket do not reflect my nature. The edgy straw clutch bag along with the jazzy necklace were my attempts to add "me" into the mix.

Yesterday we were going to visit my parents and then to have a light dinner to end a great weekend. The lack of an "event" to dress for meant that I could just put on what felt right for the weather. 

You can see how much happier I look wearing clothes that reflect my personality.

Not just because I am acting silly, but you can tell that being true to myself in the way I dress makes me feel more confident and happy.

The tips and tricks I share with you are intended to help you evaluate what is in your wardrobe and determine if the pieces work for you and with each other. The secret to success is found in how you put the items together and then accessorize them. It does not matter what color they are (certain colors and tones will indeed look better on you than others), or how much they cost, or where you bought them. If the elements in your collection can be combined to show your unique personality and make you feel confident, that is what matters.

This way of dressing does not require that you have a huge wardrobe. It is all about knowing what is right for you and your lifestyle. What I wear, including my heels, might not be right for you at all. My budget may be entirely different than yours. The colors that comprise my core wardrobe may not be right for you. The points I make here are intended to show you how I use these elements to put together looks that work for the event, the weather and my personality. I am just using myself as an example to hopefully help you use these basic guidelines to figure out what works best for you.

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

I purchased all the items I am wearing in this post. 
As always, all words and styling are my own.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

For The Fur Babies

Giving back to the community is imperative to me. That community includes the pets that become a part of our family and also those that get discarded.

Last evening we attended the Dogwood and Cattails Ball to benefit the Humane Society of Washington County.

It was great to see so many of our friends who also came out to help support the animal shelter. Our shelter is a no-kill organization. No matter how long it takes for an animal in our foster program to find a home, it will remain in our program until the best possible home can be found. Thanks to this program, 1300 healthy, happy animals have been adopted into loving forever family homes.

The Oustanding Animal of the year was awarded to a special dog named Arabela, who serves our country by disclosing improvised explosive devices (IEDs are simple bombs made and used by unofficial or unauthorized forces).

I fell in love with a sweet pit bull named Chloé!

Chloé was rescued from a very inhumane breeder situation and given a loving forever home. She showed her gratitude with kisses, snuggles, and a tail that wagged non-stop.

Rather than buy another ball gown that I will never wear again, I made use of old items I already had in my closet. The theme for this year's ball was based upon the Great Gatsby, so I went with separate pieces that sort of reflected that theme. 

The simple knit tank dress with a side slit is a couple of years old. The tuxedo style jacket is old from the Traveler's Collection at Chico's. The little evening bag is many years old. The shoes are old by French Connection via Saks Off 5th.

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

I purchased all the items I am wearing in this post. 
As always, all words and styling are my own.

Saturday, May 14, 2016


Do you play around with different styles?

We recently took Mr. Mickey's daughter out for her 50th birthday celebration dinner.

In honor of her very youthful urban fashion vibe, we decided to wear jeans and be more casual.

This burnout velvet cardigan has a distinct Bohemian attitude. I found it on sale at Dillard's recently. The bold cuff and tank top are from Chico's. The jeans are by Jag Jeans via the Fig Leaf in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The mesh and suede trim shoes are old by Sam Edelman. The reptile embossed box bag is from S.M. Bradford Co. on Hilton Head Island.

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