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I went to the orthodontist yesterday to see about braces.  Yes, you read correctly.  If you had told me even a few months ago that I’d be seriously contemplating braces at the ripe old age of sixty I would have laughed.  But I am going forward, and about a month from now, I will have braces on my teeth just like a high school kid. 

When I was a kid, I fell and chipped my tooth.  Tons of kids chip their teeth every day, and no one thought much of it.  The dentist put a wonky cap on it that kept falling off until the adults could decide what to do.  

Finally, the dentist affixed a more permanent cap, and I was good to go.  Only, the tooth beside it discolored. We discovered that the roots of both teeth had been compromised in the fall.  Root canals would be needed for both teeth.  Metal pins held the two teeth in place, one with a bulbous cap, the other slightly greyed.  Like many teens in those days, I had braces, and for a short while, all seemed well until an infection was discovered and my two front teeth were replaced with a bridge.  

I was never thrilled with the bridge. The color was not a good match and as the years have gone by, it has yellowed further.  It now has a hair line crack and after almost 40 years, it’s time for a replacement.  My dentist and I have gone back and forth about what to do.  We talked about implants, and the fact that over the years, my teeth have crowded.  We talked about “optimal” strategies and minimal patch jobs.  

For the most natural looking result, implants would be the best way to go.  Implants are permanently attached to the bone and look and act like real teeth.  Right up the road is one Dr. Picos, the king of the implant so in May, I paid him a visit to see if I would be a good candidate for implants.  Alas, I am not.  In the many years I have had the bridge, the bone has receded and unfortunately, there is not enough bone for him to work with.  In some instances bone can be grafted, but in my case, the amount of grafting needed was cost prohibitive and Dr. Picos was not confident we could get the result we both wanted.  Back I went to my dentist to revisit replacing the bridge.  

So, how the heck did we go from implant to bridge to braces, you ask?  Since my current bridge went in, my teeth have moved and to get a really nice result, we decided it might be a good idea to straiten my teeth first, then replace the bridge.  Initially, the discussion centered on the fact that my bottom teeth are crowded.  It turns out that the orthodontist will be putting more emphasis on the top teeth, where the bridge is, so that when it’s replaced it will be more natural looking.  

I wanted to dive into some of the thoughts that have swirled in my mind as I have been working on this decision.  First, I kinda wish I had gotten implants 20 years ago.  I would have been a good candidate at that time, but it wasn’t on my radar screen.  My husband wouldn’t have gone along with the expense, and I had become very used to putting myself behind the wishes of my husband, thoughts of our budget, and the fact that we had a little baby at the time.  Things have changed a lot since then. 

I have to bring up another issue that has kept me from getting my bridge fixed: fear. Yes FEAR. For years I have been fearful of having this work done. I’m not afraid of the pain, none of the extensive oral surgery’s I have had on these teeth has been painful, (except when I got the bill). So, it’s not the pain. I have never really put my finger on why I’ve been afraid, it’s a pretty strait forward repair. I decided to go forward with the fear. If it were specific, I might pay attention, but since I can’t put my finger on what’s at the center of the fear, I am not going to let it hold me back. End of.

Next up was “why go to the trouble at age 60?”  I mean who cares at this point?  Interestingly, I do.  A part of me still wants to be pretty, and have a healthy white smile.  I see myself as an “old person” I’m just me.   I want to stop the habit of putting myself on the back burner.  It’s time to step up and live my best life, as I’ve said more than once in this series. For me, that means investing a little into my appearance, along with a few other things on my bucket list.

Next week: Getting physical: getting back in shape and maintaining it in middle age.  

Questions for you:

1. Is there anything you’ve had on your list that needs taking care of in the healthy or beauty area?

2. What is keeping you from taking care of it?

3. What baby step could you take to investigate, or begin moving forward toward taking care of it?

If you are putting yourself on the back burner, now might be a good time to reconsider. Remember, you will never be younger than you are today, and it’s never too late to live your best life.

P.S.   I’d like personally invite you to join our community here at Sharing a Journey.  Grab my free beauty guide and receive weekly updates by clicking the image below or right here.  http://sharingajourney.com/land/ . If you enjoy a good chat, join me on Facebook Live, Tuesday nights at 7:00 Eastern. I share whatever is on my mind, and love seeing you there. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman on Pinterest, so if you love fashion, beauty, recipies and decor, be sure to follow along. I’m also on Instagram so if you want to get a behind the scenes glimpse of what goes on here at the casa, you will want to check that out as well. We all love hearing from you, so if you have a tip or comment, please be sure to share it. We all learn from each other.

The post Six Months To Sixty: Braces at 60? appeared first on Sharing A Journey.

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A recent email about Fawning Stress Response caught my eye. I was curious, so I looked it up and found a number of academic and clinical papers describing “fawning behavior” as overly compliant, solicitous,   behavior often displayed in response to stressful or abusive situations or environments.  

Fawning Stress Response is often associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because it is one of the four options one has in responding to traumatic or stressful situations.  When confronted with a traumatic or stressful situation, we typically consider fighting or fleeing, but there are actually two additional options:  freezing and complying.  We fight when we know we have a possibility of winning, we flee when we see the chance of winning is less or not an option.  We freeze when we are uncertain of our options and we attempt to comply and make the situation better by becoming helpful and indispensable.

While Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is common for those returning from active military duty or  living in severely abusive environments, but depending on one’s emotional make up and experiences, we can experience Post Traumatic Stress without it developing into a diagnosable disorder. Yet it can shape behavioral patterns and cause us to react to situations and people in ways that don’t serve us, leaving us to wonder what was at play.

We may wonder why we find ourselves reacting  in fight, flight, freeze or “fawning” modes under stressful situations or with certain types of people. These strategies are often established when we are children.  Small children might attempt to flee  or freeze because they know they can’t win a situation by fighting.  They may learn early to employ helpful behaviors to avoid punishment or abuse.  Sometimes fighting a situation is veiled by more subtle behaviors such as undermining or passive aggressive behaviors.  

I’ve noticed during these middle years, that I’ve gained a lot of wisdom just from surviving the variety of experiences in my lifetime, and, over time, I’ve gotten pretty good at sorting things out, but every once in a while, I’m surprised to find myself reacting by not responding “freezing” or by attempting to placate, or please someone when I know that better options are available.   I just cant seem always upon them in a stressful situation.

We’ve been through stuff.  But every once in a while it’s not a bad idea to take note of our reactions and behavior patterns to see if they are really effective, or if we just do them over and over because that’s the only way we have considered responding. 

The post The Fawning Stress Response, Is It Really A “Thing”? appeared first on Sharing A Journey.

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Some months ago, I did a massive clean out of my closet.  Left were my all time favorite “go to” items, a few newer items, a few items I had never worn and some I’m not sure of.  As many closet organizers suggest, as I rehung my wardrobe, I turned the hanger around on any item that was “on probation”.  If, at the end of the season, I haven’t reached for it, unworn items will be donated.

Years ago, when money was tight, I chose my wardrobe very carefully because I was able to afford only a few new items every season.  The advent of TJ Maxx and Marshalls changed my strategy a bit, I could get so much more for my money I started to overlook my rules.  I ended up with lots of pieces that weren’t “ideal”;  I bought them on impulse and because they were inexpensive.  I’d do a quick try on and figure I could make it work once I got home.  Only, it never works that way does it?

When it came to assessing my closet and clearing out things I wasn’t wearing anymore, it didn’t bother me to pass on a pair of $12 jeans that never fit quite right, or a $10 top that was too big.  I began giving things to charity with tags still on them or things I had only worn once or twice. If the item had been $200 or more, I would have been much more careful in my decision making, much slower to make the purchase and much more discerning as to how it fit and it’s over all quality. And I wouldn’t be giving it away after only one or two wearing.

Last fall, as I did my clean out, I also began to re-evaluate my style.  You know—that old favorite question of mine: “Who am I now,” and “do my clothes reflect the person I am and the person I am becoming.”  

I am going back to my old M.O. the one that worked so well in the past:

  1. I had my colors done way back (I probably need to do it again now that my hair has a bit of grey in it) I avoid colors that are not flattering to my skin tone.  (That eliminates a whole bunch of trying on.)
  2. I like classic styling, which eliminates a whole bunch more. (I did enjoy boho, but I’m moving on.)
  3. I use a capsule format to plan and fill in my wardrobe and I actually sit down and plan my wardrobe purchases in advance of each season.  I learned early on to make sure new items, especially expensive ones go with several existing pieces in my wardrobe before making a purchase and I don’t spend large sums on trend pieces or trend colors.
  4. I build my wardrobe around color schemes such as my favorites, cream, navy, warm blue, camel, and an occasional pop of red or warm pink.  That way, my clothes go well together and I can mix and match around my favorite colors and I know they look good on me.

This summer, I have several pieces I have been really loving.  Just looking at them makes my heart sing.  

My blue floral dress from Mango.  If I could wear this dress every day, I would.  While we were in Rockport, I wore it with a white denim jacket over it, as the day was a bit cool, but here in Florida, I love the straps and bows at the shoulders, which I prefer tied to the back.  

Blue knit top (again from Mango). When I saw this blue top, I had to have it; I love the color.  It’s open in the back and looks super cute with a pretty bralette.  

I adore my Double Breasted Tweed Jacket from Boston Proper.  I was able to choose it as a part of a sponsorship in June.  It is so me.  It makes me smile when I see it hanging in my closet.  The weather is a little warm for it right now, but you can bet it’s going to get lots of wear as we head into the cooler seasons.

My white floral swimsuit from Amazon.  The fact that I would love this suit so much came as a surprise; I expected to be sending all the swimsuits I ordered from my Amazon swimwear post back.  Instead I fell in love and kept two.

While I am a girl who is typically in heals, I love my gold Mullen slides from Easy Spirit I got them during a sponsorship in May.  They are perfect for poolside, and look super cute with cropped pants.

Now to the juice.  There are a whole bunch of sales coming up over the next few weeks.  Nordstrom’s big sale begins today (July 12) and Amazon’s Prime days start on (July 15th).  

Which means I will be using the strategy above to update my wardrobe for fall.  Yes, I am thinking that far ahead!  So, stay tuned; I will be sharing my picks from Nordstrom over the next week or so.

Also:  I’ve been busy on other other outlets this summer: On July 12th Shopping for the Real You Expert Edition begins with our good friend Jodie from JTouch of Style. Each week is packed with valuable tips from fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and wellness experts. Click here to sign up. It’s FREE! As you can see, several favorite fashionistas, and lifestyle bloggers are being featured in this incredible event.

On July 15, I will be featured! Listen to all 21 speakers, one each week.  

P.S.   I’d like personally invite you to join our community here at Sharing a Journey.  Grab my free beauty guide and receive weekly updates by clicking the image below or right here.  http://sharingajourney.com/land/ . If you enjoy a good chat, join me on Facebook Live, Tuesday nights at 7:00 Eastern. I share whatever is on my mind, and love seeing you there. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman on Pinterest, so if you love fashion, beauty, recipies and decor, be sure to follow along. I’m also on Instagram so if you want to get a behind the scenes glimpse of what goes on here at the casa, you will want to check that out as well. We all love hearing from you, so if you have a tip or comment, please be sure to share it. We all learn from each other.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter

The post Creating a Winning Wardrobe Strategy appeared first on Sharing A Journey.

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I have now lived 60 years on this planet!  

It seems like such a long time, and yet it has all gone by so fast.  As I look back, I see the good, the bad, and the ugly, as I look forward, well, one can never be sure what our future may bring.  I have several ice skating buddies who are in their late 70’s and early 80’s who inspire me and encourage me to live life to its fullest. “You will never be younger than you are today,” they often say.  Part of the impetus for the Six Months to Sixty Campaign was my desire to follow their advice and not defer doing the things that will lead me to living life to its fullest.

This year I wanted my birthday to be special.  When I got to the kitchen in the morning, I saw that Roger had left a card for me.   I stood, holding the card, thinking of the care he takes finding the right cards for the people he loves, and how he makes a point, no matter what happens, to show me he loves me, each and every day.  I realized how special it is to share life in this way.

Brooke called, and as I listened to her sharing the latest goings on in her life, I was again flooded with love.  I’ve raised a  young woman who is doing a good job of adulting.  My heart soars with each achievement, especially those she accomplishes on her own.  I had been reluctant to have a family, and was a bit late to the game, but am so grateful I did and so grateful to have shared the adventure with Brooke.  I am so deeply grateful to have the experience of being a mother. (I know I said grateful way too many times just then)

Friends called throughout the day, and well wishers posted greetings on Facebook and Instagram.  I feel blessed by all of the positive energy from friends and acquaintances.  I am blessed to have so many nice people in my life.

I realized that no matter what else happened that day, or for the days to come, I have deeply experienced love.  I’ve found peace, I feel whole.

I realized that after years and years of self doubt and feeling as though there was something terribly wrong with me, I have learned to love and accept myself.  I feel “complete”.  I have my short comings, and bad days, but I feel at peace.  I am no longer “broken”.   The past is behind and the future is yet to be.

By dinner, I felt as if I were floating in a bubble.  Roger felt it too.  He and I  talk about what we call “the bubble” a lot.  The bubble seems to appear when we are in alignment with our best selves.  It feels peaceful and joyful in the bubble, and the best part of it is that often we share it together.  Stress, anger, negativity, and frustration evaporate.  We are present and able to appreciate the moment and the beauty of being able to share it together. 

One of the things that has hit me hardest about turning sixty, is the reality that what I am experiencing right now won’t last forever.  We’re getting older.  Things happen.  I know that things can happen at any age, but I guess this time is so special, I want to hold on to it.  I want to be in the bubble more and for longer.  

Which leads me back around to Six Months to Sixty and what, if you’ve followed along, we’ve done so far.  My purpose in putting the series together is about crafting our own unique blueprints for what we want to add or change so we can live our best lives.  We’ve talked about mindset, putting the past behind, and we will talk about more as we go along.  

While I am receiving some lovely gifts, being in “the bubble” and soaking in love and good wishes from family and friends was an experience that made my birthday forever memorable.

P.S.   I’d like personally invite you to join our community here at Sharing a Journey.  Grab my free beauty guide and receive weekly updates by clicking the image below or right here.  http://sharingajourney.com/land/ . If you enjoy a good chat, join me on Facebook Live, Tuesday nights at 7:00 Eastern. I share whatever is on my mind, and love seeing you there. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman on Pinterest, so if you love fashion, beauty, recipies and decor, be sure to follow along. I’m also on Instagram so if you want to get a behind the scenes glimpse of what goes on here at the casa, you will want to check that out as well. We all love hearing from you, so if you have a tip or comment, please be sure to share it. We all learn from each other.

The post Six Weeks to Sixty: The Day Has Arrived appeared first on Sharing A Journey.

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Years ago, a plastic surgeon told me that I’d know when I wanted a facelift when I thought I looked tired or droopy all the time.  Well…that time may be nearing.  Only thing is, I am a little bit terrified of having a facelift, plus, I don’t specifically want to look younger, or stretched, just a little lifted…ever so slightly… so I’ve been looking for alternatives. We all know about Botox and fillers, but what about some of the at-home devices? Can we get results, save a bunch of money and not go under the needle or knife?

 I demonstrated a few products I was curious about on Facebook Live a few weeks ago, and thought I’d share the things I have tried and plan to try here on the blog as well. You can check it out here it’s actually pretty funny.

Some have worked rather well, others, not so much, but I’m happy to share what I’ve learned so far.

Topical skin care.  I’ve used Retin A since my late twenties.  Retin A and it’s sister products containing retinol are great for sloughing off surface cells so fresh younger skin can emerge.  It helps keep skin firmer by helping the skin build collagen and also helps improve tiny lines and wrinkles.  If you haven’t begun using Retin A, it’s worth a try.  It has improved my skin’s texture and brightness.  However, one must stay out of the sun and use SPF 30 or more daily.  

Temporary skin firming creams and gels.  I’ve tried several skin firming or lifting serums with fairly good luck.  Peter Thomas Roth’s Instant Firm Temporary Face Tightener gel is quite good, though it doesn’t always play well with make up. 

Neostrata’s Triple Neck Firming cream improves skin’s firmness over time when used regularly.  While it hasn’t restored my neck to it’s firm 40 year old version, it has improved skin texture and elasticity somewhat.

The Magic Elastic bands.  Ok, for those of you who didn’t see my Facebook Live, you missed a moment.  I demonstrated the tape and elastic system old film stars used to use back in the day.  Some women use them now and are quite happy with them.  Using clear tape and elastic bands to pull your skin upward to give a firmer appearance.  I carefully followed the instructions and had both my neck and face carefully taped and elastic-ed into place, when the tape gave way on one side of my face!  Now that would be embarrassing if it had happened out on a date or something.  I know that many women wear them with great results, but there must be a secret to ensuring the tape holds.  Plus, you need to make sure your hair is long enough to cover the tape and elastic bands.

NuFace Trinity facial toner.  The NuFace, and devices like it use micro-current which mimics skins natural current which is said to diminish as we age.  The NuFace micro current penetrates to tone facial muscles, improve skin tone  and facial contour.  I purchased one during the Sephora sale, and in another week will have used it for 60 days. So far, it seems to be slightly lifting my skin and improving my facial contours slightly.  I plan to continue using it regularly as I am finding that it is working.

Facial Yoga.  So since we are looking for something non invasive, wouldn’t it make sense to exercise our faces?  It’s worth a try as far as I’m concerned.  I’ve signed up on line for a facial yoga series, and in 30 days I will be happy to update this post to let you know how it’s going.

Laser skin treatments.  Lumecca, a new laser treatment, is said to tighten skin, remove dark spots, and those thread veins is next on my list of things to try on my quest for a non-invasive solution to improve my skin.  I will be scheduling an appointment in a few weeks and plan to post about the experience and my impressions. 

Have you tried any of these methods? Have you tried other methods or home devices that work? Let me know below, or if you are curious about a product, I will put it on my list to try to do a Facebook Live on it.

P.S.   I’d like personally invite you to join our community here at Sharing a Journey.  Grab my free beauty guide and receive weekly updates by clicking the image below or right here.  http://sharingajourney.com/land/ . If you enjoy a good chat, join me on Facebook Live, Tuesday nights at 7:00 Eastern. I share whatever is on my mind, and love seeing you there. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman on Pinterest, so if you love fashion, beauty, recipies and decor, be sure to follow along. I’m also on Instagram so if you want to get a behind the scenes glimpse of what goes on here at the casa, you will want to check that out as well. We all love hearing from you, so if you have a tip or comment, please be sure to share it. We all learn from each other.

The post Six Non Invasive Face Lifting Techniques appeared first on Sharing A Journey.

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*this post is sponsored by UNJURY

It’s official!  We are in picnic season.  For a successful picnic, it’s important to start with a cute sun dress.  The rest will take care of itself, I always say.  In fact, sometimes a cute outfit or china pattern inspires an impromptu get together.  Yup, I’m that girl.  

So what is on my must have list for a successful picnic?  

A Great Cookbook

For inspiration, I often turn to my favorite cookbooks.  The queen of great picnics in my opinion is Ina Garten.  I’ve collected all but her most recent cookbook, which is on my wish list, I just haven’t gotten around to ordering it yet.  The Barefoot Contessa original book is my favorite for easily packable summer fare with fresh bold flavor.  The thing I love about her recipes is that the seasonings are never overpowering.  Anyway, creating a flavorful and easy menu is job number one, or two after the cute outfit.

An Awesome Picnic Spot

Picking the ideal picnic spot.  We have several beautiful parks near where we live and most of the time, we just pack a picnic and go.  However weekends and holidays can be very busy, so when I want to invite more people, I make a reservation with the City Parks department.  It can often be done on line, and for a nominal fee. 

A Decorative Spread

I love a great presentation, and I have one of those old fashion picnic baskets and a big quilt to put on the ground.  I also have several sets of picnic ware to choose from, depending on the color scheme and menu for the day.  I don’t know about you, but pretty just makes picnics a little more fun.

Keep Bugs Away

Bug repellent, first aid kit and sunscreen are  musts for your picnic list.  Whether you make homemade bug repellant, use  citrine candles or douse yourself with Off, having the bug situation covered is super important.  Nothing spoils a picnic quicker than bug bites, minor scrapes and sunburns.  I keep a first aid kit in the car just in case.  It’s also good to know the poisonous plants in your area, and, to stay away from them, of course.

Fun games.  

When Roger and I hosted our first picnic with Brooke and her boyfriend, we stopped at Target and bought a ball and a few outdoor games.  Funny thing was that the kids had never played them before so it was quite humorous watching them trying to throw a frisbee and play catch. That was the day I discovered that my child can’t kick a ball.  I can though.

And finally, a fun desert.  

I’m feeling Strawberry Banana Pops with a little extra protein added in, so I’ll share my favorite recipe:

2 packets or 2 scoops of UNJURY Strawberry Sorbet protein powder

2 cups milk (you can use your favorite type of  milk so long as it freezes well)

1 small box of Jello Instant Banana Pudding mix (which ever variety you like including sugar-free or fat-free)

Pour milk into a bowl, add protein power, stir, and set aside.  In a separate bowl, empty the contents of the pudding mix add the milk and protein mixture to the dry pudding mix stir two minutes or until texture is full.  Label mixture eagerly into popsicle molds or 3 oz paper cups freeze for a minimum of 4 hours.  80 calories if skim milk is used, 10 grams of protein 9 grams carbohydrates and 5 grams sugar. (This recipe is from the UNJURY cookbook)

I have been on a low carb diet for twelve years, you can read about my weight loss journey here.  I occasionally splurge and have a desert like the one above, but mostly I stay away from sweets.  I make sure that I get my protein portions in; the average sedentary female should consume 46 grams of protein per day.  I often use protein powder to boost my protein intake, either by drinking protein shake or grabbing a protein bar on the go.  UNJURY is a great choice as it offers a variety of flavored, vegan, and unflavored powders.  There are also two soups.  If you would like to try UNJURY, I have a discount code NINA 10 and you can visit UNJURY here.

P.S.   I’d like personally invite you to join our community here at Sharing a Journey.  Grab my free beauty guide and receive weekly updates by clicking the image below or right here.  http://sharingajourney.com/land/ . If you enjoy a good chat, join me on Facebook Live, Tuesday nights at 7:00 Eastern. I share whatever is on my mind, and love seeing you there. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman on Pinterest, so if you love fashion, beauty, recipies and decor, be sure to follow along. I’m also on Instagram so if you want to get a behind the scenes glimpse of what goes on here at the casa, you will want to check that out as well. We all love hearing from you, so if you have a tip or comment, please be sure to share it. We all learn from each other.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter

The post The Six Must Haves For A Perfect Picnic/Link UP appeared first on Sharing A Journey.

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With my birthday just days away, I’m feeling a bit  anxious about turning sixty.  The big 6-0.  

I was fine turning 50, just disappointed that I didn’t have a celebration. The same thing when I turned 55.  I was married at the time, and we didn’t celebrate my birthday, not because I didn’t want to, but because he didn’t. I was a different woman back then. I allowed things like that.

This year, Roger’s already made plans for my birthday and one of my girl friends has reached out to plan a get together.  And, I think I might be getting a very special gift this year. So those are a few things to be excited for, right?  I’m healthy, I’m loved.  I have an amazing daugther.  I have an amazing ice dance partner and boyfriend, I write this blog and my consulting business is busy, all of which bring me joy. I am grateful that I learned to open myself to change and to take some of the risks I took to bring me to this place.

None the less, sixty seems old, even though I don’t feel old.  

It’s hard to shake off the fact that my grand parents with the exception of one, passed away in their late sixties and early seventies.  My older friends are a mix of super healthy and going strong types. Others are beginning to have serious health problems and are slowing down significantly.  Some have passed away already.

It didn’t help when an acquaintance quipped “You’re actually not middle age any more unless you live to be 120” just as I had gotten used to considering myself middle aged.

I felt really old when I considered the fact that I’m not really in middle age any more. I’ve been noticing changes in my body recently too.  It’s a little slower to recover, I don’t feel quite as strong, and to say my skin is lacking elasticity is a major understatement. It’s almost a whole size too big.    

And there is how I look.  I used to ask “Who am I now?” when I experienced major transitions in my life like graduating high school, getting married, and becoming a mother. An aging appearance never entered the equasion.  Now I ask “Who is this?” when I look in the mirror and wonder what I can do to slow the hands of time.

No matter how we look on the outside, we are still the same on the inside.

But I am still the same on the inside; it’s just the outside that has changed. We all say that. My heart, my soul, who I am has mellowed, and softened like the Velveteen Rabbit, so there’s that. Even though I am having a moment with this sixty thing, I am hopeful. I am excited for the future, and am grateful for the blessings, healing, learning and growth I’ve experienced in my life so far.

P.S.   I’d like personally invite you to join our community here at Sharing a Journey.  Grab my free beauty guide and receive weekly updates by clicking the image below or right here.  http://sharingajourney.com/land/ . If you enjoy a good chat, join me on Facebook Live, Tuesday nights at 7:00 Eastern. I share whatever is on my mind, and love seeing you there. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman on Pinterest, so if you love fashion, beauty, recipies and decor, be sure to follow along. I’m also on Instagram so if you want to get a behind the scenes glimpse of what goes on here at the casa, you will want to check that out as well. We all love hearing from you, so if you have a tip or comment, please be sure to share it. We all learn from each other.

The post Three Days to 60 appeared first on Sharing A Journey.

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I was in Junior High when the school dress code changed allowing, for the first time in history, females to wear pants to school.   

My parents were not in favor of the change; according to them, well mannered young ladies should never be seen in pants or shorts except on weekends and summer camp. As the times changed, and my parents didn’t, I learned to keep my thoughts to myself, and figured wearing pants of any kind to school would not be in my future.  Any way, I have always been more of a “girly girl” and preferred stylish skirts, pretty dresses and sweaters, anyway.

When I got home from school that day, there were three polyester pants suits hanging on a light fixture in our living room.   One was a lime green number (thankfully not for me), the second, (mine) was a garish red with navy trim and the third and most normal looking was navy for my younger sister.  The pant suits were a special gift from my mother.  We would be allowed to wear our new pants suits to school on Fridays only.  

I must admit, at first,  there was a certain novelty to wearing pants to school, even an ill fitting polyester pant suit in a horrifying color, but the novelty wore off, and I resumed wearing skirts.  I think the fact that we were a bit nonplussed about the pants suits caused my mother to have a rethink.  After all what was the fun of making unreasonable edicts if there wasn’t pushback.

By high school, my parents had softened further, allowing us to wear dress pants as we pleased,  but jeans were out of the question.  I loved layering dress shirts under sweaters and purchased my first jackets, creating layered looks with button down shirts, sweaters and a matching jacket over elongating dress pants. It was a bit “extra” but I had seen the look in Seventeen Magazine, and talked my father into buying outfits for me when ever I could.

At school, though, “everyone” was wearing bell bottom jeans, Hang Ten shirts and wide belts with  large buckles.  I dragged my father to the shop selling Hang Ten shirts and jeans, hoping for his approval.  I pulled on the outfit with great anticipation then stepped back to look in the mirror.  The jeans were cute, but in the shirt, I looked horribly shapeless and skinny.  I tucked it in hoping for an improvement, but I looked as if I was wearing an oversized bin bag with sleeves.  “Perhaps a smaller size would be more suitable,” my father suggested.  But it was the smallest size.  The shirt, a classic T simply didn’t suit me.

Some weeks later, on my own, I found a T that said “I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing”.  For some reason, I thought the saying and accompanying cartoon of a green faced man was clever.  Or funny.  Or something.  I smacked down $5 of my baby sitting money and took it home.  My mother disapproved and declared it a “weekend only” shirt.  It was always seemed cooler when I didn’t see myself in the mirror when I wore it.  That way, in my mind’s eye, I could imagine myself looking cute like all my hip friends. As much as I hated to admit it, I was not a graphic T-shirt girl and am not a T-shirt girl. I am a fitted shirt girl, a sleek sweater girl, a dress girl, but not a T-shirt girl.  

Last year, I put together a graphic T look with a distressed mini skirt and wore it exactly once for the photo shoot.  I wore the graphic T one other time with jeans before giving the shirt and skirt to charity.  Roger had taken photos of me in the graphic T  which reminded me of how I looked standing in the mirror of the cool shop that sold Hang Ten shirts and jeans back in high school.  I do like a good T-shirt style dress like the one above, the sleeves seem to fit better than most T-shirts; so a look like this is more my vibe.

So when my blogger friends suggested we collaborate and style graphic T’s, I flirted with the idea of passing this month, but then I decided you’d miss out on this important story of how dorky I was in high school and the point of this piece, which comes somewhere near the end.

I love the fact that some of us are inspired by styling  graphic T’s with skirts, jeans, shorts and dress pants, but that is not me.  And, here’s the point of this post: I think we should celebrate these differences.  It’s important that people who look good in graphic t’s wear them, and people who don’t celebrate those who do.  Often we seem to want everyone to be just like us. When we make decisions we love the validation of everyone around us doing the same.

But if we don’t look good in something, or don’t like it, we should happy for those who do and still feel good about ourselves.   

Here are several of my blogger friends who love graphic T’s, look amazing in them and they can offer tons of style inspiration. 

Suzanne Bell of “https://asksuzannebell.com/
Andrea Schwartz of https://pearlsandpantsuits.com/
Nancy of https://nancysfashionstyle.com/
Julie Augustyn of http://www.fashiontrendsandfriends.com/
Emma Peach of http://www.style-splash.com/
Michele Clark of https:/www.instagram.com/seechele_styles/
Cynthia Scurry https://middlesisterstyleblog.wordpress.com/
Nicole Mölders of https://highlatitudestyle.com

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P.S.   I’d like personally invite you to join our community here at Sharing a Journey.  Grab my free beauty guide and receive weekly updates by clicking the image below or right here.  http://sharingajourney.com/land/ . If you enjoy a good chat, join me on Facebook Live, Tuesday nights at 7:00 Eastern. I share whatever is on my mind, and love seeing you there. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman on Pinterest, so if you love fashion, beauty, recipies and decor, be sure to follow along. I’m also on Instagram so if you want to get a behind the scenes glimpse of what goes on here at the casa, you will want to check that out as well. We all love hearing from you, so if you have a tip or comment, please be sure to share it. We all learn from each other.

The post How Not To Style A Graphic T appeared first on Sharing A Journey.

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We almost got off to a bad start…

Roger is a last minute packer, but I talked him into getting a head start since we needed to get going by 4:00 a.m. to be at the airport to catch our 7:00 a.m flight.  He was packed and ready to go mid day so we could relax the evening before and get an early nights sleep before heading out.  Everything went like clock work, we were out the door and at the airside with time to spare.  

A daunting queue had formed at security, but we had  express check in and were ushered over to a line just behind a couple with two carryons and a baby in a stroller.  Mom made it through security leaving dad, and baby  to answer questions about what was in the two carryons, which dad decided would be best answered by displaying their contents, pulling out handfuls of tech gear which he began putting in scanning trays.  Oh, jeez, I thought…

Luckily we were waived through leaving dad, now fussy baby and the two carryons to be sorted out while mom cooled her heals on a bench nearby. 

We found our seats on the plane with ease and settled in for our three hour flight, thrilled by how smoothly everything had gone. Only fussy baby had morphed into screaming baby and as luck would have it, the family was seated directly behind us. Mom and dad must have had their ear buds in as the baby thrashed and kicked our seats and head rests; because the two never uttered a sound to comfort their distressed child. The flight attendants tried the full repertoire of coaxing and cookies with no success.  The baby full on screamed for all but twenty minutes of the flight.

Back on land, our magic bubble reappeared, and we floated with ease to pick up our rental car, then on to meet family, enjoying a short stop off at Barnes and Nobel where we sipped cups of tea and magazine reading before meeting up with family for a lovely father’s day luncheon.  

I hope I’ve paid my dues to the crying baby Gods for a while; we’ve had crying babies directly behind us on two of the last four flights we’ve taken.  Thankfully, on the way home, we got a reprieve.  Not a baby in sight.

After two days of visiting family, we dropped off our rental car and were on our own in Boston.  

The water taxi from the airport dropped us right beside our hotel.

I love starting a visit to a new city by taking a “hop on, hop off tour” bus or trolly tour.  We usually do it the very first day so we can just chill out, get the lay of the land and make notes of where we want to circle back to for further exploration.  

A little taste of Boston history. The city is filled with historical sites.

In Boston there is plenty to see and do, and most of it is in walking distance of a variety of good to great hotels.  More good news, there is next to no need for a car.  In fact, a car is a hinderance.  Traffic is horrendous, parking costs an arm and a leg, if you can find a parking space at all.  

After dropping off our rental car, we took the water taxi from the airport to our hotel and back again.  The rest of our visit, aside from the city hop on hop off bus tour, we made on foot.  

I know you want to know all about the food, and of course there are many amazing restaurants.  We ate at two:  Legal Sea Food, and The Union Oyster Bar.  Both were to die for.

Cioppino from Legal Seafood, Lobster Roll and Boston Cream Pie from The Union Oyster Bar

Deciding what to wear for the trip was a bit of a challenge.  Florida has been in full summer mode, (90 degrees and humid) for most of May.  The Eastern Seaboard, however has been unseasonably cool and rainy.  As always, before a trip, I begin checking the weather a week or so ahead.   We were supposed to see 80 degree temperatures and sun so naturally, my favorite blue and white sundress was first on my mind. 

I always take jeans and a sweater just in case it’s cooler than expected.   I wore the jeans and sweaters for two of the tree days. I love having a light jacket, and this mini trench was perfect. It took a basic look up a notch.

As the days drew closer, it began to become clear that it would be cool and rainy, making it challenging to do much in the way of fashion oriented photography.  

As the trip played out, by the time we got to Boston, we were tired!  Taking the bus tour was a great option because we got to see the city in a nutshell without a huge expenditure of energy.  I was hopeful we would hit our second day with sun and gusto.

After breakfast at the hotel, we struck out on foot to explore the Boston Commons, take a few photos and get a nice lunch before heading home later in the day. We are left with many happy memories, and a list of places we want to visit when we return. Boston is a beautiful city even on a cloudy day.

P.S.   I’d like personally invite you to join our community here at Sharing a Journey.  Grab my free beauty guide and receive weekly updates by clicking the image below or right here.  http://sharingajourney.com/land/ . If you enjoy a good chat, join me on Facebook Live, Tuesday nights at 7:00 Eastern. I share whatever is on my mind, and love seeing you there. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman on Pinterest, so if you love fashion, beauty, recipies and decor, be sure to follow along. I’m also on Instagram so if you want to get a behind the scenes glimpse of what goes on here at the casa, you will want to check that out as well. We all love hearing from you, so if you have a tip or comment, please be sure to share it. We all learn from each other.

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The post What to Do With 24 Hours In Boston appeared first on Sharing A Journey.

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By the time we’ve reached our middle years, we’ve had lots of life experiences, and, unless we’ve made a conscious effort release it, we’ve also accumulated a fair amount of baggage.  Well, friends, it’s time to release the baggage.

As  I move forward toward crafting my next chapter, I definitely want to start with a clean slate.  I’ve been clearing, cleaning and releasing for years it seems; I tend to let things build up, perhaps.  In any event, I know that if I don’t work through and clear out my baggage, there is a pretty good chance I will self-sabotage, or burn out before I see my vision through.  I’ve done it before, and unless I make changes, I know I’ll do it again.  

So today, we are going to tackle some of this baggage and see if we can clear it out.  

Many years ago now, I read a book by Naomi Judd. In it she suggested taking a life inventory, going back and looking at the good, bad and ugly.  This can be really scary for some people, but looking back is not really a problem for me, so I did the exercise.  I went back as far as I could remember, and thought about my successes, failures, joys and hurts.   I found a few interesting things.

  1. I wasn’t actually anywhere near as bad as I thought I had been.  I have certainly made mistakes, don’t get me wrong.  But many of the things I was embarrassed of and carried forward were non-events when looking at them through mature eyes.   It was just the people in my life made a huge deal of it.  Their judgements and beliefs caused me to think badly of myself rather than seeing things as they really were.
  2. Seeing things from the frame of adulthood casts a different light on the past.  With more experience, we may have cultivated more compassion, and thus are able to be kinder with ourselves and others.
  3. What ever happened, bad or good had happened, there was no going back, and while it may seem like yesterday, noticing how much time has actually passed and how much life has happened in these intervening years can sometimes make it easier to let go, or at least put it in it’s proper place.
  4. Often, after all the dust settles, and we are confronted with the question of forgiveness, the person we need to forgive is ourselves.  We may need to ask for forgiveness, and if we do,  do it from the heart, without the expectation, do it because it’s the right thing to do, not because you expect the person to accept it, because they may not.  It’s their choice, and it’s on them.
  5. There were lots of happy things that happened, and tons of blessings I rarely think about because I was too busy looking at what I considered my failings. If you are like this, it’s time to make a list of all the great things you’ve done and have a private, or public, celebration.  Make sure to spend more time focusing on happy moments.

One of the biggest struggles I’ve had is forgiveness, and when it comes down to it, after everything is peeled away, I realize the person I most need to forgive is myself. Granted, other people can do some pretty hideous things. One of the things I’ve discovered is that often the scrapes I’ve gotten into are because of mistakes I’ve made. After all the blame is peeled away, the common denominator is me.

So, anyway, let’s take a look under the hood, and see where you are. Grab a pencil and your journal and go through this little list. I promise it will be fun, and you may see a few things differently.

List your greatest accomplishments:

List your greatest joys:

List what you consider failures:

Can you recast any? Can you see opportunities you didn’t see at the time?  How would you do things differently?  What have you learned?

List your hurts:  Apply self care and soothing, love and compassion

Releasing:

Some of you may want to create a little ceremony to release past hurts and celebrate successes you may not have acknowledged before.  There are all kinds of beautiful ideas.  My friend Michelle loves to bathe in the sea, allowing the salt water to wash away the past.  We’ve placed biodegradable wreaths on the water with notes and sent them off, we’ve sent up paper balloons with notes to the Universe, and burned pages of hurts.  We’ve written letters to our younger selves telling them they were and are loved and will be kept safe.  We’ve asked for forgiveness, and forgiven ourselves.  We’ve buried past hurts in small coffin shaped cardboard boxes.

Once you have gone through your life list, it’s time to celebrate and release your baggage so together, we can make space the way for our plans and the miracles right around the corner.

P.S.   I’d like personally invite you to join our community here at Sharing a Journey.  Grab my free beauty guide and receive weekly updates by clicking the image below or right here.  http://sharingajourney.com/land/ . If you enjoy a good chat, join me on Facebook Live, Tuesday nights at 7:00 Eastern. I share whatever is on my mind, and love seeing you there. I’ve been pinning like a mad woman on Pinterest, so if you love fashion, beauty, recipies and decor, be sure to follow along. I’m also on Instagram so if you want to get a behind the scenes glimpse of what goes on here at the casa, you will want to check that out as well. We all love hearing from you, so if you have a tip or comment, please be sure to share it. We all learn from each other.

The post Six Weeks To Sixty: Time to Release The Baggage appeared first on Sharing A Journey.

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