I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the release of Disney’s new movie A Wrinkle In Time. This movie has been on my must see list since I first heard rumblings about it last year. I can count several reasons for this great anticipation including, but not limited to, the fact that the director Ava DuVernay is a genius. Reese Witherspoon who plays Mrs. Whatsit has long been hailed as my spirit animal, and if you have been following along with me you know how I love all things Oprah so her playing Mrs. Which meant I would be standing in line no matter how long it was on opening night to catch this film. Imagine my surprise when I was invited to attend an advanced screening. I may have done a little happy dance around my living room before quickly replying!
Before I dive in to the movie let me preface this by saying I often have very high hopes for things and am often a little disappointed when they don’t live up to my grandiose expectations. But one thing I remember Gayle King telling me about Oprah Winfrey is that she never disappoints! And while many people are to thank for bringing this Amazing Disney film to fruition and not just Mrs. O, I have to tell you that this film really delivers! It is everything I hoped it would be and more.
Back… to The Future
If you aren’t familiar with the Science Fantasy Novel by Madeleine L’Engle from your childhood, let me just run down the basics for you. The main heroine in the story is a troubled young teen girl named Meg (Storm Reid). Meg is not only going through a bit of the typical early teen awkward stage, she’s doing so with the weight of devastation following her scientist father- Mr. Murphy’s (Chris Pine) disappearance. The movie starts with the 4 Year Anniversary of Mr. Murphy’s disappearance into time and space, and gives us a glimpse into the family dynamic as they move forward with their lives but are still consumed with grief. Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) is her genius little brother who was adopted before Mr. Murphy’s disappearance. Because of Charles Wallace’s genius ability and his desire to help his sister heal, he teams up with three majestic beings: Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Khaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey). They all (including Calvin, Meg’s classmate and crush) set off on a transformative journey to find Mr. Murphy.
Here are 4 Themes I loved about A Wrinkle In Time
A strong female cast– As we move into Women’s History Month and with today being International Women’s History Day this movie could not have debuted at a better time. The cast was packed with a star-studded but more importantly uber-talented female cast. I saw this with my youngest daughter and my chest always swells a little when I watch films with strong positive female characters.
The connection with girls and math/science– During the day I work as a high school counselor, and getting girls connected with careers in math and science is seen as important work in my field. I love that we are seeing more and more films with a nod to this. Girls need to be able to see themselves in a variety of career fields especially non-traditional films. This film makes a career in quantum physics a possibility for all girls.
Don’t let your challenges Define You– I often talk about this topic when speaking to girls and women. Meg experienced a devastating loss and while most of us won’t lose a loved one to a wrinkle in time and space, we will all most likely experience challenges and some type of loss in life. I love that although Meg was going through her challenges she was still able to become a warrior. Sometimes we have to push past our fears and our thoughts of I can’t or I’m not ready, and do it while we’re afraid.
Light over darkness, and love over everything– Although the original book was written in the 60’s, this film’s message of light over dark and love over everything is so important in today’s times! We are living in a world right now where there is so much fear, discontent and disappointment, but we have to focus on the light and love to keep from being overcome by the darkness of it all. I believe that the love we have for each other will triumph over the divisiveness we are seeing today, and A Wrinkle In Time’s message of this theme was right on time!
The Wrap Up
As you can tell I loved the movie! The cinematography was spectacular. I was lucky enough to see it in IMAX but I believe that it would have the same effect on any screen. The colors, costumes and extraordinary backdrops were so vibrant and it reminded me of what those watching one of my other all time favorite films- The Wizard of Oz, must have felt like when it first premiered. Although, we have come a long way with cinematography and film through animation, I believe this movie will be as groundbreaking and timeless for many years to come. And Meg Murphy will be beloved just like the other young girl named Dorothy, who also took a transformative journey seeking to find something (or in this case someone) and ended up finding herself.
*While I do receive compensation for any items purchased through my amazon influencer page, the views and opinions expressed here are purely my own.
The other day a friend’s daughter posted on FB about wanting to find the best night cream. She’s a beautiful young lady in her twenties. I can’t even remember when I started thinking about face creams, but it was probably about…6 months ago. I certainly hadn’t given it much thought in my twenties. Having oily skin meant that wrinkles hadn’t been much of a concern, but I did recently start looking at the skin on my neck and thinking maybe I need to start showing it a little love.
Looking 15 at 50
When I reached out to said friend’s daughter to share a face cream that I had recently started using I let her know that it was good but VERY costly (I had received it as a gift). “I don’t care what it costs she said. I want to look 15 at 50.” Her enthusiasm for taking care of her skin and her proactive measures inspired me. I’m already pushing 50 (well I will be 45 this summer) so looking 15 isn’t going to happen to me because as usual, I was late to the good skin party (you can read my How To Get Good Skin post here where I talk about finally realizing I needed a routine) but… I was inspired to find a skin cream that didn’t cost a million dollars so that I would be more inclined to continue with it. Here are a few that I am trying right now. I actually started out with 6 but quickly marked three off the list.
Creams that made the cut and Oil Oil Baby
Sunday Riley Luna Sleep Oil(A+) appropriate for all skin types-If you would have told me I would ever put oil on my already oily skin I would have told you that there wasn’t a chance of me doing anything that silly, but here I am slathering oil onto my skin that I have a love-hate relationship with and you know what? I couldn’t be more pleased! These Sunday Riley Oils leave my skin feeling amazingly soft and I’ve noticed less oil throughout the day. I honestly don’t think my skin has looked better. Not sure how this works so well but it does have retinol oil to boost skin plumpness and reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
I also tried the U.F.O Oil for Acne prone skin and my blemishes cleared up almost overnight.
Tatcha Water Creme(B)I loved how this cream smells and how it felt on my skin. I do think that I noticed a difference while using it but I did get a few breakouts. I was also using the cleanser which I think may have irritated my skin a little. I am still using this on my neck and decolletage as I think it’s a light non-oily addition to my skincare routine. It starts out cream like and then melts like water. Magic!
Sunday Riley Good Genes (NR)-Okay, apparently this stuff has a cult following. Everyone I know says they love it. It’s a lactic acid treatment that works well for all skin types. It is said to clear skin and produce natural collagen. Not sure I have been using it long enough to see major results but I am hopeful. I have noticed some minor improvements while combining it with my other skin care products. I am going to stick with it and update my rating later.
Another cream that everyone keeps talking about but I have yet to try is the Award Winning Sukari Baby Facial By Drunk Elephant.
I was recently asked “What does it mean to be fierce at midlife?”by my new friend Catherine Graceo who founded the Forever Fierce Movement for women in midlife. I loved being challenged to answer this question because I’ve always believed that fierce is a state of mind but the forever part has certainly been a thought more at the forefront of my mind as I settle into my forties. I was always one of those young people who couldn’t wait to hit the next milestone. I was 12 longing to be 16, 16 waiting to enter adulthood at 18, 18 dreaming of being legal at 21, but 40… well that was my favorite! I know that sounds odd but I saw 40 as being fabuous long before it was coined as such.
Fabulous and Free
To me 40 meant you were confident and free from some of the challenges of youth. 40 was grown…It meant you’d made it! Forty equaled success in my mind.The funny thing was I never thought of anything past that. It was a milestone but also a stopping point. Once I was 40 I would have achieved something, but then what? Surely I didn’t think that was it? If 40 was midlife what was I going to do with my next 40 years? I hadn’t given much thought to that..
Forty is the New… Forty
Now, as I settle into my mid-forties one thing I can say is I am finally able to embrace where I am. I am not looking to the next birthday to define me. Now my focus is on growing and learning without an end in mind. So for me being Fierce now means embracing where I am! It means experiencing joy in the present while always being open to learning, growing and expanding. Being forever fierce means not reaching a certain milestone or stopping point for me but rather knowing that there is no stopping me!
I’d love to hear what Fierce means to you no matter where you are in your journey! Let me know in the comment section below.
A new year means transformation and new beginnings. If you’re like me, you might be hoping to transform or tweak your fashion style a bit this year. Taking on a new fashion persona can be difficult if you want to avoid spending a ton of money on a new wardrobe. And sometimes when you’re testing out a new style you only like it for a season or so, so it’s best to minimize cost and effort until you’re sure it will stick. The trick is to incorporate a few key clothing pieces that can be mixed into your wardrobe, and then add accessories to complement your new look. Here are 7 of the most common style archetypes and how to incorporate them into your wardrobe. Use these key pieces as a guide or do a pinterest search and come up with your own, then fill in your style with the accessories.
Choosing Your Style Type
Classic– Classic style is usually the easiest to incorporate into your wardrobe, very chic, and timeless. The key pieces for a classic wardrobe are a high-quality white blouse or button down, a trench coat, and a simple sheath or pencil skirt. Accessories include a pair of simple pumps in black and nude, a structured bag, ballet flats, stud earrings, and scarves.
Glamorous– Glamorous style is fun, feminine, and eye-catching. Many celebrities have glamorous style. The key pieces are a statement coat (something bold like faux fur or animal print), a jumpsuit, a fitted dress that shows off your curves, and a pair of faux leather leggings. You can never have too many accessories with glam style. Incorporate heels (bonus points for fun colors, prints, embellishments, or extra height), statement jewelry, hats, scarves, eye-catching clutches, oversized or cat eye sunglasses, and a red lip.
Romantic– Romantic style is feminine and flowing. The key pieces are a silky blouse, a lace-trimmed camisole, an A-line skirt, and a floral dress. Accessories include heels, delicate necklaces, pearl earrings, statement earrings, and anything with a floral motif or a pastel hue.
Edgy– Edgy style is fun, often rock-inspired, and especially effortless and cool when mixed with another one of the style archetypes. Key pieces include a leather jacket, black jeans or faux leather leggings, distressed jeans, and t-shirts. Accessories include black boots or booties, oversized sunglasses, and chunky or studded jewelry.
Sporty– Sporty style is perfect for the woman who loves a good workout and is always coming from or going to a fitness class, and thankfully the athleisure trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Key pieces include a pair of high-quality leggings that go from class to errands, a lightweight jacket, a fitted sweatshirt, and jogger pants. Accessories include baseball caps, low sneakers in neutral colors like black, gray, and white that can go with everything, simple crossbody and tote bags, and aviator sunglasses.
Minimal– Minimal style is sleek, simple, neutral, and chic. Key pieces include an oversized coat, cropped trousers, sweaters (or blouses or t-shirts depending on the season) in neutral colors, and a midi length knit dress. Accessories include simple or dainty jewelry, loafers, simple neutral sandals, leather bags, and wayfarer or round sunglasses.
Bohemian– Bohemian style is feminine, flowing, creative, and perfect for those who love to mix patterns and textures. Key pieces include a kimono, a maxi dress or skirt, and a peasant blouse. Accessories include chunky belts and jewelry, sandals, booties, bags with fringe, scarves, hats, and round sunglasses.
If you know your style archetype and have it covered but want to try something a little different this year, an easy way to do this is to incorporate pieces from your sister style. Here’s a list of sister styles for each style archetype. Classic style blends beautifully with minimal style and maintains the same effortless chic factor. Edgy pairs well with everything, but especially glam style and sporty style. Romantic and bohemian style both exude femininity and flowing lines so they pair well together, but romantic style is also really easy to infuse with classic style.
Sisters From Another Mister…
*Classic & Minimal
*Glamorous & Edgy
*Bohemian & Romantic
*Sporty & Edgy
*Romantic & Classic
How are you planning to update your fashion style this year?
If you’re anything like me you have tons of fitness goals for the new year. The time off during the holidays paired with our New Year resolutions lead to a renewed sense of structure and the desire to add fitness to our To-Do Lists. Unfortunately, desire doesn’t always equal doing when the year starts rolling. Once the holidays are over things start to pick up again. You’ve got those To-Do Lists checked and your planner usage is in full swing, but you realize that your calendar is also starting to fill up and all of those fitness plans are getting placed a little lower on the priority list. It would be easy for me to say that you’ve got to make time and that your health is important but you already know that, so here’s some real talk about how to squeeze it in.
The Big Squeeze
Here are 5 things I’ve done to squeeze in my workouts while being a busy person on the go.
Schedule workouts early in the morning or right after you get off-When my schedule is full it works best for me to do my workouts first thing in the morning or at the end of my workday. Making a 7:15PM class is very unlikely once I finally kick off my heels and put my feet up. So making sure I attach it to my workday has worked for me. It’s thirty minutes that I pencil in my schedule as a before or after work activity. This makes it more of a must do for me.
Add quick 60 second workouts you can do at home everyday like squats while brushing my teeth or twice a day planks. These are things I swear by. I have a friend who while traveling had an alarm go off at a random time. “It’s my reminder to do pushups.” she said. Genius… set an alarm for planks, pushups or squats and take 60 second breaks to get those in. Offices, hotel rooms, and home sweet home-this works!
Wear a fitness tracker and get those steps in at work, while walking the dog and walking with your kids. Better than an accountability partner, find someone to compete with. I have a friend who I check steps with. We check in with each other to see if we both hit our goal for the day. Knowing that she would text me to see how many steps i’d taken made me add walks around the office building, flights of stair and laps around the neighborhood. Knowing that she would also report how many steps she’d racked up helped me kick it up a notch too. Friendly competition can be a good thing.
Tie workouts to a guilty pleasure– I love to read but I am one of those people who also doesn’t mind walking on the treadmill and reading. This helps me kill two birds with one stone. I get my reading in and my steps. Ive also been known to catch up on Netlfix shows that are not so family friendly (or boring to everyone else in my family) while walking on the treadmill. This keeps me up to date on the things I like to bingewatch and cuts down on the mortified looks or eyeball rolls during my favorite shows.
Make it fun-You name it I’ve tried it. I love workouts that are fun! Off beat Zumba, awkward boxing, silly hoola hooping…It doesn’t have to be hard to see results. Just move and you get bonus points if you do something that makes you laugh hysterically while doing it.
I’d love to hear what you do to ensure you keep up with your workouts when life gets hectic too!
Now that the Christmas season is over, stores are already filling their shelves with pink gifts, chocolates, and hearts. Valentines day is right around the corner which gets many of us thinking about our relationships. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to continue to foster a strong marriage, and I know some of my friends are resolving to practice healthy and positive dating habits this year. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on dating or marriage, but I was among the first of my friends to tie the knot and a few of them asked me 1. How I knew he was “the one”, and 2. How I got my proposal (i.e. did it happen naturally? Did I give him an ultimatum? etc). Based on my own experience and observations of both friends and family, here are 5 tips I think any woman can use when searching for love or deciding if their partner is “the one”:
Focus primarily on yourself, not looking for someone to complete you
The Real Chic life has a great chapter in her book about this, and in my experience love often finds us when we’re not looking for it. Focus on being the best version of yourself- pursue your career, take up hobbies, travel, spend time with friends and family. The more well-rounded you are and content with your life outside of your romantic relationships, the more attractive you will be to a potential partner. Many women make the mistake of settling for a partner who doesn’t treat them with as much respect as they deserve, because they would rather be in a relationship, even an unhappy one, than start over alone. This way of thinking is so detrimental to your well being. The more you focus on you, the more confident you will be. You don’t need a partner to complete you, you’re already a complete person.
But be open to new possibilities when they arise
Even though you should focus primarily on yourself, if you’re open to a relationship then also be open to new possibilities when they arise, and try not to bring your baggage from previous situations with you. Your partner will want someone who’s happy and engaged in the relationship, not weighed down by constant insecurity, bitterness, or jealousy. Putting yourself out there and risking disappointment is just part of the human experience. If a relationship doesn’t work out, trust me there will be another one.
Find a middle man
Before I met my husband I dated a string of guys who for the most part weren’t worth my time. They primarily fell into two categories- men who weren’t interested enough and men who were too interested. The men who weren’t interested enough either had trouble committing to a relationship, or committing to being an equal and supportive partner once we were in a relationship. Unfortunately this type of man can be very attractive, I know many who have fallen prey and continue to feed off of the drama this type of relationship brings for years. In Sex and the City we saw Carrie Bradshaw go back and forth in this type of relationship with Mr. Big. Everything works out (almost) perfectly in the films with Mr. Big, but in real life it almost never does. Instead women are left feeling heartbroken and like they wasted their valuable time when the man finally moves on and stops stringing them along. Just say no to this situation, you deserve much better.
The men who were too interested were needy, and sometimes insecure and jealous. This is not the type of relationship that will bring you happiness either, that person has his own issues to work on.
With my husband things were very different. He was always happy to talk or spend time with me, reliable about making plans, and clear about his intentions. But he wasn’t needy, he had his own life going on and would have been ok if things didn’t work out. I believe things did work out because I took a chance on my middle man, instead of falling back into old habits with men from the other two categories.
Run, don’t walk when you see red flags
This one is probably the most important general rule when searching for the one. When you’re getting to know a new person most of the time they reveal themselves to you (their personality, habits, and history) in layers. If they do or say something early on that doesn’t sit right with you, abort mission. This can range from signs that they might not be interested in committing or being monogamous (when you are) to signs of emotional instability. Or it could be as simple as a lack of compatibility. If you ignore red flags and keep going with the relationship, it can get harder and harder to extricate yourself from the situation as you become more attached to the person or to being in a relationship in general. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket and move on as early as you can when you notice red flags.
Don’t date for more than five years (and have a marriage mindset)
I don’t believe in soulmates, but I do believe that two compatible people can build a loving and fulfilling life together if they choose to commit long-term. And if marriage is something you’d like to choose for yourself, you need to stand up for the fact that you want and deserve it. If a man truly values what you have together enough to not want to lose it, then he should be willing to make the ultimate commitment if that’s what you want.
For some people this happens very naturally and their partner proposes earlier than expected. That’s a very romantic outcome, but it doesn’t happen that way for everyone because women tend to want to head down the aisle sooner than men do. The latter was the case for me, and I didn’t give my husband an ultimatum but I made it VERY clear that I expected a proposal after we had been dating for about three years. I wasn’t shy about what I wanted, I was firm. And he valued our relationship enough to get down on one knee. Things are different when you’re young (I’m not advising any young people to rush out and marry their high school or college sweetheart today) but when you’re both living in the adult world it shouldn’t take a decade for your partner to decide if marriage is the next step for the two of you. That is usually a sign of a lack of compatibility or other problems. I’ve heard stories of women who dated men for ten years or more and then found out he got engaged to the next girlfriend after only a short period of time. I believe five years is the max you should let your relationship linger in one state if you’re serious about wanting to be married, but set your own cap, have a marriage mindset, and then stand up for what you want. If he’s “the one” he’ll develop a marriage mindset too.
Those are my tips. What are your tips for finding Mr. right and heading down the aisle?
Like many of you I dive head first into a New Year. There’s just something about goal setting, organizing my thoughts, dreams, and future plans that really gets me going. An excuse to make a list? Yes, please! A reason to reflect on all of things I am grateful for… Oh, yeah! Out with the old and in with the new? Let it goooo..in my Elsa voice.
Many of you that have followed along on IG have sent such sweet messages congratulating me on a wonderful year. What a lot of people don’t know or maybe don’t want to focus on (including maybe me some days) is that 2017 started off really rough for me. In fact it was the worst-best year of my life. 2017 was like a really wealthy but mean boyfriend. It brought me lots of good things but it totally broke my heart. My dad passed away early last year and my dad was my person. Although that was devastating (and still is) I learned a few things about my tribe. I learned that people will drive hours to hug your neck in an ICU waiting room, others will fly across the country to be by your side at a funeral, and there are those who will wipe your eyes and braid your hair until you can do that for yourself again.
But Still I Rise
After my dad died I was sure nothing would be as a good as it was before, but then as if my dad was orchestrating this whole thing from above, my life began to soar. I guess I kind of felt like I had lost so much already that I might as well stop playing small. I stopped being so guarded and put myself out there more because quite frankly nothing would hurt like that loss hurt, so I rolled the life dice and things started looking all 7 and 11 left and right.
Here are some amazing things that I did in 2017:
The Highlight Reel
I became an O Mag Insider-a select group of influencers that work with O The Oprah Magazine. (Who me? Yup!)
I went on an Oprah Adventure of Your Life Cruise with Holland America Line (My Year of Go!)
I saw a glacier, hiked a rainforest and saw amazing wildlife (Bucket list checked)
I was in the Love That Chico’s fashion show with O Mag’s creative director and 10 other O-Mazing women on said cruise (which was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time).
I kayaked a wild wild river and took those rapids like a boss (really I just managed not to flip by boat while paddling for my life)
I was featured in a major jewelry line ad with PANDORA Jewelry-which was the inside cover of O Mags Favorite Things issue (Crazy right?)
I went to Oprah’s Favorite Things Show and did a shot with Oprah (even crazier)
And to top that off I flew to LA the very next day to shoot a NYDJ ad with 9 other inspiring women (Still pinching myself)
A Brand New You and Me
At some point I thought this is my moment but you know what, I don’t want it to be a moment. I want it to be my life so I am saying to the Universe this is a New Year in my New Life. I want to inspire as many women as possible to pick up the broken pieces of their hearts or dust off the dreams they’ve shelved and roll those life dice like you’ve got nothing to lose.
Okay, Maybe not New but Better
We are going to start a New You series here on The Real Chic Life where we will talk about relationships, being bold, aging, goal setting and dream making. Courtney’s going to stop dropping in as a guest and join us more permanently on our chic best life quest. We will pretty much still share the kind of thing we’ve already been doing but we are going to do it with Intention. So, If you’ve been waiting on permission to be your best you, here it is. Let’s do this ladies! And speaking of resolving to do things better, here are my top 5 for anyone looking to improve the quality of her life whether you’re a millennial like Courtney or 40+ perennial like me.
Try Something New– My husband said to me the other day, “I love how you are always trying new things.” “Really?” I said, “Like what?” He rattled off a pretty extensive list and I said “yeah ok, but doesn’t everyone do that?” “No”, he said “most people don’t take a chance and put themselves out there like you do.” I am not sure how true that is but I think trying new things is the key to figuring out exactly who you are and what you want out of life. If you’ve been thinking about trying something new stop thinking and just do it. Thank me later.
Make Something Better– Some people think they can’t do something that has already been done because they won’t do it well or others will think they are copying them. So not true. No one knows who the first person to do anything really was but the reality is you don’t do it to be the first, you do it to be your best. You don’t have to be a pioneer to be passionate about something or leave something a little better than you found it. Whether that’s art, philanthropy or simply your job well done. Strive to make something a little better.
Read for Pleasure and Purpose– A lot of my friends separate themselves into two categories: fiction or non fiction readers. “I like to read for pleasure” some say or “I like to learn about something new” others say. I say do both. Indulge your creative and rational side. I try to read for both pleasure and purpose and I think it keeps me well rounded.
Eat Mostly Plants– I am a vegetarian who has just gone vegan for the 100th time but what I really believe the simplest way to eat isn’t to focus on labels. Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Glutton Free…and I just heard Dr. Oz say Pegan?? Oh boy… Just eat mostly plants! You’re welcome.
Tell Someone You Love Them– If I learned anything in 2017 it’s that we don’t get a do over. You only get this one life to live and love and though I know it sounds corny, telling someone you love them is high on my daily to-do list. I have plenty of regrets just like anyone else who experiences a loss, but not feeling or giving love isn’t one of them. You’ll sleep better at night. I promise!
The other day while looking for a Christmas present for my mother I found a little secret of my own. Let me preface this with a little back story. My mother is obsessed with pajamas. I couldn’t even tell you the number of cute PJ sets, kimonos, robes, slippers, and eye masks she owns. She’s a pretty fabulous lady who always believes in looking her best even if no one (or only one other person) is there to witness the fabulosity. Apparently her mother gave her a lovely PJ set for her birthday every year when she was a young woman and she has just been a PJ person ever since. It makes it easy to shop for her, but somehow the PJ gene skipped me.
Not a shlumpadinka
Now as you know I also believe in always looking your best and I don’t walk around like a shlumpadinka (Oprah vocab for frump) but I am just not quite as coordinated or fabulous. Part of the reason for this might just be because of the secret I am about to reveal. I’ve been shopping in the same lingerie store ironically named after a woman who also has a secret. I’ve been a loyal connoisseur there for more than twenty years but I must say that I am growing weary of the impractical sleepwear, the college themed PJ’s with words on the rear, the giggling young girls and the tutti fruity lip balms.
Is 40 the New 30?
When I walked into Soma and let me say… I know lots of my friends (particularly those just a tad older) already shop there but I also know there are lots of perennials just like me who haven’t yet made the switch and I am here to tell you it’s fabulous! I walked into the boutique like store and I was so pleased at how pretty and well displayed everything was. The salesperson was so helpful and there wasn’t a teen in sight. The lingerie, pajamas and robes were cute, sexy yet tasteful and high quality. Perfect for the 40+ is the new 30 club just like me.
It really made me think about beauty and age and how a lot of stores are missing the mark when it comes to my generation. Most of us don’t want to dress like our daughters but we also aren’t the 40 year old moms from our grandmothers generation either. I’m glad that some stores like Soma are starting to realize this. Even though I’m late to the pajama party I thought I share my newfound secret. As we move into 2018 I’d like to talk more about age, beauty and confidence because it’s a topic I feel pretty strongly about. I’ll share more exciting news surrounding that topic soon. And don’t fret my younger readers, there will be good stuff for you here too. My daughter is going to talk more millennial beauty, fashion and life advice for you! Check out some of her previous posts on the The Real Chic Life here and here.
In the meantime I’d love to hear your thoughts on beauty and age.
I want to share something about how lucky you are to be a young, shiny new penny in a world with so much to offer but I can’t, because I don’t believe in luck. Apparently I’m in good company because even Oprah Winfrey and I have that in common. Well we probably also both love Oprah like Kanye loves Kanye, but what’s important for this letter is that neither of us believes in luck. Oprah says that luck is simply preparation meeting opportunity. While that might be true I don’t believe in luck because I am just not a lucky person. It’s easy to not believe in something you don’t benefit from. Would you have believed in Santa if your stocking was always empty or the tooth fairy if you never found anything under you pillow?
Maybe you have that golden touch and you’re always winning. I am not one of those people. I am not lucky at all. If 4 names are put in a hat and they pick three out, mine will be the lone name in the hat. Luckily for me, since I don’t believe in luck I am okay with chilling in the hat after all the other names have been plucked up because I have a better method to success. I simply believe in doing the next right thing. Oprah agrees with this too. I have heard her speak on the topic in many of her speeches that now live on youtube. Doing the next right thing means leaning into that thing that feels right. I believe in that. I also believe in destiny and I believe if you believe in yourself even if nobody else does and just do the next right thing you will get there.
Maybe just maybe you are one of those people who knows exactly what you want to do and you will just do it. My husband is one of those people. He was a teacher, then an assistant principal, then a principal and then an assistant superintendent and now he’s a superintendent. Pretty straight and narrow right? He knew exactly what he wanted to do. But maybe you will be like me and it will take you a little longer to figure it all out. The good news is either way you just do the next right thing.
Follow your heart
I knew very early on that I wanted to be a counselor. Back when I was in high school I knew I wanted to help people with their problems but I let people talk me out of it and I wasn’t sure what the next right thing was. So I made other choices and did other things even though they didn’t feel quite right until I realized that I wasn’t where I needed to be.
I woke up one day and I was thirty! More than a whole decade had gone by. I was a divorcee, a single mom and career wise I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I had a fine job but I didn’t feel fulfilled. So then I did the next right thing and I went back to school to get my masters degree, and I became a school counselor and started helping people and I loved it, but I wanted to help even more people! Then people said “You should write a book about how you did so well for yourself as a single mom after your divorce, so that you can help other single moms” and I did, and then I liked hearing from people who read the book and said it helped them and I wanted to do more so I started this blog and I helped more people (or so they said) and then I started an Instagram account because someone told me you could reach more people that way and I did.. and then one day I was reading a magazine. My favorite magazine to be exact- Oprah magazine, and it said that they were looking for people who wanted to reach and help people and have their voice heard by lots of people and I said that sounds amazing!
So I applied and guess what, I was selected and then crazy things started to happen. I went on an Oprah Cruise and heard from so many amazing and inspiring people including Oprah herself. I was in a fashion show on the cruise and then I began working with major clothing and jewelry brands to show women how they can look and feel good because most of us aren’t supermodels and it helps women to see themselves through the lens of regular woman. Who would have ever thought I’d be involved in something as inspiring as that? And every day something new and amazing comes my way. I still don’t know exactly what my destiny is but I can tell you that if I can start achieving my dreams in my 40’s, you can start to seize yours right now. Just do one right thing each day and I promise you, your life will start to unfold.
You’ll Get There
So while life is unfolding here are some things I want you to keep in mind.
You will fail- but only at the things that aren’t the right thing-I considered law school once and failed miserably at the LSAT. I didn’t even prep for it. I thought that I had a rational mind. That was certainly not the next right thing but it gave me an opportunity to reexamine what I thought I wanted and do the next right thing.
You can be different and still succeed– I’m not doing what other instagram models are doing. There a plenty of young ladies (and men) on IG posting pics that they wouldn’t want their parents to see. But they are doing that because they think it will make them popular and successful and the reality is if you do the right thing you can achieve that success and still keep your integrity about you.
Always present your best self to the world-If you go to an event, a job interview or a nice dinner with your friends always dress nicely. Even if no one else does. You know never know when someone who is in the position to help you achieve your dreams will notice you. Dressing nicely does not mean designer clothes. It means appropriate for the occasion, clean, wrinkle free and tasteful. It means wearing the right things.
Listen to advice… but sift it. Have you ever played with a sifter in the sand? Even if you haven’t you have seen it happen right. You dump a bunch of sand and stuff in and the sand sifts out and you’re left with a few beautiful shells. That’s what I want you to do with the advice that you are given. Look through that sifter for the next right thing and let what isn’t right sift right on through. You will know what you’re looking for.
I also hope that something I said in this post remains once all the sand falls away, and if nothing else is left behind do the next right thing! I know and I want you to know that if you simply do that you will be on the right path to your destiny.
If you’re like me your calendar is probably starting to fill up with all of the holiday party invites. Between office parties, friends’ birthday parties (those December babies love to celebrate and I can’t say I blame them) and neighborhood get-togethers, my social calendar in December looks like that of a B-list celebrity.
Now I realize that list making and gift giving reign supreme for this month. The two questions “What should I gift and what’s my best dish?” occupy our party going thoughts during this time of year but that What to Wear is a close third.
Cheers to the Holiday Capsule
If you have been following along with my wardrobe posts you know I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe and I believe that a holiday capsule is a great idea too. There are a few pieces to always have on hand so you aren’t running out looking for that perfect party outfit when you could be baking or wrapping or the hundred of other things that you’d rather be doing during the holidays.
Let’s Make it Simple
The List (you know how much I love lists) of just a few simple wardrobe staples that every Holiday Capsule needs and the good news is you probably already have most of the items.
A white button down
The LBD (which can also be a Little- insert festive holiday color instead of black dress)
With just 9 wardrobe items (that you probably already have) you can create several holiday looks
For the office Party
Button down, skirt, boots or pumps, and a blazer
Sweater, skirt and pumps or boots
For the holiday themed dinner party
LBD and pumps
LBD and blazer with boots
If your location is more casual
White button down, Jeans, boots and blazer
For the neighborhood get together
Jeans, sweater and boots or pumps
or any of the above if it’s a dressier affair
Here are a couple of chic holiday picks
The Festive Sweater-This sequined NYDJ sweater gives just enough shine to dress up your favorite pair of jeans
The LBD or in this case- Little Burgundy Dress from White House Black Market is simple and festive- just right for Office Parties
The White Shirt is the Perfect Capsule Wardrobe Item-It is so versatile and can be dressed up or down. If you don’t have one of these please do yourself a favor and add this NYDJ Button Bell Sleeve Shirt to your wardrobe stat! You’ll thank me later.
There you have it several great looks that you can actually wear all winter! Just throw on a little bling (check out my PANDORA Jewelry Post if you need to be inspired) and you’ve upped the holiday ante. I’d love to hear about your favorite Holiday Party Look. Let me know in the comments below!
Until Next Post,
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