Fashion, Summer Fashion

A Big Bag, A Swingy Dress, & Pink Shades

With the onset of summer, I always gravitate toward carrying a bigger bag.  Do you?  I mean, there’s something to be said for being prepared when the weather warms up.  Throw in a bathing suit … a pack of peanut butter and crackers … a water bottle … a pair of flip flops … a Little Debbie or two or three  (give me a break, I am from the south!) … and you’re prepared for anything the day may bring.

For me, there’s no better choice for summer than a crochet bag that goes with everything.  This hobo bag, offered by The Sak, is the perfect size for slipping in those extra somethings.  The long slender handle welcomes you to carry your belongings comfortably beneath your arm.  This bag is roomy, spacious, and can be dressed up or down.  And best of all, on Amazon, you can get it for a steal by clicking here.

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While most of the time I’m touting the fit and flare dress, every summer wardrobe must have a solid colored, semi-short, swingy dress.  I chose black, because I’m so basic, but any solid color will work.  Gently kissing your knees when you walk, this timeless style is subtly flirtatious and can be utilized in many ways.  Do you need to wear your bathing suit to and from the pool or the beach?  Well, lucky for you, this dress stands in perfectly as a cover up.  (From much experience, by the way, I know that no one will ever guess you’re wearing a bathing suit underneath it) …. Are you planning to attend an outdoor concert or to have dinner at your favorite restaurant?  Pair this dress with some fun jewelry, a dressy belt, and cute sandals to have a romantic night out on the town while looking fantastic.  Running errands?  No problem.  Pull on a pair of Converse chuck sneakers and go.  I wash and hang my dress so the cotton won’t wear.  It will be on my body once a week during the months of May thru August.  It’s a must have.

Summer Purse

Last, but not least, let’s talk about sunglasses.  Confession:  The most I’ve ever spent on a pair of shades is fifty dollars.  (Do the words fifty and shades, when used in the same sentence, make you stop in your tracks for a moment?  Or is it just me?  haha.).  Anyway, some eyes will roll right here, because fashionistas take their designer sunglasses seriously.  But my top end falls far short of the higher end price tags, because I’m the worst about losing and/or misplacing them.  Most often, to be honest, I pick up a few pair for fifteen or twenty bucks each and keep them all in the glove compartment of my car.  I’m functional that way.

These rose colored sunglasses by Nine West are my latest find:

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For thirty dollars, they are also a great deal!  They look very trendy, and in my humble opinion, rival the top brands.  The pop of color makes them more interesting than a traditional brown, black, or gold … while the rose shade compliments most any hair color and skin tone.  They can be found here  .

So there you have it, peeps.  Allow a crochet hobo bag, a swingy dress, and some rose colored shades to be your inexpensive solution to versatility, comfort, and style.  Don’t dawdle for too long, because the heat is rolling in.  And for gosh sakes, don’t forget the Little Debbie’s.  They won’t improve your swimsuit body, but they sure do taste awfully yummy.  Treat yourself!

Just my thoughts,

~Melanie

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Fashion, Summer Fashion

The Perfect White Pants For Summer

hue pants 2Finding the perfect pair of white pants for summer is not an easy task.  Can we all agree white pants are a summer necessity?  And can we also agree they are a short term purchase?  I mean, white pants collect dirt like the local public swimming pool collects toddler pee, old man body hair, and buckets of sweat.  (Insert a gag here.)  Please, for the love of all things somewhat sanitary, tell me we’re advancing beyond the masses gathering to public bathe.  I know I’m digressing here … but are any of you now picturing those little gray curly hairs floating in the water?  Oh my Lord, chills!!!!  (And not the good kind).  Back to the short lifespan of white pants, what I’m trying to point out is this:  We know going in that we’re gonna chuck those puppies come September when Labor day rolls around.  No matter how much Tide, All, Gain, or bleach we use on those pants, by the end of summer, they will look dingy.  It’s a fact of life.

So.  Should we just buy a cheap pair of white pants and not have high expectations on style?  No, no, no!!!  That’s definitely not the answer.  I’d argue we should keep the cost down, but that we always strive for a look that reflects who we are … and especially for a style that isn’t outdated.  Summer’s heat brings on the time of year when we feel more daring and free with our fashion choices … when we can show more skin and embrace sexy.  Settling for a pair of white pants that are so cheap you can see every dimple in your behind is not a choice. Purchasing a pair of white pants that look like they belong on Aunt Pearl isn’t an option either.   But no worries, ladies.  I’ve searched and have found the holy grail of white pants:

 

 

Made by Hue, these cute ripped knee jeggings are less than $50.00.  And if you don’t like the ripped knees or the frayed ankles, Hue carries them without those trendy extras.  First, they’re super comfortable, don’t sag or bag, and look way more like jeans than leggings.  Second, because they’re stretchy, you can pour that extra butter on your bag of popcorn when you wear them out to the movies without worry.  Third, they are wash and wear.  I wash and hang, because I don’t want to take a chance on them losing their shape … but the point is, they’re easy-peasy to take care of.  And fourth, for all the ladies who like to be nicely squeezed in when you wear pants, these suckers will tuck you in like a newborn in a swaddle blanket.  You will look a size smaller.  I promise.

On that topic, if you are of the mindset that loose, flowing clothing will hide what you perceive as flaws, it doesn’t.  No matter your size, tighter fitting clothing will always make you appear more fit.  And jeggings that have been designed with that goal in mind, do the trick even more.  So … try to avoid going for big and baggy … instead, show off your curves.  If you’re too self-conscious to get over the hump, as a compromise, you can always pair your jeggings and tank with a light and airy button down shirt or a breezy duster.  The key is to believe in yourself.  You can pull off any look if you’ll see yourself for the beautiful creation you truly are.  It’s how I see all of you.  There is no such thing as a perfect body shape or size … only a perfect heart, which is the most valuable fashion staple of all.

I paired the white jeggings with a buttery soft tie dye tank from American Eagle.  So plush, this shirt honestly feels like something you’d sleep in.  Underneath the tank, I’m wearing a white lacy bralette from Altar’d State.  I’m a 36C and can get away with wearing bralettes all summer long.  Full disclosure, yes, they do flatten your chest a bit and don’t offer a lot of support, but bralettes are much more comfortable than bras … and comfort counts when it’s as hot as Hades outside.  Last but far from least, my comfy clunky sandals are Dansko.

What are you waiting for?  Go get yourself some white pants!

hue pants 4

Just my thoughts,

Melanie

Fashion, Fitness, get healthy, Turning Fifty

On Turning 50

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I’ve had a year to prepare.  Actually, I guess I’ve had forty-nine years to prepare.  But who can ever be adequately equipped to reach the age society refers to with such doom and gloom?  I mean, the latest studies agree.  By age fifty, we should drop flip flops, ditch denim, toss tanks, swap shorts for capris, and chop our hair into an age-appropriate bob or pixie.  And the latest trend?  Don’t even get me started.  “Just allow your hair to go graaaaay,” they say.  “Gray is the new black,” they say.  And my favorite:  “Gray is sexy!”  Hmmmmmm.  On Jamie Lee Curtis, a gray pixie cut is sexy.  On Jamie Lee Curtis, capri pants may even have a snow ball’s chance at looking hot.  But can we agree that she’s been an exception to a whole slew of rules for many many years?  Say this with me out loud:  “I, (insert your name here), am not Jamie Lee Curtis … and no matter how much ACTIVA I ingest, I will never ever ever be Jamie Lee Curtis.”

(Deep breath)  I’ve actually had well-meaning women tell me that I need to cut my hair and throw out my denim shorts because I’m “getting too old”.  Please, for the love of all things good and true, can we at least agree to give denim a break?  Denim has been with us through thick and thin … literally.  And has stood the test of time as much as we have.  Maybe more than we have.  If I can say anything here today about fashion, it would be that we should ALL own some denim.  Until. We. Die.

I’m sorry, but the thought of all the false fashion notions that are prevalent on the internet brings on a mild panic attack with me.  Even right now, my heart is in a rush as I picture myself being yanked away, kicking and screaming, from the gorgeous diva who colors my hair.  Can anyone else relate?  As long as my hair is perfect, I can take hold of satan himself by his pointy ears and firmly place him behind me.  In the south, after all, hair is everything.  Gray is not the new black.  It’s just not!

Let’s be real.  When a person reaches fifty or sixty or seventy … or even eighty … the last thing we should be discussing is age appropriate fashion and/or hairstyles.  That person has lived five or more decades of life, which these days, is a feat.  And because of their years on the planet, they’ve earned the right to look however they want to look.  I may be waging war against capri pants and pixie cuts for myself, but for whoever chooses them, I’ll give 100% support (as long as the pixie cut, gray hair, AND capri pants aren’t paired together — a fifty year old female can only be stretched so far.)  My gripe is when the fashion police puts us into a middle-aged box of do’s and don’ts when what should truly matter is the sum of our experiences.

For instance.

At age fifty,  I’ve experienced two marriages and divorce … healthy relationships and abuse … having a successful career and being a stay at home mom … raising typical kiddos and raising kiddos who are differently abled.  I know what it’s like to have a close knit family, but I also know what it feels like when the family unit crumbles with estrangement.  I’m the very proud momma of two adopted kiddos, and can tell you that my love for those two is the exact same as it is for the three I birthed.

I’ve weighed too much and too little, and now have determined the scale doesn’t matter near as much as choosing good health.  Reveling in the highest of highs one moment, I’ve also walked through the deepest valleys of depression the next.  I’ve written books and songs, have earned my place in 5k races, attended law school for two years, and ran for state senate as a write-in candidate to bring light to a law that would have been unfavorable to the special needs community.

I’ve been fortunate to have formed associations with individuals who, just by their very existence, make me dare to believe there is a God.  At the same time, though, I still wrestle with the heavy weight of disbelief.   I’ve mourned the loss of loved ones.  I fear for the future of my children who have Down syndrome.  What if I die first?  And as the former owner of a non-profit that provided free clothing to teenage girls who are fighting through the ravages of poverty, the foster care system, and an addiction to self harm, I can tell you without a moment’s hesitation that “those kids” are amazing young women who are striving for a better future.  They cling to hope, as do I, for a society that will choose the attitude of love, peace, and charity over selfishness, fighting, and suffering.

These are the things that matter.

I get it.  I’m fifty.

And in the eyes of much of society, that means I’m now over the hill.

Regardless, my fifty years of life has mattered.

And your life matters too.

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Happy Birthday to me!!!!

~Mel

 

 

self care, skin care, Summer Fashion

A Timeless Summer

Spring is here, and Summer is fast approaching.  So ladies, if we haven’t been pampering our skin and bodies throughout our winter hibernation, well … it might be time.  I’m in the almost fifty year old category (27 days and counting), so I’m always trying new products that promise to slow down the hands of time.  If the so-called products happen to have rave reviews on Amazon, within seconds you can bet I have clicked those items right into my online shopping cart.  Here are two of my latest favorite finds:

The first, Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum made by Cosmedica Skincare, has had more than six-thousand reviews.  And 65% of those reviews received five stars!  Let me tell you, this product is ahhhhhhh-mazing.   Not only does it give your skin a youthful glow, but it also erases time from your face.  After using it for only a couple of weeks, I swear I could tell a difference!  Hyaluronic Acid effectively binds water to cells and is responsible for the elasticity and resiliency of the skin.  Think hydration on steroids, because this packs a punch.  Find it here!

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The second, Cosmedica Retinol Serum, is perfect for anyone who is looking for a retinol formula that isn’t overly harsh on your skin.  If you’ve used Retinol before, then you know it can sometimes burn.  This serum didn’t burn even on the first application.  If you haven’t used Retinol, and if you have any signs of aging on your face, then hop to it.  Retinol is magical unicorn dust!  Trust me.  You can find it here!

After your skin is in tip-top condition, why not show it off by treating yourself to a summer dress?  This summer is totally feeling like a year for pretty things, isn’t it?  And what’s more feminine and delicate than a sweet dress?  I’m in love with all things Altar’d State , but am especially fond of their dress selection.  This is their Hazleton Fit and Flare dress:

Made of stretchy polyester that will not wrinkle, this dress is lined with soft cotton.  The length hits right at the knee for a flirty appeal, and the scalloped neck/back make it a stunner.  My all-time favorite dress style is fit and flare, because it flatters every single figure and is timeless.  This Hazleton dress is such a throw-back.  It’s current enough, but with a touch of vintage chic.  And the price?  $69.99.  However, Altar’d State is the best at running buy one get one half-off sales … so, if you hit them at the right time, this dress could be a real steal!

Two skincare products that will roll back the hands of time.

One dress style that has stood the test of time.

Sounds like the beginnings of a timeless Summer to me!

Just my thoughts.

~Melanie

 

 

Fashion, Summer Fashion

It’s A Day Dress…It’s A Play Dress!

I don’t know what it is about sunshine, but it never fails to bring out the girl in me.  I turn fifty this year, but I’m still very much a girl.  Can you relate?  Show me the first daffodils of Spring, and I’ll happily swap denim for flirty cotton skirts and feisty summer dresses.  My favorite is the fit and flare design.  The name alone suggests fun and sexy … and most of my girlfriends want to be both!  I do too.

The fit and flare dress accentuates any body type and always makes a woman’s waist appear smaller.  A shorter dress has the added benefit of making legs look long and lean.  Once a female reaches middle age, a common misconception is that all skirts and shorts must hit at or below the knees.  Supposedly, as we gals age, our knees get ugly.  But think about it for a second … knees are honestly weird at any age.  So I say we ignore the hype,  put a halt on the knee shaming once and for all, and stock up on summer dresses that scandalously hit above the knee.  (Oh, the horror!!!  haha)

One of my favorite places to purchase summer dresses is Altar’d State.  Their prices are reasonable, their selection is amazing, and every time you purchase something, a percentage of the sale goes to a charity.   This dress is their Lavani Dress.   Made from polyester, cotton, and spandex, it doesn’t wrinkle and stretches in all the right places to fit perfectly.  In addition, the pattern tricks the eyes and hides flaws, which is an added bonus.  At less than $70.00, it’s a really good deal:

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But what’s a summer dress without a pair of sunglasses?  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather own scads of inexpensive sunglasses for the sake of variety than to purchase one or two really expensive pairs.  Plus, if I lose or break a pair, I never feel guilty.  I recently found these super cool shades for $12.99 at H&M.

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If winter has had you feeling over the hill, a bit dumpy, and totally worn out, there is good news.  Spring and Summer are coming soon, Hallelujah!!!  So get ready to shake off those icky blues by slipping yourself into a fit and flare dress.  It’s guaranteed to peel you off the sofa and toss you right out into town.  Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Celebrate your beauty at every age.  Dare to show your knees.  Embrace your inner sexy.  And let the eyes roll if they must.  We only live once ladies!

Just my thoughts,

Melanie