Showing posts with label beautyatanyage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label beautyatanyage. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I was going to save this post for the weekend but this beautiful "silkie" jacket is flying off the shelf at Anthropologie. It will be GONE soon so better check it out... follow the links below.

"SILK" JACKET   Anthropologie  $118.00
NECKLACE   Nordstrom  $28.00
HANDBAG   Dillards  $248.00

Corned Beef and Cabbage (baked!)

Recipe from...
Corned Beef (baked)
  • 3 lbs corned beef (in package)
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup hot sweet honey mustard
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
Cabbage (sautéed)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large head of cabbage, sliced into 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch wide slices
  • Salt


corned-beef-cabbage-6.jpg corned-beef-cabbage-7.jpg

Corned beef can be very salty, especially when baked. To remove some of the salt before cooking, cover with water, bring to a boil, discard the water, add fresh water and bring to a boil again, discard the water again. Then proceed with the directions.
corned-beef-cabbage-4.jpg1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Drain the corned beef from the package and discard the spice packet. Lay corned beef, fat side up, on a large piece of heavy duty, wide, aluminum foil (you may have to get creative with the way you wrap the beef if your foil isn't wide enough). Insert the cloves into the top of the slab of corned beef, evenly spaced. Spread the top with the hot sweet honey mustard. Sprinkle brown sugar over the top.

2 Wrap the corned beef with foil in a way that allows for a little space on top between the corned beef and the foil, and creates a container to catch the juices. Place foil-wrapped corned beef in a shallow roasting pan and bake for 2 hours. 
3 Open the foil wrapping, spread a little more honey mustard over the top of the corned beef, and broil it for 2-3 minutes, until the top is bubbly and lightly browned. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then place on cutting board and cut at a diagonal, across the grain of the meat, into 1/2-inch thick slices.
Serve immediately.
Cabbage Sauteed
1. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil on medium high to high heat in a large wide pot or saute pan. Chop the onion and cook for several minutes and add the garlic.
2. Add a third of the sliced cabbage, sprinkle with a little salt and stir to coat with the oil and mix with the onions.  Spread out the cabbage evenly over the bottom of the pan and do not stir until it starts to brown. When the bottom is nicely browned use a metal spatula to lift it up and flip it, scraping the browned bits as you go.
3.Once the cabbage in the pan has browned on a couple of flips, add another third, mix it in with a little more olive oil and follow the same process. Add the remaining third and repeat.

Serve with baked corned beef and fluffy mashed potatoes.

Monday, March 10, 2014

MEET ALTHEA CROME's small world!
 knitting in miniature

Becoming a "blogger" has made me brave... NO BOLD! When I stumbled upon Althea's work I was absolutely captivated. I had never heard of her nor met her. There was, however, a phone number at the bottom of her web page page. I CALLED IT.

"Hi, you don't know me from the man in the moon, but..."

That would be the BOLD part! She was gracious and very interesting to talk to!

Knitting is Althea's passion and has been since college. She finds comfort and joy in the process, but this kind of minuscule knitting requires a special touch. She reflects, 

Most of her sweaters sell for $8,000.00 and up.

"The texture of the yarn, the smooth rhythm of the needles and the emergence of a pattern in my hands as I work has always been quite magical to me. Adding the challenge of creating an object for a physical world that is so small as to be almost beyond our grasp, is to add a new thrill to an already beloved art form."

Althea started knitting tiny objects to give herself a challenge. She was bored with the usual knitter's fare of sweaters and scarves. 

"Things kept getting smaller and smaller. I liked socks and gloves and baby booties, and little baby things. Before I knew it I was really off the deep end, going very small."

Sitting with her project and magnifying glasses, she will sometimes knit for eight to ten hours at a stretch. When I asked her where she got her patience. (she has used needles the size of hairs)  She laughed and said, "Actually I am a very impatient person and that is the reason I can do this."  She wants the result so badly that her impatience propels her to finsh the project.

Althea was the knitting brains behind the tiny, amazing star sweater worn by the little girl in the movie CORALINE. The costume department contacted her after they found her website They were thrilled to find someone who could knit on such a small scale...70 stitched to 1 inch.
She is a respiratory therapist, often working 10 to 11 hours a day and the single mother of a 19 year old musician and triplets that will soon be turning 16. This puts a whole new perspective on a busy life. Even though there is not a lot of time for knitting right now (each sweater takes about four months) her passion is still very much alive.


Her DREAM is to one day live in a cottage by the ocean, where she can knit full time and breath the salt air!  

Althea, a truly remarkable woman of a certain age!

Here is some work from her online gallery...

Monday, March 3, 2014


Art of Beth Carver used with permission

I love these paintings by Beth Carver. They make me want to join them for the afternoon. They are surely, the best of friends. I imagine they've thrown caution to the wind, not giving the fat nor the calories in that ice cream a second thought. What's the saying... "Life's short, eat dessert first."

I grew up in a house with six brothers. My first experience with a real girlfriend was my oldest sister in law. I was only five and she was 20 when she married my brother but I vividly remember that she adored me. She would talk about "girly" things with me and once when I was about seven she gave me a little bracelet with eight tiny lipsticks attached.  They were real... real lipstick. I was beyond mesmerized.

Over the past 60 years she has always been a
soft place to land. What a wonderful woman.
Why does it take some of us so long to figure
it out?
Jeanne and one of her granddaughters                                                                                                                         
        My daughters and daughter in laws

The year I got divorced I made an amazing friend.  She was also going through a divorce and we had an immediate connection.  When a divorce happens it quickly becomes obvious that friends and family get worn out. They just want you to be happy again! I was lucky to have this friend. We talked for hours, for months, for years. We cried, we agonized, we went over and over the details. We got each other through the worst of it. And through all of that we laughed and laughed and went to lunch and the movies and laughed some more. She was the closest thing I have ever had to a sister.
Then one day, out of the blue, she did a 180 on me.  She would not explain why, she said she couldn't talk about it. I apologized many times for whatever I had done, but there was no turning back. The friendship was over... she walked.

OUCH... all I could do was just keep moving. It took a while to recover but in that process I learned a couple of things about being a better friend.

First, I allow my friends to move in and out of my life freely. Just because I don't see them everyday doesn't mean we're not still friends. I am not "needy" and I don't cling to any of them. I'm my own BFF. If no one is available I am comfortable going to the movies alone, to lunch, even shopping... its all good. I have lots of friends and family and I enjoy them but I allow them the same freedom that I value.

The second thing I learned was to be a better version of myself. I had to honestly look myself in the mirror and see if I liked what I saw. There were a few rough edges. I am fairly quick witted and I love to laugh but I have worked very hard to make sure that what comes out of my mouth does not hurt someone else. I am definitely more patient and then there is... FORGIVENESS. I have finally, finally come to understand that I should forgive others quickly and freely not just for them but because I can't keep carrying it around... its too heavy.

Am I perfect? Absolutely not... I am a work in progress. I love this quote by George Elliott. It speaks to the kind of friend I would like to become...

"Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away." 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Master Gardener and owner of Perennial Gardens

I have been blessed, in this life, to know some pretty remarkable women... Tonya is one of them. When I started this series "Women of a Certain Age" she immediately came to mind. We have known each other for more than 20 years but as I visited with her I was shocked at all I didn't know. I can more clearly see, not only, how she became a master gardener but how she has connected with the earth in such a way that everything she touches blooms.

With Tonya's permission I will tell her story...

Tonya's Guest House
At a very, very young age, Tonya's mother abandoned the family. Her father, overwhelmed by his circumstances put her and her two brothers into the foster care system. It fully lived up to its reputation. They remained in that situation until Tonya was four years old. Then one day she and her brothers were whisked away and placed for adoption.

She recalls being shown her room for the very first time. Not only was there a bed just for her, but a beautiful dresser filled with clothes she could call her own. To this day she loves the smell of the wood and cedar in a dresser drawer.

Then... her adopted parents divorced and once again her life turned upside down. She remained with her father but life was extremely difficult and harsh. She recalls wishing for "normal"

Tonya's one soft place to land was her Grandma Irene. This good woman taught her to garden and to love the earth and Tonya found peace and solace digging in the dirt. She even mowed lawns with a push lawnmover for 25 cents just so she could smell the grass. Gardening saved her soul and became her passion.
                                                                                                                    Tonya's Herb Barn

Moving to the country, Tonya has transformed her backyard, quite literally, into a botanical utopia. Around the Guest Cottage, the Herb Barn, and of course her Shop there are masses of blooms. As a master gardener, she knows every flower, herb, tree and weed under her care.

Guests come to dine under the arbor and many a lucky bride and groom have celebrated their special day in her "little piece of heaven"

She teaches gardening and herb classes, raises chickens and has just acquired some darling goats. Well known for her "tussie mussies" and her flavored oils she is "famous" for her Lemon Thyme cookies.

All that Tonya missed as a child she created as a adult. Encouraged by a loving husband and six lucky children she has transformed harshness into tranquility, loneliness into beauty and neglect into a gentle, forgiving nature.

"Standing in her garden feels
like coming home"

Join us Thursday and I will tell you about Tonya's adventures in raising chickens and share her famous recipe for...

Lemon Thyme Cookies

Friday, February 28, 2014

week one

Denim Polka Dot Dress... Talbots  $129.00
Floral Print Shoes... Boden USA $38.00
Navy Blue Belt... Oasap  $9.00
Coach Handbag... Dillards  $298.00
Denim Jacket... Anywhere
Corsage... Check Boutiques in your area

It's looking like Spring with these floral printed shoes...

                                                                        PERFECT FOR GRANDDAUGHTERS  $21.00


Thursday, February 27, 2014


 Holocaust survivor, concert pianist and remarkable woman

Alice and her twin Marina were born in Prague in 1903. Her father was a prosperous businessman. Her mother, a well educated woman, moved in the city’s shimmering artistic circles often playing host to Europe's prominent writers, philosophers and musicians. Alice and her siblings were exposed to the "great talents" at a very young age.

Irma, her older sister, taught little Alice to play the piano when she was only five.  At 16 she began serious study at the Prague German Conservatory of Music and by her late teens she was wowing audiences with her concerts.

She married Leopold Sommer in 1931 and together they had a son they called Raphael. Alice filled his life with music and he would later become a renowned cellist.

Aware that the Nazis were headed in their direction most of their family and friends fled to Palestine. Alice and her husband stayed behind to care for her invalid mother.  She said... 

"The lowest point in my life was escorting my mother to the deportation center in Prague." 

It was at this sad time that she began to work on Chopin's Etudes.. a set of 27 solo pieces that are some of the most technically demanding and emotionally impassioned works in piano repertory. This music would quite literally save her life and the life of her son.

Then in 1943 the Nazi's came for her family. The three of them were sent to Terezin, a concentration camp that was promoted by the Nazis as a model institution.  Many of the prisoners there were Czechoslovakia's foremost figures in the performing arts.

“It was propaganda,” she later remarked.

Nonetheless the sustaining power of music was real. She performed in more than 100 concerts for the prisoners and the guards. In her words...

"We had to play because the Red Cross came three times a year. The Germans wanted to show its representatives that the situation of the Jews in Theresienstadt was good. Whenever I knew that I had a concert, I was happy. Music is magic. We performed in the council hall before an audience of 150 old, hopeless, sick and hungry people. They lived for the music. It was like food to them. If they hadn’t come to hear us, they would have died long before, as we would have."

Alice's husband was sent to Auschwitz and died from typhus a short time later.  When a guard approached her and told her not to worry, that because she played so beautifully she and her son would never be taken away, she realized that her music, quite literally, was going to save their lives.

After the war, Alice and Raphael emigrated to Israel to reunite with family. She taught for 40 years at the Jerusalem Academy of Music until her final move to London.  Her son Raphael, an
accomplished cellist died suddenly at the age of 64 from an aneurysm. Once again music sustained her. Friends recall that they knew she was going to be fine when she began to practice again.

For Alice, music was her passion, her life, her love. But it is only a piece of what has been a remarkable life.  She refuses to HATE anyone... only LOVE. She even goes so far as to express gratitude for the experiences she had in the camps... it shaped her life.

One of the most memorable things about Alice is her smile and her laughter. She lifts everyone around her. The people in her London neighborhood and specifically her apt building count themselves lucky that they get to listen to her beautiful music everyday.

 "They know when it is 10:00 AM because that's when I begin to practice."

Throughout her years in Theresienstadt, the loss of her mother and husband, the hunger, the cold and the death... Alice Herz Sommer was sustained by a Polish man who had died long before. His name was Frederic Chopin.  

Known as the oldest Holocaust surviver, Alice passed away peacefully last Sunday at 110 years of age. She leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of talent, passion, love, forgiveness and... laughter. A truly remarkable woman.

This is the trailer from the documentary "The Lady in Number 6"          
follow this link to rent the entire movie

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


What could be more exciting that the birth of your FIRST grandchild?  Obviously getting two, a boy and a girl! Aren't these babies sweet...  

Grandma made darling "First Christmas" cards for them.

And then there was... THE WEDDING

The Bridal Shower...
Love the black and white with the gorgeous pop of pink! There's an old saying "the devils in the details" and this one's got it covered. 

And those cookies... what darling favors!

From Daddy's little girl to beautiful bride!

No tiny detail was overlooked and when the publishers from "THE KNOT" saw the pictures they came running.
Congratulations Becky on a wonderful year!

follow this link to see "The Knot" online...

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Stopping By the Woods on A Snowy Evening
by Robert Frost
(one of my favorite poems)

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Those of you who live in warm climates might not be able to relate, but here in the Rocky Mountains it gets COLD... really, really cold. I have suffered through a lot of winters. My kids always had layers of down and boots and scarves and mittens because they had to go to school.  Not me... I'm a "home-body."  I stayed indoors by the fire, borrowed someone's parka to dash to the mailbox and counted the days until Spring. Now that I'm teaching again part of my job is  to "man the crosswalk" after school. I knew it was time to get the gear!  To my surprise I can now stand in subzero weather and be happy as a little clam on the beach. 


The essentials ...

UGGS - They will keep your feet warm... end of story. They are expensive but you can't put a price on warm toes and they last forever!

HAT & GLOVES - I love mittens but for the really cold times I wear gore-tex-thinsulate gloves... bought them at Cosco for $10.00

The Olie Shearling Hat $89.95
Here is a link to hats that will actually keep your head warm and it comes in L and XL for those of us with big heads. 

SILK THERMALS -They are, ounce for ounce warmer than wool, nice and flexible, and decidedly warmer than cotton thermals.

THE SCARFI am honestly surprised at how much warmer I am with a scarf around my neck.  I wouldn't be caught without one. The bigger and chunkier the better.

THE COAT - I have been wearing Eddie Bauer down for years but when faced with spending 30 minutes in negative 10 degree weather I googled "warmest coat on the planet."  This is what popped up...

CANADA GOOSE MYSTIQUE. I have never read a bad review so I took the plunge only to find out it runs small and it was too tight across my shoulders. I had to send it back for a bigger size. The best place to buy this coat is on Amazon... you will save the tax and the shipping and that's a lot of money. This price tag is not for the faint of heart ($750.00)  Its worth it to be warm.


With my creature comforts taken care of I can focus on the beauty of WINTER. It can hold its own against any season. I love being out in it. Maybe I should take up skiing... or just go for a walk.


Maybe I've been living under a rock but I have never heard that phrase until last week. There was a woman on twitter who was very upset that someone would say this.  I understand that "mutton" is probably not a very flattering term, but I had a very different reaction...

I laughed so hard I had to pull my car over to the side of the road.  It brought up all kinds of images, some that I have seen first when I complimented a friend on her gorgeous legs and angles and the next thing I know she shows up at work in a low cut mini dress and very tight leggings. Doesn't sound too bad except her torso is at least a size xxl.  Oh my... no one was looking at her ankles.

images from pinterest
We are all different in personality, size and opinions and we can certainly make our own choices. From my perspective... I don't think aging means we have to give up anything, we can just "tweak" it a little.

I remember in college discovering that lingerie came in colors.  I owned a lavender bra... it made me feel so feminine. I still love colored underwear but I can't always find it in the fit I need. I opt for camisoles and slips in every color available. It still makes me feel "jeune femme".

Here is a dress that I absolutely adore.  If I bought it in my size I would be a spectacle.  It is too short and all the shirring around the middle would accentuate my torso... since I'm a "tomato on toothpicks" I wouldn't want that.

But I love the colors and the print. If it was a flowing skirt, paired with a little jacket or sweater I could pull it off.
Same beautiful print, same gorgeous colors just modified for my age and figure.

Even though I could not buy any of these beautiful clothes right off the rack, with a few adjustments I could wear "my version" of them all.  See what YOU think...

Helen Mirren, a class act.  I love the sheen of the silk taffeta and the monochromatic theme. I never think of taffeta in any other color but BLACK but here it is! The pearls match her hair. Can I just say... WOW!   I'm going to keep my eyes open for a taffeta "something"

Love this sweater and the plaid coat. Because I am "trunky" the large plaid would not be flattering on me... but I could swap it for my navy pea coat and then go hunting for a plaid scarf.  I'm going to find this sweater.

What a fun, quirky combinations of plaid and leopard. BUT... if I wore this I WOULD  be "Mutton dressed like Lamb.  I would simply mix the whole thing up...plaid shirt, black V-neck sweater, dark wash jeans and a "to die for" LARGE leopard handbag.

These shoes are beautiful, but not worth the literal pain I would be inflicting on my feet. I own a pair of black heels almost this high and wore them to a Christmas party last year. Dumb decision... I had a son on one side and a daughter-in-law on the other walking me to my car. I can't wear high heels. But there are hundreds of printed shoes in flats and wedges. No need to be boring!

And then... there are all those gorgeous little black dresses that I would look ridiculous in. It doesn't stop me from loving them. I am obviously attracted to black lace. When I happened upon a heavy black lace sheath at Talbots I snapped it up. It falls right to my knee and has a simple grosgrain ribbon around the waist. Its sleeveless (which I can't wear) so I paired it with a 3/4 sleeve length black sweater that has rosettes on the shoulders. It makes me feel very "Coco" 

The truth is... I LOVE BEING A MUTTON. I've got more CENTS/SENSE than when I was twenty and I definitely have more confidence. What is it Kathy Bates says to the girls in Fried Green Tomatoes...

"I'm older and I've got more insurance."

Through the years I have come to believe that the most beautiful women are the ones who smile with their eyes, think carefully before they speak and are generous in their friendships. 


 Found these wonderful paintings by Beth Carver   
THESE LADIES... we should all be so uninhibited.

Beth says that her inspiration for these works was an epiphany she had on the beach in Melbourne, Florida where she was meditating on the impending passing of her father. She noticed these older women playing in the surf like children and it lifted her spirits. From that time forward, her paintings were centered on the simple joys of living.