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!

Life Keeps Getting Better

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“I’ve learned to have absolutely no regrets over any jokes I’ve ever done.” Joan Rivers

Joan was one of the good ones. She laughed at life and looked good while doing so.

Getting older has so many wonderful benefits. One is being free to wear whatever you feel like and this outfit makes me feel great! This Navy and White Tanya Taylor Ikat Aida Top is unique with gorgeous balloon sleeves, it has slimming angles with a peplum hem, and it shows a little shoulder. It’s super chic, cute and flattering with jeans and I chose an amazing pair of silky dark denim boot-cuts by Designer Laurie Felt that I grabbed off QVC.  I extended my casual look with a dapper Navy and White Tote from Tory Burch because it has the perfect pop of red.

So, let me list why life gets better after 50! Well, really after age 58 . . .

  1. I know who my real friends are.
  2. I truly don’t care if you don’t like what I’m wearing, thinking, or doing.
  3. I’ve learned that my legacy is important to me.
  4. It’s no longer important to be ahead of the driver in front of me, and other road rage causes that used to piss me off
  5. I know that judging people is really not worth my time.
  6. I realize almost anything can be negotiated except my faith, dignity and self-worth.
  7. I know that ‘No’ is ok to say.
  8. I know that ‘Yes’ is ok to say.
  9. I know when a no reaction is ok too.
  10. I follow most rules, but I know some are made to be broken.

I’m no longer in mid-life crisis. I survived and life’s bright on the other side.

The rest of this article is dedicated to the Timeless Female Warriors who prove that age is only a number and who embrace getting older with zest. Here’s a few of my favorite old-school superstars who are still kicking it! (in alphabetical order):

Julie Andrews

Carol Burnett

Diahann Carroll

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Rita Moreno

Yoko Ono

Ernestine Shepherd

Suzanne Somers

Tina Turner

Cicely Tyson

Betty White

Nancy Wilson

Who would you add to this list?

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My Weekends Are So Different Now

B6ACBBFE-8D92-41D8-B232-BD4103AAE751Walking out of this week feeling grateful! . . . and, I’m weekend ready in a Tropical Print  JUNAROSE Cold Shoulder Top paired with Dark Denim Lysee Pnts, Dark Peach Patent Leather Pumps by Coach, and a Rebecca Mindoff Peach Leather Tote.

One Fall Saturday about 15 years ago, after an exhausting week at work, I woke early to prepare sliced navel oranges and frozen seedless grapes for half-time team snacks. Then, with several MapQuest directions in hand and two uniform changes in the trunk of our White Dodge Minivan, I waited for my 10-year old son to jump in carrying his football pads, helmet and cleats. I had a 30 mile drive and hoped to arrive an hour early for the 100-pounders Little League Football game at 11am. Two hours later, we won! Immediately following the coach’s post game wrap up with the kids, we hauled tail to the van. There was just enough time for my son to get out of all of his football gear to change into his uniform for an AAU Baseball game about 20 miles away. Two hours later, again, we won! Then, jumping back into the van, and changing uniforms for a Fall Ball Little League Baseball game located another 20 miles away. When we arrived, the game was already underway, and it was just in time for my son to be put in to the lineup as a pinch runner at second base.

That was just one example of my weekends back then. I was not a full-blown helicopter mom, nor did I encourage him to commit to 3 teams during one season. He absolutely loved sports and we allowed as long as he kept his promise to maintain his grades. I was there to support his activities. Looking back, I loved the games, the comradery and his enjoyment.

Life was always scheduled. The work week. The weekend. The holidays. The vacations. The schedule gave me purpose. I felt needed. People depended on me. But, truth be told, I was stressed by the juggle. I was fearful that I would disappoint someone. The reality is that, I usually came through with flying colors and to this day I’m still calculating the cost I paid.

Then suddenly about 8 years later, without planning, I didn’t have a schedule. Almost simultaneously, my corporate career and my Mom duties came to a screeching halt. But, everyone else’s schedules continued. I just was not part of their plans. It felt like the death of a loved one.

The authority of all things slang, Urban Dictionary, describes ‘Bad Ass’ as “a general term used to describe behavior that is fearless, authentic, compassionate and ethical.”

It takes a real ‘Bad Ass’ to confidently restructure their life at a time when it feels like you’re being put on a shelf. I know my story isn’t that unusual, everyone experiences change. I just admire those Bad Asses who’ve had to accept, pick up and redirect.  And, they’re kicking butt while doing it! You go girl.

I’m a work in progress.

Oh yeah, we won that third game too!

Do You Identify as a BadAss?

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Do You Love Where You Live?

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I Love Philly! . . .And, this is my favorite view in the city. . .  On South Broad Street looking North to City Hall.

Any style is welcomed in ‘The City of Brotherly Love’ (and Sisterly Affection) and on this day, I chose to wear a distinctive red, white and navy pairing of gingham and stripes in honor of our rich patriotic history. Designers Badgley Mischka knocked it out of the park with this fit and flare design and three-quarter sleeves with ruffled cuffs.

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The Philadelphia area attracted a record 42 million visitors in 2017 and City Hall is a popular tourist attraction where you can admire its ornately decorated art and interior, learn about its building history, and see breathtaking views on the observation deck located underneath the statue of William Penn. This architectural treasure is the largest municipal building in the United States. It even sports an ice skating rink during the winter. Philly is a passionate town with loads of personality. I’ve learned to appreciate my hometown as I’ve gotten older.

When I married in the late 1980’s, my husband and I settled in the Atlanta, Georgia area. There were many factors that drove me back to Philly 8 years later with 2 young sons in tow, so this is their hometown too. Now that we’re older, we often ponder where to spend this next phase of our lives.

According to American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the vast majority of new retirees plan to stay in their own homes, but when life circumstances change, relocation tends to improve your psychological well-being. There are many factors to consider: family, health, home maintenance, finances, and so on.

Personally, I have thoughts of relocating to sunnier skies on some days and others I think I could never leave the area that I love so much. God has blessed us with our 83-year old Mother who still lives here and is independent and relatively healthy.  I would never want to leave her here without her joining us. But, who says she would want to go? Somehow, I thought in getting older, these life decisions would be easier. Not sure what I was thinking!

So, what are your thoughts on relocation? Did you (or will you) decide to stay put or did you explore new living opportunities?

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http://www.VisitPhilly.com                                                                         http://www.AARP.org  https://www.aarp.org/retirement/planning-for-retirement/info-2016/relocation-right-decision-for-retirement.html#

Photo Credit: Tony Trott Photography

Philadelphia City Hall: Photofy Stock Photos

Laughter Gives Me Life

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It’s been a year and I’m still laughing . . . but let me first tell you about my love of this season’s stripe dresses. The girls were feeling the breeze in this fabulous multi-stripe crepe mermaid style number with a tiered ruffle bottom by Tome NYC. I paired it with a Zac Posen yellow bag (actually backpack) with an adorable laser cut multi-color floral hanging keychain. I felt the classy bag with a twist helped balanced out the sass from the dress. What do you think?

“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” Maya Angelou

Last year, I attended a fundraiser for a wonderful non-profit. It wasn’t the biggest or the most glamourous event, but it was one of my most memorable.  Elaine, a dear friend of over 45 years joined me that evening. She’s a no nonsense accomplished boss woman, wonderful wife, fantastic mother and supportive friend. I felt she needed a distraction from life, even if it was just a couple of hours, so I asked her to accompany me.

Elaine didn’t know anyone seated at the table with us, but the light conversation was centered around fun and laughter. One joke generated stomach grabbing, head jerking laughter. Then it happened. My friend’s nicely coiffed wig fell off! The laughter was suddenly interrupted with a pregnant pause, followed by eyes dancing around the table. Being the quick wit that she is, Elaine grab her wig midair, cut the tension and fell out laughing. On cue, we all hollered and cried in laughter.

When was the last time you laughed at yourself? Or, did you choose to whimper away with embarrassment? Are you avoiding settings preferring to stay secluded?

One of my favorite spiritual teachers, Dr. Charles Staley of In Touch Ministries, blessed his congregation with his instructions for ‘how to be useful all the days of your life’ (Aired 7/15/2018). In other words, how to keep living after age 55. One is to ‘Keep Laughing’ because he said, “when there’s laughter, love, joy, your body responds accordingly.” He advised, “Get something going to make you laugh.”

This message really touched me because I thought ‘who doesn’t love a good laugh’. But, there are days that I find nothing to laugh at because I may allow current events, personal problems, or whatever to get the best of my emotions and my depression rears its ugly head and yanks me back to parts unknown. My body physically aches during this process. I’m on automatic to recognize, retreat, resign, repress, and return. There’s no timetable for this cycle.

The Center for Disease Control* said that depression is different for older adults. Older adults are at an increased risk for depression often because of chronic illnesses.  Therefore, it’s often mistakenly assumed that depression is a natural course for older adults and many will not seek medical treatment.  But it’s important to know that most older adults are not depressed and there’s help for those that are symptomatic. That’s the good news.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please seek help immediately by:

  • Call 911;
  • Visit a nearby medical emergency department or health care provider; or
  • Talk to a counselor at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

I am very passionate about removing the stigma surrounding mental illness. My hope is that someone is helped with this message.

*CDC Source: Depression is Not a Normal Part of Growing Older / Healthy Aging / CDC https://www.cdc.gov/aging/mentalhealth/depression.htm @CDCgov

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Red Is My Favorite Color

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“When in doubt, wear red” said legendary designer Bill Blass. To that I say, “Okay!”

Red Is My Favorite Color To Wear! . . . and this dress is one of my favorites in my closet. It’s a peplum Ponte knit from Talbots with three-quarter sleeves making it a nearly year round wear. It’s versatile for work or play depending how you complement it. On this February day, I rocked toned color mid-heel pumps and gold toned earrings and bracelets. I wore it in celebration for ‘Pink Goes Red’ Day in honor of Heart Health Month.

I also decorate with red at home. My formal living room – do people still have these today? – anyway, my formal living room walls are even painted red and, yes, one day, I will be that old lady driving a red 2-seater convertible sports car.

Red is a strong, take charge color. I love saturated colors, so you won’t see me in many pastels. According to color analysists, people who choose red as their favorite color are extroverts, passionate, optimistic and confident.

So, why Pink Apple Style?

For those who have wondered what Pink Apple Style means to me, here goes:

Pink: A centuries old idiom ‘In the Pink’, meaning being ‘In Good Health’ is the inspiration for Pink. Good health is everything. For some, having a complete appreciation comes later in life.

Apple: Another symbol of health, but, also, I’ve had to come to terms with my apple shape that evidently was suppressed for 50 years. Actually, getting to know the 50 something me, while still seeing the younger me in the mirror, is a cruel blessing of mid-life.

Style: Physically speaking, I would describe my style as classic, chic without the trendy, sophisticated and timeless. My style icons are Dorothy Dandridge, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Michelle Obama, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  Personality wise, I am obsessed with looking on both sides, thoughtfully weighing it out, and, then coming to a balanced conclusion. I need peace and harmony or I am completely out of sync.

Pink Apple Style brings all these together, health, change and style. My mantra: Embrace. Enlighten. Enjoy.

Even when I wear Pink!

What’s your fave color?

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Photo Credit: Personal Collection

Who’s In Your Self-Love Corner?

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Wednesdays bring me joy!. . . and so does this outfit. This fun number by Hutch is called the Wandering Vine Rebecca Dress. It has a solid white bodice with a breezy blue and white multi-print high-low skirt. I rented it from Rent the Runway. I picked up one of the dark peach shades in the print and paired the dress with a three-quarter sleeve summer shrug from Talbots. The blue 3 tier fascinator from Amazon (SK HAT SHOP) was the perfect touch for the summer bridal shower garden party I attended that day.

For the last 8 years, a feisty group of 6 mid-lifers meet bi-weekly on Wednesdays in a cozy oversized office space to share, support, and sustain one another through a counseling group monitored by a wonderful Clinical Psychologist. It’s a safe haven where we can discuss our ongoing physical challenges and their psychological effects. We focus on listening, no one judges and, all feedback is welcomed. We focus on trusting, no idea or comment is stupid and, we are free to fully express ourselves.

I cannot picture my life without this support system. I’ve learned that my feelings are valid; I’ve done a better job with setting boundaries; and, I’ve embraced the art of expressing to my loved ones what’s important to me. The ladies in the group didn’t know one another before, and while we all consider ourselves friends, we don’t intermingle our personal lives with our life as a member. I am blessed with having an outlet. They are in my Self-Love Corner.

I’m learning to embrace, and not deprive, all that brings me joy. I believe my relationships with those who really matter to me are improved and I’ve learned to limit my energy with those who suck the life out of me.

Here’s a list of some others in my self-love corner:

  • Spiritual Advisor
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Hair Stylist and Make-up Artist
  • Esthetician
  • Massage Therapist
  • Travel Advisor
  • Herbalist

And, I’m seeking:

  • Personal Trainer

I’m not beating myself up for finally embracing self-love in my fifties. I accept my path. How about you . . . Who’s in your self-love corner?

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Photo Credit: Tony Trott Photography

Here we go . . . !

665BE442-E642-487B-A28A-8947DB250608Welcome to the Pink Apple Style experience! A celebration of life now, at this moment, present time.

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Every achievement, milestone, challenge, set-back, everything happens for a reason. Lessons can be learned, testimonies should be shared, and yes, mistakes will be repeated. Everyone has something. It took me 50 years and a daily reminder of my life-threatening hurdle to fully appreciate the blessing in every experience. Finally, I began to see the benefits of paying attention to my long-neglected needs.

You’ll find inspiration, encouragement, understanding, support and wellness on Pink Apple Style. That’s how I define self-love. Oh, and by the way, it’s guilt-free here. When you look good, you feel good and you’re opened to receive positivity in your life. That’s why I’ll always share style and fashion while dealing with any of mid-life’s musings.

Welcome to Pink Apple Style.

“Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it. anger is bad, dump it. Fear is awful, face it. Memories are sweet, cherish them.” Author Unknown