Featured

My First Blog Post

Just Be Brave….

Be yourself; Everyone else is already taken.

— Oscar Wilde.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

DECORATING WITH BUFFALO CHECK ON A BUDGET

It is no secret that I love the Buffalo Check pattern. This pattern has now become a mainstream design choice. The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to incorporate it into your home. Here is some history and how to decorate with Buffalo Check on a budget.

A Little History

There is a lot of mystery surrounding exactly how this pattern got it’s name. Some say it comes from the tartan pattern worn by Sir Malcolm MacGregor in the highlands of Scotland.

Others say it is the result of an outdoorsman in Montana and the Dakotas who traded blankets with the pattern for pelts from the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. These Indians named the blankets “buffalo plaid”.

What is known is that for centuries, all over the world, this checked pattern can be found. It appears in both casual cabins and Governor’s homes alike. To read more about this history, click here The History of Buffalo Check Pattern.

What Is The Appeal

Buffalo Check is a beautiful pattern that makes utilitarian textiles like blankets and shirts beautiful.

The simplicity of the pattern makes it easy to coordinate with different styles. It is classic in its design foundation.

The most common colors are red &black or black & white. However, today’s designs include much lighter colors. Grays, blush and other neutral tones can be found in everything from furniture, wallpaper and home accents.

How To Decorate

While Buffalo Check is most often associated with rustic or country-style homes, it has now made the mainstream. The bold simple pattern is timeless. See more details in Better Homes & Gardens article “Timeless Ways to Decorate With Buffalo Check Plaid.”

It can give a room a blast of color and texture. Then you can use it as the foundation for other patterns and colors in a room. Upholstered furniture or drapes is an easy way to incorporate this pattern.

If furniture or drapes are too big of a statement, then perhaps an accent piece is better. Lampshades and pillows will add a subtle style to any room.

Another popular use of Buffalo Check is in table decor. You can find everything from placemats and napkins to dinnerware. The beauty of the pattern is that it will generally work with the things you already own.

I personally this love this pattern so much that I have incorporated several accent pieces into my home. The holiday reindeer pillows from The Lakeside Collection were last year’s addition to my Christmas Decor.

In addition, if you love Buffalo Check like I do, then don’t wait! Shop the New Christmas Catalog today!

HAPPY DECORATING!

MANAGING YOUR EXPECTATIONS DURING THE HOLIDAYS

Thanksgiving and Christmas are beautiful holidays filled with family, good food and fun. At least that’s what we all want them to be. Like it or not, we all develop expectations about the holidays and our family.

I really enjoy the “Lifetime Christmas movies” during this season. The plots are easy. Holiday decorations are fabulous and nothing is spared to make inside and outside super fabulous. Let’s not forget the gorgeous characters wearing the latest fashions! The best best part is that the ending is always HAPPY! That’s why we keep watching year after year!

The problem is that holidays and family rarely come about without some kind of “hiccups”. Someone will get sick or run late. One of the dishes will be overcooked or spilled. And, the worst scenario is that someone gets in an argument!

It is stressful when our expectations during the holidays are not met. Here are some tips to help reduce your stress and help you enjoy the season.

1. Set Realistic Expectations

Go ahead and accept the fact that no holiday gathering will be perfect. In fact, perfection shouldn’t be the goal. See the “hiccups” as opportunities to be flexible. Even the bad stuff, like a burnt turkey, will create a memory. Oh yeah, you can’t control or change others. You are only responsible for you!

2. Take Charge Beforehand

Be proactive and address concerns about certain family members, conversations, or current drama. Set the tone that you desire to gather and enjoy the family fellowship and focus on having fun together. There will be other times to address family issues.

3. Stay Balanced

The holidays are a short season. If things don’t work out the way you wanted, it’s not the end of the world. Remember all the good things you have in your life and let gratitude take over. What really matters most is family, friends and relationships.

4. Don’t Overcommit

It’s easy to let the expectations of others push you toward tasks you just don’t want to do. Be honest. Set good boundaries. Offer what you can do and move on. Take care of yourself and guard your time. If you don’t manage it, someone else will do it for you!

5. Commercial Hysteria

Finally, don’t let the over commercialized idea of the holidays be the foundation for your expectations. This mania sold to us in stores and on TV, drives us to spend too much, eat too much, and try to do too much!

Give thought to what the holidays really mean to you. Determine what things or traditions are important. Pursue what is right and healthy for you and your family. Don’t fall into the comparison game! No one’s life is perfect! Be kind with yourself and others.

We are all flawed and imperfect. Those flaws don’t cease to exist during the holidays. Know your people. Love your people. Connect with your people. Then you will not be disappointed by your expectations during the holidays.

To read more information about managing your expectations here is a link to an article by the American Psychological Association.

collect moments not things quote
Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

HOLIDAY GIFT SETS | THE SOLUTION TO YOUR HOLIDAY GIFT GIVING LIST

The holiday season is almost here and it’s time to start thinking about gifts for your loved ones. Finding the perfect gift at the right price is the trickiest part. Holiday gift sets may just be the solution you are looking for.

Sephora.com has released their 2020 Holiday Gift Sets. The good news is that no one is ever going to be upset with a gift set from Sephora.

One of the great things about Sephora’s gift sets is that they offer something for every price range. Therefore, this can be especially helpful for anyone on a fixed income or budget. If you have daughters, grandchildren, friends and co-workers on your list, this is a budget friendly option.

You will be able to manage your shopping budget and shop by recipient and category. Sephora.com has Holiday Gift sets for everyone on your list. Click this link to see Sephora.com’s Holiday Gift Sets.

There is such a wide variety of gift sets to choose from. Here are a few stand outs that I believe you will want to consider.

Gift Sets for Teens

Teens can be the most difficult to shop for. I know from my own daughters that a gift set from Sephora.com will never disappoint. Teens love the makeup setting spray by Urban Decay and the lip and cheek duo by Selena Gomez won’t break your budget!

Gift Sets for Other Special Ladies

The other ladles on you list will fall in love with Urban Decay’s eyeshadow palette. You can never go wrong with a lovely hand cream set. I am always in need of a cream to put in my purse.

In addition, don’t forget that shopping early is recommended this year so you can receive your online orders for Christmas!

Start your Holiday shopping today and take advantage of these great deals on Holiday Gift Sets from Sephora.com.

For more ideas take a look at my previous article “My Favorite Classic Perfume for the Mature Woman“.

SETTING BOUNDARIES

Any confusion of responsibility and ownership in our lives is a problem of boundaries.” Dr. Henry Cloud

We need physical, mental, emotional and spiritual boundaries in our lives to help us determine the things that are our responsibilities and just as importantly, what ISN’T!

It is absolutely appropriate to set limits with the people in our lives. Boundaries put people on both sides in control of their choices!

It is a loving thing to yourself and others to set healthy boundaries so that everyone knows what to expect in relationship.

WHY NUTRITION FOR WOMEN OVER 50 IS IMPORTANT

What is nutrition and why is nutrition for women over 50 important? Nutrition is defined as eating a healthy and balanced diet so that your body gets the nutrients it needs. Nutrients are the substances that fuel your body!

No matter what age you are, good nutrition is important. Nutrition for women over 50 is especially important because while you may need fewer calories; you still need good nutrients.

Sometimes changes in our lives impact our desire to eat well. It can be hard to want to cook when you are living alone or cooking for two.

Even medications can impact your appetite and create less desire to eat. Click HERE to read more detailed information about nutrition from Medlineplus.gov.

This is why it is so important to eat foods that give you lots of what you need. Foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and fish, beans and nuts. You should avoid junk food like chips, candy and baked goods. They only give you empty calories.

While “junk” foods may be easy and convenient, they are not what your mind and body need.

Nutrition for women is not just about the body but also the mind. Let’s not forget that diet plays an important role in brain health. Veggies, berries and omega-3 fatty acids are essential for good brain health. I want to do all I can to improve my memory and brain sharpness!

An article by Mayoclinic.org on healthy eating, suggests that women over 50 need to consider 3 main things in their diet.

1. Calcium

Women over 50 need calcium for bone health. Dark leafy greens are a good source of calcium.

2. Protien

Because women over 50 tend to do more sitting, they must protect their muscles. Eating enough protein reduces muscle “wasting”.

3. Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 is vital for brain function. This is a key nutrient for maintaining healthy red blood cells and brain function. A good source of B-12 can be found in eggs, milk, lean meat and fish.

TAKING ACTION

Maybe you want to eat healthy but are tired of the task of cooking. The planning, shopping and preparation every night has become a burden.

Here’s a solution for the “tired” cook! Consider a meal kit delivery subscription. Wouldn’t it be great to pick out several meals each week and:

  • Have the meals delivered right to your door.
  • All ingredients are fresh and included.
  • Easy recipe instructions with pictures are included.
  • Great tasting food is the result!

HelloFresh.com offers all this at a reasonable price. I use HelloFresh.com personally and have 3 meals for two delivered each week. The food is terrific and I don’t have to plan a thing. The bonus is that there is no waste. Since the portions are perfectly sized, everything is completely consumed.

Each recipe card includes calorie information as well. Not only am I eating better, but the nutritional value has definitely increased.

Eating fresh whole foods should be the foundation of a healthy diet. Start eating better now. Click the link below and take advantage of HelloFresh.com’s free shipping offer today. Your mind and body will thank you later!

7 SIGNS TO KNOW YOUR AGING PARENTS NEED ASSISTANCE

It is so important to make time to check in on our aging parents to see how they are doing. Visiting should always be fun. It can also be a time to assess how they are managing their day to day lives. You may even need to be a little bit of a detective to discover signs of potential trouble.

1. Check The Physical Health Of Your Aging Parents

One of the best ways to check your aging parents physical health is with a hug! A simple hug can tell you a lot about any significant weight gain or loss.

You can also access their frailty by the strength and stature of their hug.

In addition, pay attention to their movements. Notice if they are shuffling their feet when walking. Do they have trouble getting up from a seated position? These can all be signs of weakening mobility.

2. Be Nosy

Do your aging parents a favor and go to the mailbox for them. Take a peek at their mail and pay close attention for unopened bills. This can be a sign that they are having trouble managing their finances.

Also check for any official mail from banks or creditors that would indicate a problem with their money management.

Lastly, make sure they are not being scammed by “fake” charities. Scammers prey on the elderly. Don’t let it be your loved ones.

man in black jacket sitting inside car
Aging Parents and Driving
3. Go For A Drive With Your Aging Parents At The Wheel

Taking a quick trip to the store will give you a chance to assess your aging parents driving skills. Pay specific attention to their response time, tailgating and driving to slow. These can be signs of decreased ability to safely operate the car.

Oh yeah…..take a look around the car for dents and scratches. These are tell tale signs of careless driving. For more detailed information click here for Caring.com’s article on “Seniors and Driving”.

4. Inspect The Kitchen And Living Areas

You want to make sure that your aging parents are managing their homelife well. Buying groceries and cleaning the home can be huge tasks. Notice of they are buying multiples of the same items. This may indicate a memory issue.

In the kitchen, look for any signs of a small fire such as burnt potholders or scorched pots. This would indicate growing forgetfulness and impending danger.

Clutter and uncleanliness in the bathroom and living areas indicate possible physical limitations and an inability to manage the house alone.

5. Pets & Plants

Make sure that the other living things in the home are being well cared for. If your aging parent always had a green thumb, but all of the house plants are dying, then their desire and ability to care for them has changed.

6. Talk To Neighbors And Friends

Talking to neighbors and friends of your aging parents can give you an overview of their engagement in life. If you do not live close to your loved ones, the insight and observations from others who do see them regularly is invaluable.

7. Forgetfulness

We all forget things! Forgetfulness becomes an issue when loved ones forget to take important medications and attend doctor appointments. Even forgetting routine tasks can indicate a decline in cognitive ability.

WHAT NOW

If you find yourself with aging parents who are no longer able to manage their affairs alone, it is time to seek additional assistance.

Assistance can come in many different forms depending on the need of your loved ones. The main thing is to NOT DELAY in taking action. Don’t wait until a crises to start making changes!

Caring.com has so much information to help elders and caregivers on this journey of life. Click the link below to tap into their resources.

If you want to read more about Elder Care, see my article “How To Have Tough Conversations With An Aging Loved One.

INEXPENSIVE THANKSGIVING TABLE IDEAS

Thanksgiving Day is fast approaching and that means it’s time to start preparing the table. I want the food to be delicious, and my table setting to be lovely. Better yet, I prefer inexpensive Thanksgiving table ideas.

Since the cost of food is higher due to COVID19, the table decor needs to be reasonably priced. Keeping it simple and reusable will create the best value.

My mom was not big on decorating when I was growing up. However, I knew that the “good china” was coming out for Thanksgiving Dinner along with a “fold-out” paper turkey for the centerpiece. It makes me giggle to think about that paper turkey decoration, but that summed up her desire to decorate.

Online shopping has made seasonal decor much more available. I have my front porch, family room and kitchen decorated with “harvest decor”. My mom would have enjoyed it!

Here are some inexpensive Thanksgiving table ideas from The Lakeside Collection that will make you and your guests feel the spirit of the holiday! Click the links below each item to see more details and pricing information.

Table Top Settings

This lovely Thankful and Blessed collection features a serving platter, mug or soup bowl and a dip bowl and spreader. The black and white colors will add accent to any table scape. The ability to purchase the pieces separately, will allow you to purchase only what you need.

Serving Sets

Decorative serving sets add a special touch to your dishes. The Harvest Pumpkin Tabletop Collection has a variety of serving pieces. In addition, it is both pretty and will match any decor you may already have. Since these pieces can be purchased separately, you can inexpensively add to your collection. My favorite is the pumpkin butter dish! It’s a piece that will definitely dress up your table!

Table Centerpiece

If you are in need of a centerpiece for your table, then this 35″ lighted centerpiece is a great option. It only requires two AA batteries and makes quite a statement. Your dinnerware combined with this centerpiece will be all your table needs.

https://track.flexlinkspro.com/a.ashx?foid=1213895.A170377&foc=17&fot=9999&fos=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lakeside.com%2FHome-Decor%2FWreaths—Florals%2F35–Lighted-Centerpieces%2F28bp%2Fprod3570051.jmp%3FcategoryId%3Dcat2800037
Placemats and Table Runners

Placemats are the perfect solution to protect your table. For instance, the Pumpkin Patch Home Collection offers both place mats and a table runner. This would add a very old fashioned look to your table. Each piece is sold separately and the collection includes rugs as well.

Turkeys

No table would be complete without a decorative turkey. Here are two cute and fun ideas to add a little whimsy to your table. These cuties are definitely an improvement from my mom’s “fold-out” paper one!

No matter your budget or style, you can create a lovely tablescape with these ideas from The Lakeside Collection. Click this link to see more of their Thanksgiving products.

HAPPY DECORATING!

RECYCLE|REUSE DIY MIRROR MAKEOVER

I have to confess that I do love a good DIY project. The mirror in my dining room has been on my radar for some time. The frame of the mirror was painted bright gold/brass. You know the look …. trying to make it look expensive but obviously fake gold! Well, I finally decided to make it happen. A “mirror makeover” was on the calendar!

History

To give a little history about the mirror, it belonged to my mother. It was a piece that she loved and suited the style of her formal living room/dining room quite well. While her clothes changed over the years, her furniture and home decor accessories did not!

The mirror hung above a serving table, in the same spot for as long as she lived. She loved it. I never thought too much about the mirror until she passed away in 2016. While she had a brief stay in an assisted living facility, she was able to live at home until the wonderful age of 87.

Upon her death, my brother and I were left with the task of clearing out the house. Let me say that this was quite the undertaking because my mom had stuff in every drawer and every closet. My brother arranged to have an estate sale for the bulk of the furniture and all we had to do was take what we wanted. Oh yeah, and get rid of tons of unsellable stuff that wound up in the trash heap.

The mirror, while gaudy, was quite nice. It was the perfect size for a dining room and I had just the spot for it. Upon getting it home, along with several pieces of her silver serving pieces, my husband hung it on the wall. There it was, in all it’s GOLD glory! I knew my mom was happy!

The Makeover

It’s now November 2020 and I knew it was time. I had previously repainted a piece of furniture metallic silver and then aged it with black wax. This was my plan for the mirror frame.

  1. I had my husband take down the mirror and put it on my dining room table. I had originally planned to put it on the floor but realized that I would need to paint the frame edges so the table was easiest.
  2. The next step was to place carboard under all of the edges to protect my table from paint and wax.
  3. Cleaning the frame came next and fortunately it didn’t really have a lot of dust on it. No need to get the toothbrush out for the ornate details! Yea!!!!!
  4. Tape the inside mirror edge to protect the mirror from paint and wax.
  5. Start painting!

I forgot to take a picture of it before I began painting. Sorry guys! The paint is so silky that I used a sponge brush to apply the first coat. This allowed me to get paint into the ornate details of the corners and the inside edge. This was a quick process and probably took me about 20 minutes. Now to let it dry!

About 3 hours later I checked the dryness of the paint and applied a second coat of the silver metallic paint. The lighting is not good in my dining room and metallic paint can be hard to work with because of how it interacts with the light. It appeared I had achieved a good coverage. I could see NO MORE GOLD!!

SECOND COAT OF PAINT

Because I planned to apply black wax to the finish, I needed to wait a minimum of 24 hours for the paint to fully dry. The next day I began applying the first coat of the black wax. I did use a brush that is designed for this process and the mirror makeover was taking shape.

FIRST COAT OF BLACK WAX

After taking a look at my progress, I knew it wasn’t quite “there” yet! I applied another heavier coat of black wax to the frame. The transformation was amazing! I knew this was going to yield the result I wanted. Walking away to let it dry I could almost hear my mother say “I preferred it gold, but it looks nice!”

Finished

The mirror makeover is complete! My husband, Robby, kindly hung it on the wall so I could see it in the light where it would rest. The mirror has a new life and coordinates well with my other furniture and style. I hope it will be something my daughters or granddaughters will want to keep.

For now, the mirror hangs in my dining room with its fresh look! A little piece of my past. A remembrance of my mom. It is now perfect!

Here’s a few of my other DIY projects all using the black wax technique. “Lockdown” DIY Project Table Redo and Another Lockdown DIY Chest Redo.

HIGH RISE WIDE LEG CROPPED JEANS|STYLISH JEANS FOR THE MATURE WOMAN

I am confident to say that my favorite outfits always include a great pair of jeans. Denim is timeless and ageless. Finding stylish jeans for the mature woman can be a challenge. No woman over 50 wants to look like her daughters or grands! A perfect option is high rise wide leg cropped jeans.

Many women feel that this style is hard to wear. I believe that it can be very flattering for any body type if styled well. The key is keeping the proportions in balance from top to shoes.

Benefits of High Rise Wide Leg Cropped Jeans

One of the benefits of the high rise wide leg jeans is that it elongates your body. The high rise accentuates the waistline and the wide legs actually lengthen the appearance of your legs. This creates a lovely silhouette on most body types.

What Top to Wear With Wide Leg Jeans

What top or blouse to wear with high rise wide leg jeans gets a little tricky. You want to keep your style in scale so a long loose top is probably not the best choice for most women. The best option is to tuck in your top or choose short or cropped style tops.

Choosing a cropped style top can be scary for women over 50 as we don’t want our “middle” to show! Just because a top/blouse is short or cropped doesn’t mean it’s going to reveal some skin.

https://track.flexlinkspro.com/a.ashx?foid=1213895.A196751&foc=17&fot=9999&fos=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fbananarepublicfactory.gapfactory.com%2Fwebcontent%2F0019%2F212%2F065%2Fcn19212065.jpg
Shoes for High Rise Wide Leg Cropped Jeans

The extra good news is that you can wear just about any shoe style you want with these jeans. Whether you want to be casual or dressy, the choice is yours. Heels are a “knockout”! If you choose flats, whether sandals or sneakers, you will create the perfect casual look.

https://track.flexlinkspro.com/a.ashx?foid=1213895.A196751&foc=17&fot=9999&fos=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Fbananarepublicfactory.gapfactory.com%2Fbrowse%2Fproduct.do%3Fpid%3D532902001%26cid%3D1140584%26pcid%3D1118443%26vid%3D1%26nav%3Dmeganav%253AWomen%253AWOMEN%25E2%2580%2599S%2520SHOES%2520%2526%2520ACCESSORIES%253ASHOES%26grid%3Dpds_9_38_1%23pdp-page-content

Take a little risk and give these jeans a try! Click the link below and take advantage of Banana Republic Factory’s free shipping on orders over $25. I bet they will become one of your favorites.

Check out my article “Fall Fashion Trends For The Mature Woman” for more style ideas.