Breaking Leopard Print Rules

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” ~ Katherine Hepburn

The dreaded day after Labor Day and the decision on whether or not to break the fashion rules.

I really thought about it, but I didn’t feel white today. Instead, I threw on this beautiful abstract silk v-neck wrap top by Tanya Taylor and paired it with dark indigo jeans by Laurie Felt.

I experimented with mixed prints by pairing this outfit with one of my all-time favorite bags ~ a part leopard hide with blue saddle leather clutch by Diane Von Furstenberg. I adore the mixed media and unexpected color with the leopard print.

I’m not a conformist to the rules, but I plan to shake things up with leopard print this Fall. There was a time when one wouldn’t dare wear more than one leopard print at the same time. If I ever spotted (ha ha) someone wearing a leopard print dress along with accessories at the same time, we’ll let’s just say ‘bless her heart’!

These leopard print pants from Chico’s Travelers’ line are the most comfortable pants I’ve worn in a long time. No iron, no fuss! Paired with a beautiful red Christian Sirano summer top, but I’ll also grab a red turtleneck or long sleeve t shirt too. They’ll look great with just about anything since animal print is a fashion neutral.

This year, I suspect someone may be saying that about me. I found inspiration in the August and September fashion magazine issues. For example, Elle gave a lesson on how to incorporate leopard into your wardrobe, no matter your experience level (see here ).

I plan to treat leopard print as the new neutral, add unexpected color, mix leopard patterns, and even mix animal prints. You’ll find me sporting Sweaters, coats, pants, skirts and dresses, along with super fun accessories, including shoes.

Living by Your Guiding Principles

Happy Monday Loves!

Maya Angelou said it best. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I’m feeling good about this blue and white striped elongated tunic by Tome. Made of 100% cotton and styled with a handkerchief hem, it’s a comfortable wear that put a smile on my face. With or without my jeans leggings, it’s another hit from Rent The Runway.

As the nation prepares to pay respects to two beloved treasures (Aretha Franklin and Senator John McCain), I am inspired by their guiding life principles of how they lived their lives and how they made people feel. One with the soul to inspire the femisist and civil rights movement. One with the soul to inspire patriotism and decency.

A new week is a renewed opportunity to center in on your guiding principles to ensure your legacy. Make it a good week!

Transitional Style with Fashion Show Inspiration

“When shifts and transitions in life shake you to the core, see that as a sign of greatness that’s about to occur.”

Facing the pending shift in seasons, I’m looking at some of my cherished summer pieces that would work into Fall looks.

So, these sateen ikat bright and colorful print crop pants from Chicos were one of my favorite pants this summer. They’re soft, comfortable, cute and versatile. I wore them with ivory, orange, blue and denim tops. The thought of putting them aside until next spring makes me sad, so I searched my closet to see what I could do to help them hang around a little longer.

Then, I remembered a look that captivated me back in February. I participated in the annual Off The Field Players’ Wives Association Annual Fashion Show that was held at the Galleria in Edina, Minnesota the Friday before the big Super Bowl 52 Football Game. (I’ll show you my look on another post). Our outfits were well appointed by Minneapolis’ style guru Grant Whittaker, who showcased merchandise from the local merchants.  They were fun, authentic and fabulous.

One of the models had on a casual ensemble that really spoke to me. Grant adorned her in blue and ivory paisley print pants, orange pullover top and tan jacket. He paired the outfit with an oversized colorful print bag and nude sandals. With all the hob knobbing going on that day, I made the cardinal error by not asking where the outfit could be purchased. I thought, oh that should be simple enough to put together.

Already equipped with the tan jacket and pullover orange top, I searched hi and low for blue and ivory paisley print pants (or something in the ballpark) to no avail. I ran across these crops from Chicos, and while not quite what I was looking for, they can certainly bring together a similar look.

So, my takeaways are to look around to get inspiration from the fashion pros. They know what they’re doing and they’re giving us the ‘blueprint’ to recreate it ourselves.

. . . . . and, here’s my Fall transitional look utilizing my fave pants. What do you think?

Transitioning into Fall 2018

Happy Monday!

Here’s a few looks of one of my favorite transitional pieces that happens to be a classic and universally flattering: the belted shirtdress.

It’s another a Badgley Mischka with a fluttering handkerchief hemline that updates this vintage silhouette. I love the strong crimson red. It also comes in army green. Either color is perfect to carry into the Autumn months and the 100% cotton fabrication provides comfort while it’s still warm outside. You can find it at Rent the Runway

I like to mix it up a bit by substituting the cloth belt with a leather one or even a long rectangular scarf. Also, if a cool day sneaks in there, add leggings, jeans or boots to your look.

Here’s additional shirtdresses I’ve been eyeing for the Early Fall 2018.

This black floral comfortable number by Leota is made in a Jersey (Polyester and Spandex mix).


This black beauty is offered by Tome in a unique print.







For the dressier events, chose this black tie option from Eloquii.


So, look to quintessential shirt dresses as you plan your Fall 2018 wardrobe.

Wine and Girlfriends


“Wine . . . because no great story started with someone eating a salad.”

So Uncork and Unwind at a great winery . . . What better way to celebrate a fabulous friend’s birthday!


What better dress than this sweet floral garden navy print in silk chiffon by Tanya Taylor. Love the v-neck and faux wrap comfort. This neon lime crossbody by Anya Hindmarch was perfect for two-fisted fun!


Here’s my dear friend Lisa with the pinot grigio and me with the dry rosé.

Chaddsford is a fine local winery located about 30 miles south of Philadelphia that hosts fun events during the summer, including this weekend’s Summer Food Truck Throwdown Festival.

This is our second year celebrating Lisa’s Birthday there because, you guessed it, we love a great glass of wine. The cool vibes, relaxed setting and friendly folks brought us back again.

We hung out under a red umbrella on the brick patio overlooking the grounds where patrons roamed the food trucks indulging in delicious edibles.

Noticeably were groups of Girlfriends out and about. It’s a great place to unwind, escape and reconnect. Lisa and I took the opportunity to share and support one another as bloggers (Follow Lisa’s blog here).

After a few hours, the heat and humidity finally did us in, so we moved on to the cool climate of the Brandywine River Museum down the road for Gift Shop shopping.

So, what is it about a glass of wine spent with a friend that brings so much comfort?

I’d love to hear your thoughts


Happy Birthday Lisa!

Curvy Girl Wedding Looks

Annnnnd just like that it’s Monday!

The last few days have been filled with reunions, football, weddings and food surrounded by amazing friends.

My wedding guest look is brought to you by Theia and rented through Rent The Runway. This midnight navy dress with flounce sleeves and bare shoulders made a definitive statement and was perfect for dancing the night away at a reception filled with love and joy. I paired the navy dress with a pop of orange with a minaudiere by Inge Christopher and earrings by Alexis Bittar.

This look was also perfect for a stormy Saturday evening.

So, here’s a few wedding guest looks I love for us curvy girls. They’re all red, my favorite fall color, and great for making a statement and dancing all night long. My go to is Rent The Runway for these fabulous designer styles.

Summer’s Last Stand

They say that August is summer’s last stand, but I choose to enjoy every bit of the season. What I know for sure is that August is a day in the sun.

Sundresses are my go to. This pinstripe ruffle shoulder dress by Eloquii gave me life this summer in the sun. It’s made with a printed blue zig zag cotton weave material and very comfortable to wear.

Speaking of the sun, August is Summer Sun Safety Month 🌞 I know you know the importance of being sun safe. I urge you to continue to think about protecting yourself from this season’s harmful rays. Now is not the time to slack off.

I still remember the awful pain of overexposure to Atlantic City’s (pre-casino days) sun in the 1960s. I was about 8 and I played on the beach all day. Mom protected me with sunblock but who knew you had to reapply and reapply and reapply? Being rushed to the hospital, the burning hurt, and vomiting was not a way to remember a family vacation.

Thankfully, there’s plenty of awareness on the importance of using sun protection. To my melanin sisters, don’t listen to the nonsense about not needing to indulge.

According to the CDC, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your sun in as little as 15 minutes. Follow their guidelines here for how to protect you and your family.

We all need protection. So, don’t slack off in these dog days of summer.

Pampering Mom

At the end of some days, you just know that it will be enshrined in your heart forever and Saturday was one of those days for me.

I’m glad I was wearing this unforgettable black jersey knit shoulder-baring top by with cascading ruffles and bell sleeves by Rachel Roy. I chose to wear it loose over one of my favorites, a pair of the popular Kady Fit yellow pants by Eloquii. The Striped Irene Tote by CleoBella with leather construction and colorful tassels highlight this bag which is perfect for day with Mom.

When Mom turned 84 this week, I knew it was the perfect time to get her in a spa chair for an invigorating facial treatment. Mom’s a creature of habit and it’s hard to break 84 years of putting oneself last. For as long as I can remember, Mom got great joy of seeing others happy.


She’s a woman of faith, class, dignity and integrity. She raised 2 of us, but had to pick up the pieces solo when my Dad passed away unexpectedly. My younger brother was just 15. She dedicated most of my youth to being a mentor in the community to many who needed extra love due to a missing parent. Everyone called her “Aunt” and we had that house where everyone wanted to hang out. Of my real cousins, you guessed it, she’s the favorite Auntie.

She’s my muse. My Real Style Icon. When my grandmother treated me like a Princess, Mom went along with it. She had such an influence on me, that yes, I eventually became my mother. Well, not quite, but you know what I mean. I sound like her, etc.

Anyway, I could never seem to get Mom to totally embrace self-love. Mom, let’s take a vacation. Mom, let’s go to the movies. Mom, let’s go to the game. All of these things she loved, but she always said no. Sure, age has caught up to her, but she’s as spry as they come. So, when she turned 84 this past week, we did our usual out to lunch to get fried shrimp. She was elated. You see, I am banned from anymore surprise birthday parties for her (which she thoroughly enjoyed and still talks about them to this day).




So, with the help of my dear friends at the Clarins Spa in King of Prussia, PA we plotted to get Mom in the store for an afternoon of pampering. SHE LOVED IT! A relaxing facial, hand treatment, other beauty services and a makeover. Did I say SHE LOVED IT? The Clarins Pros were awesome. So, if you’re in our area, may I suggest you head over if you need self-love or if you want to make someone feel special. Ask for Shanna, the Store Manager. Clarins has spas throughout the world, but the only location in the United States is in King of Prussia.


We topped off the afternoon with a surprise lunch with friends and more fried shrimp.

It was a Great Day!

Revealing My Guilty Pleasure

So, I’m sharing a guilty pleasure today and I wonder if I’m alone.

But first, I’m looking for the sun to start the week and I wanna know why is it the end of July already?

I’m sporting a bright yellow top and necklace from Talbots that I grabbed during their end of season sale (up to 60% off clearance). Today, I paired it with my all-time favorite skirt style, the Neoprene Pencil Skirt, from Eloquii. This style is a wardrobe staple and it’s available in umpteen colors and prints, this one being solid Magenta. I love how Eloquii gets the curvy woman and refreshes this style from season to season. Check out their sale items too.

I have a habit of picking up books that I never quite get around to reading. Evidently, I’m unwittingly engaging in tsundoku – a Japanese term used to describe a person who owns a lot of unread literature. I thought I was a book collector!

So, I thought back to when I first engaged in this habit and it’s hard to narrow down. I’ve always loved the library. The smell of books, the quiet, the search, and finding the right book.

Then, the bookstore became my passion. I loved big ones with the in-store coffee shops. Then I discovered the small independents with personalized service. Next up, collecting rare and signed editions.

One year, a Holiday Party changed my life. My friend had a Presidential Library set up in his home. Books galore written by and about all things related to the highest office in our land. It was the inspiration I needed to start filling my bookshelves political.

But, I also have bookshelves in our home library loaded with Spiritual, Fiction, Non-Fiction and Self-help. Of course the kitchen shelves have amazing Cookbooks. Some books I even have both the hardback and soft cover edition.

With the exception of the Children’s books, which I read nightly to my boys in the 1990’s, I could probably count on my hands which books I actually read front to back.

A. Edward Newton, who infamously owned over 10,000 books once said: “Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity … we cherish books even if unread, their mere presence exudes comfort, their ready access reassurance.”

Even today, with a compromised neurological ability to concentrate and focus, I still have this habit of buying books. Decorators mention that they bring warmth to the home. I’m not sure why I engage. I’m not at the point where it has taken over my home or health, all I can say is that’s my guilty pleasure.

What ur guilty pleasure?

Learning to Prioritize my Priorities

My Aunt would often tell me, “You can’t be on every train leaving the station!”

But, if I had to get on the next one, I would throw on and go with this Red and White Stripe Blazer from Badgley Mischka. I paired it with 24/7 Stretch White Boot Cut Jeans by Isaac Mizrahi and a classic White T-shirt from Talbots. I added a Navy and White Tote with a perfect Red Stripe from Tory Burch and I’m off!

My Aunt was looking out for me. I didn’t heed her advice in those days. In my 30s and 40s, I did my best to be all things to all people. Good wifey, mommy, career woman, friend, volunteer, hostess, caregiver, etc etc etc. I was last, meaning my needs were never attended to. I ignored my physician’s recommendation to slow down. It all fell apart when I turned 50. God grabbed my attention. My body said enough!

I still hear Auntie’s advice over and over now that I’m in my 50s. By the way, have you noticed that once the kids are grown and you may have pulled back from your career, everyone assumes you have more time to give. All of a sudden, they’re subconsciously planning your time. Well, when I realized I was falling back in the same old habits, I caught myself and I learned to say, ‘I’ll catch a different train’.

I have a clear understanding of my priorities, leading with self-love. I literally sat down and made a list of what I needed. Had I not assessed what I needed, I would still find myself getting on and off all those trains.

So, when the week starts, before anything gets on my calendar, I make sure I’ve scheduled time for me. All else works around my priorities. This past week really tested my philosophy. It was the week from back to back to back unexpected challenges. For the most part (I missed one appointment), I maintained my wellness commitments through the madness.

Stay focused on you and have an awesome weekend!