Friday, January 31, 2014


Big chunky necklaces are the hot accessory this season. Just looking at them gives me the same rush I use to get when I rifled through my mother's costume jewelry drawer as a little girl. They remind me of an old line from the musical CARNIVAL ... "Beautiful candy, too pretty to eat!" 

This gorgeous necklace popped up on the BANANA REPUBLIC website today. Originally priced at $98.00... with the online sale it is $63.00 and FREE shipping! It would make a bold statement paired with this ZEBRA JACKET ... coming soon to Talbots $198.

                     NORDSTROM sale price $48.00                 NORDSTROM Tory Burch $225.00

GREAT NECKLACES but at very different price points.  There is somethings for everyone. Bold jewelry is not an accessory that I have ever worn but I am dazzled by it.  I am looking for just the right piece and maybe I can pull it off. Guess I need to push a few limits.

Do you love jewlery? What's your favorite piece to wear? I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I love this"Little Black Dress" but it somehow didn't feel appropriate for a 64 year old.  I found "my version" of it... a simple black lace sheath that falls to the knee. It even has a grograin ribbon around the waist with a small flat bow. We're never too old!
I use to watch an HGTV home decorating show called Christopher Lowell.  He was kind of a crazy guy who made me laugh. I quickly learned he knew his stuff.  He has a book out called The Seven Layers of Design... available from Amazon. When he designs a room he starts with the wall color (that's a topic for another day) and then moves on to the "big ticket items" the furniture. His advise is... KEEP IT NEUTRAL.

That doesn't mean boring beige. It means brown, black, tan, grey, white or navy, even denim. Within that spectrum he uses tweeds and textures and even glen plaids Then he makes everything pop with color and pattern in his choices of drapes, pillows and throws. These things are less expensive and more easily replaced if you get tired of them. I looked at my big floral chair. Yes I was tired of it and it was going to cost a lot to replace it.  He completely changed my approach to decorating.

So... when I was faced with a near empty closet, Christopher's theory came to mind.  If it worked in decorating a room, which it did, then it should work with decorating ME. I began with the neutrals. I bought skirts and pants and sweaters and jackets and coats, even handbags and shoes in a variety of browns and blacks and greys.

I purchased a beautiful mid calf brown wool skirt but I also bought a knee length brown tweed with godets.  "Who knew" there was such variety of colors and shading within each neutral. I indulged in a full length Fleurette Italian wool black dress coat. Now six years old and going strong its classic design will never be out of style. Once I got a few basics, accessorizing with bold patterns and prints in beautiful colors made everything "POP"  

There is nothing boring about a neutral. If carefully selected, and infused with a variety of textures and hues, it is the perfect jumping off place. Your choices will become the WORKHORSES of your wardrobe.

What is your favorite basic wardrobe piece? I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Every woman wants to smell good. For some that's as fresh as soap and water and others its a trip down the perfume aisle. Prior to writing this article about the Gardenia's role in making perfume, I had never heard of a Top, Middle or Base note. I learned a lot. Read it, it might make buying your next bottle of perfume more interesting.
The process of combining aromatic compounds and essential oils to produce perfume is complicated but fascinating. The ingredients are arranged in a way that allows for vaporization and evaporation in a predictable, staggered pattern.This is referred to as a "musical metaphor." There is a top note, a middle note and a base note. The heady scent of the gardenia, which is widely used in the making of perfumes, is considered osmically balanced. In other words, it is perfectly balanced and contains all three notes.

The Top Note

  • The top note or head note is what we smell when the perfume is first sprayed and is the determining factor in its ability to sell. It has a lighter scent and evaporates quickly, usually in about 10 minutes. This evaporation is followed by the vaporization of the second note. The gardenia is often used as the top note, emitting a delicate fragrance that is described as intoxicating.

                The Middle Note

  • The middle note or "heart note" may be evident from the beginning but does not fully develop for 10 to 30 minutes. When a perfume is categorized, such as fruity or floral, it is the middle note that is being described. This note covers the base note, allowing it time to mellow and become pleasant. Gardenia is also used in this position and is often combined with other scents such as orchid or lily of the valley.

The Base Note

  • Base notes have a grounding effect on the perfume. They have the greatest molecular weight, slowing down the evaporation rate of the lighter notes and allowing the fragrance to last. The base note becomes most noticeable about an hour after the initial spray. Each note has a role to play and all are needed for the final harmonious effect. Because the gardenia is so well balanced it can also act as a base note, giving the perfume depth and longevity.
Antique Perfume Bottles

A Single Flower Perfume

  • Most perfumes today are floral bouquets, a combination of sometimes dozens of scents. The gardenia plays an important role in many popular fragrances. Its beautiful white pedals are crushed and refined to extract an essential oil that is powerful. Although a key player in the perfume industry, this sweet smelling flower is still one of the few that can stand on its own. With its perfectly balanced nature and its ability to create its own "musical metaphor," it is still used as a single flower perfume.
  • What's your favorite perfume?  I would love to her from you.

Monday, January 27, 2014


My eighth granddaughter is about to be born and even her name, "Elsa" evokes softness. I plan to swaddle her in a delicious pink knit blanket. Many of us started that way... wrapped in the softness and aura of pink.  It is the quintessential essence of femininity. Synonymous with Spring it's both dainty and delicious, but make no mistake, it can also pack a punch.

When I began to put my life back together and fill my very empty closet, I was surprised that I just never felt comfortable wearing pink.  I thought it was lovely and sometimes even breathtaking, just not for me.

I had lost my "PINK"  

Through all the years of a difficult marriage and stresses with family and finances I had let it slip away. I didn't feel young, or feminine or even pretty... I wasn't worthy of pink!  

A bed is a big deal in a marriage. The most intimate of places, it holds our dreams and sometimes even our secrets. Sleeping alone in a bed I had shared for years was painful so I made myself a guest in the next room. Then one day I was walking through the Bassett Furniture store and saw this. I was smitten. It was purchased and my daughters and daughters- in-laws put this very heavy bed together... on their own. (there's pink with a punch)

This is the picture from the showroom at Bassett Furniture

I draped the bed in linens and comforters in varying shades of pink and cream and white. Now when I slip beneath the covers I feel pampered and even pretty. It has become my sanctuary. The place where I read and study and cry and pray and hope and finally allow myself, my feminine self, to dream. I have found my pink. It's an attitude that allows me to value myself and to feel beautiful again, 

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Click on the links below...
                  Dooney & Bourke Handbag $298                                     Fox Scarf $22.99 Navy or Grey

When I stumbled across this darling scarf on the Mod Cloth website I couldn't help but laugh.  It's the FOX!!!  No words are needed,  paired with a denim jacket, comfortable dark grey cords and your favorite boots. (almost any neutral color will do) I couldn't resist the Dooney & Bourke handbag.  Found it on Amazon discounted a $100.00 with FREE shipping and no tax!

NOTE - Notice how many textures there are in this outfit... nap on the corduroy, suede on the boots, nubby socks, leather and shearling on the handbag and denim. Things are always more interesting with a variety of textures.

Official You Tube Clip

Friday, January 24, 2014


I love it when the new catalogs come. It's so conventient to browse and then shop online. I am always looking to add timeless pieces to my wardrobe... things I can dress up or down and things I will go to season after season.  Look what I found on the Talbots webside... 

Classic Boat Shoe in denim or stripe $89.50   I can see the denim pair well broken in and becoming a "go to" favorite for Summer.

Chambray Polka Dot Shirt $69.50   With princess seams that give it a flattering fit this a great wardrop basic. It's a no brainer with navy or red but perhaps a jean jacket, white denims and a great chunky orange necklace would spice it up.
                                     Orange Toms  $48.00                  Nordstrom $58.00

NOTE - If you order Toms from their website you will find there is FREE shipping now through April 1st.   E-mail me and I can send you an invitation from TOMS to receive $20.00 off your first pair.

Pearl Taffeta Anorak in Red $159.00  Red is a color that I have only recently felt comfortable wearing and this jacket seems stylish but still casual. I'm excited to see the fabric in person... pearl taffeta sounds like it would have a sheen. It's worth a look.


Looking for something unique this Valentine season? These little charms are adorable, affordable, and customized just for you.  There are several options so follow the link to find ...


I have known the owner of this shop, Debbie, for a number of years. She is delightfully artistic and has managed to grow a successfull business all while putting her husband through law school ( he passed the bar) and juggling two pre-schoolers. In fact I thought you would enjoy the picture of her inventory after it was accidentally spilled by her dancing daughters.  Got to love a working MOM!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


This photo appeared on the Today Show website this morning. It didn't have a caption, nor did it need one. We all know the movie. I suspect that in the "moment" these two were somewhere, where time and age can't define us.

I have been single now for almost seven years and I honestly don't know if that will change. I did however, make a promise to myself... With or without Mr. Wonderful I am not going to miss out on the "romance of life."

Two years ago I took my very first hike to a place called Stewart Falls. My two youngest children talked me into it, promising that it was only three miles and a very shallow incline. The trail was bordered by a densely wooded forest and that part I loved. But thirty minutes worth of hiking brought me to realization that I might be in over my head. "No quitters" they called. I put one foot in front of the other and just kept going.

When the worst seemed possible, that the trail had NO end, I suddenly found myself on top of a peak on the back side of majestic Mt Timpanogos.

 I felt so alive. I wanted to stretch my arms out just like the woman in the photo and take in the view, and the smell and the power of the waterfall. I was experiencing something new, and it was heady and romantic.

I nursed sore muscles for days but it didn't matter. I had just experienced my own little version of "Rocky Mountain High"  All I could think was .... what's next!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


A few years ago I swooned over a faux fur leopard jacket that I saw on the Nordstrom website.  I ordered it and daydreamed about it  for the next ten days (I went to Disney World with my grandkids) The flight home felt like Christmas Eve... that jacket would be waiting. It was, but to my horror I looked like an NFL linebacker in it. It was promptly returned.

What I had to admit to myself was that my body type just couldn't handle all that bulk. If you are willowy or so full of "fun" that you can pull it off, I say ... GO FOR IT!  As much as I love leopard, and I do, I lean toward well tailored pieces or great assessories. I'm still looking for the perfect leopard coat.



This is so fun! Watch it on FULL SCREEN and see if you can keep track of each decade. Fashion has certainly changed but the desire to "dance" never leaves us.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Losing weight was my top priority in 2004.  By the end of the year I had lost 70 pounds. I could sleep again, I could move again and I could walk into any store and find clothes that fit.  I was thrilled.

Even though I was halfway through my fifties I thought when the weight came off I would look like the "old me" But time and menopause had dealt me a few surprises, my body just wasn't what it use to be. I could definitely see my flaws and I clung to the few assets I had left. 

Knowing your body type and image can help you dress to accentuate the positive and detract from the rest. During that same year I watched the TV show "What Not to Wear" religiously.  Besides its Cinderella format they taught some really good basic rules for successfully dressing. Ask yourself a few questions.

1. Where do you carry your weight.... in your hips, around your waist. through your torso?

2. Are you short wasted and long legged or the other way around... maybe you're evenly proportioned.

3. What are your best assets... great legs, tiny waist, beautiful neck and shoulders?

4. Are you short, tall or average?

5. Are you sporty, trendy, traditional, dramatic? Do you love color, fur, menswear, hats, accessories? Are you excessive or minimalistic? Is comfort an issue? Do you have to dress for work?

Start noticing people who's style you like and see if you can pick out things they consistantly do. If you are going to transform yourself, you need to know what you want to morph into! Look around, there's lots of flowers in the garden.


I love Barbara Bush's beautiful white hair, her
silk scarf and her iconic pearls. A "class act" at any age.
                                                                                    This is a photo from Ari Seth Cohen's book Advanced Style

My mother was excessive when it came to accessories. She often wore several strands of pearls, earrings, a cameo, gemstone rings and if it was an occasion like Mother's Day... a corsage. She loved it all and somehow she pulled it off. On the other hand I am a minimalist.  A pair of simple earrings seems like enough. At our age there's no one left to boss us around... just figure out who YOU are!

I love this look... black and white with a pop of color. Her handbag and straw hat give it a casual feel (maybe it's early Spring) and a few nice accessories make it all work!  I imagine she's wearing a pair of leopard heels... something to give it the "wow factor."

Saturday, January 18, 2014


IN MY CLOSET!  It was full of clothes I couldn't wear. Removing them was like watching a fashion parade of the last 25 years of my life. At this point I was three years from being "suddenly single" but something inside knew it was finally time for a change. Not a drop fifteen pounds and feel better kind of change, but a real, let's peel back the layers and see if I'm still in there, kind of change.

I tossed almost everything, pants with "pleats" in the front, prairie skirts with elastic waistbands, sweatshirts that fit but were stained ... all of it.  The memories came clinging to the clothes, some good and some painful. I wasn't just tossing outdated jeans and t-shirts, I was purging my past. I was making a new start and I NEEDED to be phsyically ready.

I was left with a couple of pair of sweat pants, a sweatshirt, one white tee shirt and one "dress." It was a Coldwater Creek, soft sage linen jumper with a purple dragonfly embroideried on the bodice in a size 1X  It was saved because it was the only thing that fit. 

Driving away from the Deseret Industries (our local donation center) I felt giddy... change was definitely on the menu!

Thursday, January 9, 2014


I have been hunting for a great black leather jacket for years. When I stumbled onto this one on the White House Black Market's website, I fell in love. Notice how both jackets have seams that create the appearance of a waist. I first heard about this trick on the TV show, WHAT NOT TO WEAR. Since my middle is where I carry extra weight I was pretty skeptical. The first time I slipped on a fitted jacket I was shocked. You were right Stacey and Clinton!

This jacket did not disappoint... fits like a dream!


The brown jacket is on the same website.  I love the shape... so feminine.  Maybe next time.