Dressing strategically…

 

Winter has a silver lining–the added value of a warm, soft-like-cashmere  scarf.  I think “women of a certain age” have known it for awhile–but one has to mature enough to catch the nuance.  Which really means–when skin begins to sag, hide it!

In lieu of a facelift  I deliberately camouflage with a snaZZy scarf.   Yet another justification for my scarf collection!

  

London Blog

big-ben

 

I can easily imagine spending more time in London Town –may I call it that now with my new-found familiarity?  Traipsing the Burroughs and exploring London’s underbelly, via the tube lends an up close and personal view of what it’s like to live there.

I am assured by those more familiar with London that the tube is usually dependable and user-friendly.  But if you’re traveling there in the near future, beware of extensive line-maintenance closings and spontaneous rerouting–quite a challenge, for the novice, for sure.

*Disability Warning: escalators and elevators (lifts) may be out-of-order, which can be a real hassle.  Luckily, wonderful people saw my dilemma and grabbed our suitcases and carried them up the steep and numerous stairs which made all the difference!  (Bless you all!)

stairs-at-train

There are twelve Inner London boroughs and twenty Outer London boroughs–much of which you will miss if you use the tube everywhere you go, so I suggest mixing it up with a tour bus, Uber, taxis or a river cruise to get the whole picture.

bus

Why haven’t I lost 20 lbs by now, with all that exercise?

Could it be the great food paired with wine or the panoply of British brewed beers? Or the melt-in-your mouth fish ‘n chips, soaked with malt vinegar and dipped in an interesting red curry sauce?  Perhaps England’s boring-food reputation is passe’, because we found the the menus to be both creative and imaginative– quite beyond our expectations.  And if you are a gin-lover, you will feel right at home.

Many neighborhoods have “food co-ops” , small like our convenience stores but packed full with organic and healthy choices.  The prices were more reasonable than I imagined and when you purchase a temporary membership for $10, your discount is immediate and a portion of the price goes to the community.  Impressive.

Friends suggested that we visit Camden Town or Camden Lock, a borough in NW London, located near 3 canals used in the late 1800’s.   Little did we realize that Sunday is Market Day which feels like the circus is in town, with people thronging the streets, music playing mostly American hits, vendors dealing and my senses reeling from all the food aromas, crazy signs and people gathering to do what people do best–socializing and letting their hair down before the work-week begins anew.

 

We took in the traditional sights too– Big Ben, living up to expectations, a sentinel above Westminster Abbey; Buckingham Palace at night with the Queen mum and possibly Kate, locked safely within; and St. Paul’s Cathedral where feeding the birds is more than a scene from Mary Poppins.  Arriving just at evening’s edge, we were beckoned within, silenced by the sacred ambiance, heavy with incense and layered with centuries of prayer.

But my big surprise was walking late at night from Trafalgar Square and arriving at Piccadilly Circus–oh my!  Like Times Square, upbeat with lights flashing, music pulsing, and people lined up to see the next play.  With restaurants and pubs competing for your attention–it’s a haven to your hunger or thirst for the thrill of London’s famous city life.

There appeared to be many homeless people camped on sidewalks or near subway stations but they are polite and careful not to “beg”.  We were told that the police leave them alone as long as they give something in return– such as directions to tourists who obviously need advice (personally speaking).  Everyone said, “thank you”, even if not given money.  So very civilized, those Brits.

Waxing Poetic at Summer’s End… Or ” What sagging Skin?

Comfortably situated on a sturdy wooden park bench uptown, I watch the children play in the water-feature across the street, its foamy cascade, a sweet relief to the dog days that define late Summer. The effusion of flowers are just past full bloom, proudly touting seed pods and rose hips, having fulfilled their seasonal purpose in the circle of life. Brave stalks still reach toward the sun while others bow low, calling it a day, fulfilled and content with their place within the cycle.  
But I’m a little wistful at the thought of winding down, as the season is sure to pass, changing my preferred lifestyle and of course, the clothes that I love best.
Still enamored by strappy tops and sleeveless-ness, I choose to ignore the body parts that seem to have deserted me, having fallen ungracefully towards gravity’s callous pull. My mirror and I have a love/hate relationship, so I am taking the path of least resistance by enlisting a dose of healthy denial–opting not to bemoan that which I do not see.
Personal style is an individual freedom that I foster. Developed from a whim, it becomes an exercise of creative expression. An art form, if only in my own mind, it is a liberty that I claim from having lived this long!

The setting sun is casting sky-blue-pink across my pervue, the sky, a gigantic canvas for celestial finger-paints of color and light. The cicadas seem to herald the day’s end, grateful to have lived another day or perhaps they are celebrating the passage into the coolness of the night. Their constancy is reassuring and reminds me of fresh mown hay on a still-life from my childhood when living seemed easier–or at least, less complex


There is a heady sweetness in the air coming from wave petunias, thick and luscious to the bees. A young woman has begun to trill a folk song across the way, her guitar the only accompaniment to her soulful lyrics, so clear and pure and hopeful.

And now it’s dark– that deep velvety blue, backlit from the sun just setting. I’ll go home now. Many Thanks for sharing your time and attention.

Dressing Strategically with Earrings

Earrings–more than meets the eye!

I never leave home without them–seriously. I’ve been known to stop and buy a pair just because I forgot them and didn’t feel properly dressed.

You probably have a style you like you feel comfortable with but it need not limit your options.  Just because you’ve been a stud kind of gal does not mean that you can’t experiment with something edgy–a different sort of look–a new expression of your personality.

How we present our selves is more about how we feel than how we look.  What we think is imperceptible, is anything but–something as small as an earring can change the way you hold your head and make eye contact, for instance.

Who knows?  By experimenting and expanding your repertoire, you just might find your inner snaZZy, waiting to be released.   Maybe it’s time to let it out to play.

Aging has that effect sometimes.  It’s often a life stage that sets us free(er), allowing for change, reminding us of our teenage years when we longed to find ourselves.  Growing older in years  can have that freedom of discovery too.  And our habits bespeak our experience.  Change 1 little thing and the paradigm suddenly shifts, opening us up even further.

Ok, back to earrings–an adornment women have been wearing for centuries; the Sumerian women purportedly wore them 2500 BCE.

FYI:  Earring Definitions

Studs are usually posts, attached to the lobe or top of the ear (or even the nose–but that’s another subject).

  Dangles do just that, with a wire or stud securing the suspended article which is free to       move in a mobile-like fashion.

  Drops consist of a stud at the lobe with just one large jewel or article suspended  from it.

  Chandeliers, similar t the dangle, is more complex–sometimes having several tiers.

  Cuffs fit around the ridges of your upper ear.

  Gauges are the hole expanders and exist just beyond my understanding.  Old fogey?      Maybe.

Earring Tips:  

Short neck?  Avoid long-dangles.

Long neck?  You have more options

Avant-garde? Do what you will!  (my personal favorite)

Round face (widest at the cheekbones with no taper to the chin), Long drop or dangle earrings to elongate your face and make it look slimmer. Avoid large circular earrings, hoops and button studs which only emphasize the roundness. Also, stay away from drop earrings with a dangling round disc. The roundness will only make your face look rounder. Earrings for round face shape…

Long and Narrow Face: Choose earrings that emphasize the width of your face. Studs, clustered earrings, short dangles, hoops in a medium to large size. Round earrings will widen your face, and make it look fuller.

Square Face: (forehead and jawline are similar widths) need to soften the hard edges of their face. To do this choose go for earrings that are medium to long with rounded edges. Oval shapes soften things up, and circular earrings and hoop earrings work well too. Stay away from square studs or any kind of earring with a square as it only reinforces the squareness.

Heart Shaped Face: If your forehead is wider than your cheeks and the lower half of your face narrows like a heart then you have a heart-shaped face. In this case, you need to counterbalance your sharp chin with chandelier or tear drop earrings. Earrings that are wider at the bottom than the top help fill in the lower portion of your face, so your face is more balanced.

Oval Shaped Face: (the widths of your brow, cheekbones and jaw are almost equal)  Lucky you! You can wear almost any shape, but triangular earrings or simple studs will show off your lovely cheekbones best!

Bone structure will determine the size and weight of the earrings you will look best in.

Small, fine bone structure: (Meryl Streep/Sharon Stone/Jodi Foster ) Choose earrings that are thin, fine, flat and delicate.

Medium Bone Structure: ( Teri Hatcher, Madonna, Liz Hurley) Opt for medium weight and size earrings.

Large Bone Structure:(Oprah, Donatella Versace) You can carry off  medium to large, heavy, chunky earrings.

(Thanks to Deborah Boland, creator of Fabulous after  40–http://www.fabulousafter40.com/best-earrings-for-your-face-shape/)