Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoI am so thrilled that Pam of Over 50, Feeling 40 is  hosting Fashion Flash for the first time.   I  have been a fan of this wonderful site long before Pam joined Fashion Flash.  She is a former radio show host, journalist and  reaches journalism in Texas.   Pam  has both a great fashion sense and a wonderful positive attitude toward life  after 50- its positively contagious!

Pam  offers a high/low fashion mix combining  Goodwill treasures  with beautiful finds  from major brands and retailers.  And best of all  her fashion choices  show  how good 50+ can really look both at work and at play.  No  4 inch stilettos, no $2000 bags, just  affordable well cut pants, jackets and tops that flatter our changing bodies.I’ve found that Pam helps me ‘shop’ in my own closet, creating   wonderful new outfits  from what I already  have on hand.   If you are already  a fan of Over 50 , Feeling 40, you know what I am talking about.  If  this site is new to you, it will be a new treat.

Fashion Flash Book Review:  Secrets of the Spas by Catherine Bardey

Fashion Flash Book Review- Secrets of the SpaThere  is no shortage of  books about spas and spa treatments, but this one is a keeper.  It offers more than 70  cleansers, masks, moisturizers and  herbal baths that use less than five  affordable ingredients.  They are  super easy to  make   and deliver  genuinely helpful benefits.   For example  a sea salt and and a apricot kernal oil body  scrub is a fabulous all natural exfoliator that is as good for you as it is  for the planet.  I love exfoliating grains for skin and body care, but recent studies have shown that these  granules  remain forever in the environment.  Sea  salt does its job and then dissolves easily in water.  No contaminating  residue!

A  seaweed and aloe vera  mask clarifies  all skin types and the  thyme and fennel  skin cleanser is so   gentle and effective that  alone, its  worth  buying the book.

Other favs include  green tea and cucumber mask,  oatmeal and almond scrub and honey and almond oil mask for super dry skin.  In addition to these recipes,  the book offers  a guide to  the benefits  and precautions of both essential  and carrier oils and a list of  necessary tools– eg bowls, wisk and a spice grinder.   This short  book also   offers a glossary of spa terms  such as  vichy shower, tincture  and peloids.  At the end of the book is a resource guide  for key ingredients.   The author is a former  stylist for Elle and J. Cree and her  passion for beauty comes  through in every  well- designed page.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week  is the first time that  Mary Lou and Carrie  of Second Lives Club is hosting Fashion Flash.  I love the premise of this site– that   our second fifty  years  could  be even better than the first  fifty.  Second Lives Club often profiles amazing women who have made  dramatic and successful  changes in  their lives.  Its  so empowering to read about  women who changed directions  after 50  to find new fulfillment. In addition Second Lives Club  has great features on fashions, books and travel. Subscribe to this site for intelligent  and entertaining information you won’t find on any where else.

Fashion Flash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review:  The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

I usually review non-fiction lifestyle books that  deal with fashion, beauty health and food, but The Signature of All Things is so extraordinary, so original that I had to share  it.  This novel deals with   the life and times of a unique heroine that spans   18th century  England, the  American revolution , the civil war and  the dawn of modern science with Darwin’s theory of evolution.   The central  character Alma, a brilliant self taught botonist  is  one of the most interesting women characters in literature.

In the 19th century the  exploration  and  cataloging  of the world’s  plants and animals captured attention much the way we  focus on tech today.   Arguments  about the details and links in the plant world  held   the imagaination much the way we view a new app or  changes in Facebook.  The ability to  draw  flowers and leaves  was  accorded the same  awe and admiration that we  today regard the ability to code.

Using the national passion for natural science as a background, Gilbert writes a novel that is both  original yet accessible.  She makes  me care about all the characters, even when they are  cruel, ignorant or weak.  Just when  I think  I see the direction of the story , Gilbert  changes direction– and it takes  the narrative to another level.  Her  simple direct  tone  allows her to  address complex ideas and subjects with singular clarity.   If you  read one book this sunny summer,  make it The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. Its worth every  minute of your time.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Jackie of Aging Backwards is hosting  Fashion Flash.   She has a consistant curiosity for all things dealing with health and beauty.  From the best way to use  fake eyelashes to the best natural  way to avoid heart disease Jackie  drills down  into each topic and shares  her findings. She is just one of those people that always get  it right.

Fashion FLash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review: Everything Eyes by Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown needs no introduction.  She  is  a beauty rock star with a modern approach to  make-up  that   works  for every woman.  But wait there’s more. With her  own line of natural toned  make-up and a collection of  best selling books, Bobbi Brown is still  a down to  earth person who  understands what women want  and is determined to  give it to them. Among her numerous books, she has written  not  one, but two books  that address beauty issues of women over 40. Impressive!

In Everything Eyes she offers a primer on the tools and techniques for easy, beautiful  eye make-up.  The book starts with a terriffic explanation of the different eye make-up brushes, recommending a basic five and  the additional four  which  are  nice to have.  She explains the the benefits and drawbacks of gel, pencil and pen eyeliner– and when to use each one.  Her explanation  of the difference between a corrector and a concealer and how to use both  seemingly erased  my dark circles in less than 10 seconds.

My favorite part of the book  was  her simple daytime  eye make-up that just simply works.  I finally  saw how to quickly and effectively use  three tones of eye shadow without looking made-up. However  her smokey eye still did not get me where I wanted to go.  Brown clearly was using  her own products but she did not give names and colors.  While I usually cringe when an expert  promotes their own products in a book,  in this case it would have been very helpfull

About  30% of the book is devoted to  when  eye make-up meets eyeglasses.  Brown famously wears thick framed black glasses and  she knows first hand the challenges of combining  glasses and  eye make-up.   She clearly demonstrates   how to apply make-up that is flattering  when wearing glasses– use gel  liner that should be visible  when the eye is open.  She is apparently introducing her own line of eyeglasses and offers  the usual advice on matching facial  features to the size, shape and color of the frames.  Again there are  many  photos and drawings of eyeglasses   and it would actually been helpful  to get  more buying information.  Everything Eyes is a genuinely useful book and  I squeezed it into my already crowded beauty book shelf.





Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoI’m hosting Fashion  Flash this July 4th  weekend  and our bloggers  are in the holiday  mood:

* Our Diva Debbi is a Polyvore addict with more than 12,000 followers and over 4.5 million views of her fashion sets.  This week she celebrates the Fourth of July with a cheeky  beach outfit with a fabulous pair of Toms.

* Josephine of Chic  At Any Age  believes that a classic perfume adds a final touch  to being chic. And now you can can get fantastic quintessentially  British  perfumes at a bargin price.  Available  in both the US and UK.  Hurry, offer ends July 13.

* Positive Living advocate Barbara Hannah Gufferman of the Best of Everything After  Fifty  knows why women live longer than men… and she reveals the secret right here!

* Jodell of Black Cat Plus shows that plus size  women can wear a tank top and look appropriate  and on trend for July 4th.

* Cindy of Prime Beauty is getting feet in shape for summer sandels with her top ten pedicure products.

* Marylou of Second Lives Club explores  July 4th fireworks and other ways to celebrate the holiday and life… visions of enLIGHTenMent.

*  Mirabai from Moving Free with Mirabai offers water safe tips to stay hydrated  and healthy during  July 4th.

* Melanie of Society Wellness  stepped in a  mound of fire ants and she shares the natural remedies that helped heal and soothe the bites quickly.  Thse are great tips that wil work   for most bug bites.

* Jackie of Aging Backwards  knows that chronic stress causes aging– and offers  relaxing tips to stay young and calm.

* Pam of Over 50, Feeling 40 reflects back on her first week working with a weight trainer.  After one year she has come a long way since beginning weight training at age 60… and its never  to late for any of us to begin.

* And at No-Nonsense Beauty Blog I explored  different types of straw hats  to  add style  to my sun protection  routinue.

Fashion FLash Book eviewFashion Flash Book Review:  Flash Fashion Cards

I  was about to  buy the new Bobbi Brown Book on eye make-up when I came across  a set of FLash Fashion  cards. I  had to check them out.    Too cute.  They are   a set of  cards that covers 400 years of  fashion history.  Each card   defines and illustrates a fashion term including  raglan sleeve,  fishtail  train, Macitosh  and caftan.   Its  fun to flip  through them and   a great source for fashion history buffs.  As an  extra incentive, 10% of sales are  committed to museum  fashion preservation and exhibition.


Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Josephine of Chic At Any Age is hosting Fashion Flash.   This is the first time she  is hosting  and I am so thrilled  she has joined us.  Josephine has pitch perfect fashion advice for women over 40.  She has that seemingly effortless European style  for every situation.  When I have an upcoming occasion, I click thru  the archives at Chic At Any Agefor  ideas and direction.  I think  what sets  Josephine apart from other  style experts is the range of her choices.  She has  options for  both cold and hot weather, casual and dressy, affordable  and upcale.  In other words  beautiful, real clothes for beautiful, real women.

Fashion FLash Book Review:  Afro-VeganFashion Flash Book Review:  Afro-Vegan by Bryant  Terry

Food  reflects our personal culture– who we are and where  we come from. When health issues like  diabetes, obesity and heart disease  require new food choices it is very difficult to eliminate  all that is familiar and comforting– a key reason why most diets fail.

Bryant Terry, author of Afro-Vegan is deeply concerned about the rising tide of  diet linked health issues  in the  Afro- American  community.  His book  seeks to provide a healthier plant  based menu that still reflects  the African, Caribean and Southern  culture. Rather than looking for low fat, low salt versions of traditional recipes, he drills deeper to develop a truely original  approach to cooking and eating.   Terry  pulls out the flavors and textures  of beloved foods like grits,  greens and sweet potatoes  to create  dishes that are delicious, healthy and  culturally satisfying.

The recipes in Afro Vegan burst with flavor.   They  combine tingly cayenne and Jalapeno peppers, fragrant spices like cardamom, cinnamon and ginger and diverse grains like  farro, tiff and millet.  They are  new and unique  yet with tastes and textures that are  familar and comforting.   His   blackened okra kabob with red rice  is a mouth watering summer grill.  A corn broth made from   fresh cobs is a gorgeous base  for vegan and vegetarian soups.   My current favorite recipe   is a puddle of savory grits  topped with  slow-cooked greens.   Traditional braised  greens are a  personal favorite but I know they  are basically  a salt  and pork fat delivery system.  Terry offers a  meal of  grits made with vegetable broth and  cashew cream topped with greens spiked with garlic,  ginger and cayenne .  I have made it three times in two weeks. Yes, its that good.

The recipes are not technically complicated nor do they require expensive equipment and ingredients.  However if you don’t have a fully  stocked  pantry and spice rack  you will need to do a bit of shopping  to gather the parts and pieces for the recipes.    Once you  have stocked up for a few dishes you will be ready for the rest.

Summer is the perfect time to expand your  plant based recipe repertoire.  The farmers markets   are overflowing  with local fruits and vegetables.  Fill up a basket of greens, tomatoes  and peppers and dive into Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry.


Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoI am  so excited  to host Fashion Flash  in the first week of summer. I have   my summer lists of musts– mint iced tea, swimming at dusk,   planting herbs,  concerts in the park,  and  flowers, lots of  flowers in my home. Summer is  just 90 days and  the Fashion Flash bloggers  wants to  make every day count:

* Mirabai of Moving Free with Mirabai  demonsrates how interval training can jump start  your exercises  on  land and in water.

* Josephine of  Chic at any age suggests   that we do  as French women do and add a scarf.

* Pam of Over 50,Feeling 40 is really feeling summer.  As summer sales begin, Pam reminds readers of the power of a well fitted jacket. There will be so  many options  lets get out there and shop!

*Jackie of Aging Backwards has free summer beauty  tips compliments of mother nature.

* Debbi  of Diva Debbi has reached a milstone this week exceeding  1,000,000 pageviews.  As a RoC ambassador she is celebrating with a skin care giveaway.

*Jodell of Black Cat Plus shows how plus size women can  take advatage of  facial contouring tips to accent features.

* Positive Living advocate Barbara of Best of Everything After 50 thinks many of us over-process, over-color, over-dry, and over everything our hair.  But she has a solution that might  work  for you too!

*Kari at Fab Over Forty knows a nude  lipstick can be the key to a fresh   youthful look, especially in summer.  This week she shares a lovely nude lip palette with gorgeous  options at  a great  price.

*Melanie of Society Wellness has 10 amazing basic tips  to keep your trip to the grocery store healthy and on budget.   Add your tips to the list by posting  in the comments section of the post!

* Cindy of Prime Beauty may have  just found the Holy Grail foundation for women over 40– full coverage that doesn’t look or feel like a mask.

*Carrie of Second Lives Club interviews  green blogger Ronnie Citron- Fink   who offers advice for  those going to BlogHer.

Fashion FLash Book Review Fashion Flash Book Review:  Lets Just Say It  Wasn’t Pretty by Diane Keaton

Lets Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty  is  promoted as a book at deals with the  aging and beauty.  No really.  The book begins with a look at women like Diana Vreeland and Lena Dunham who are not classic beautities, but who still  thrived in an image concious world. Then  the book  turns into  a stream of conciousness memoir  as Diane Keaton shares  tales of past loves,  her parents, and  her two dopted children.   She  has had an amazing career and a list of equally amazing boyfriends including Warren beatty Sam Shephard, Al Pacino  and Woody Allen. Its not a boring story and  she tells it with vivid detail.

Diane Keaton has been a style icon since her Annie Hall days  so it was surprising  to read how insecure she was with  her appearance.   For example   at 15 she was so concerned  about a small bump on her nose that she slept with a clothes pin to flatte  it out.  She even took to eating dinner alone in her room  so that she had extra “clothespin time”  to work on the nose.   She is also so self concious about her hair that  she tries to wear a hat most of the time. I just  wish  she  knew that  her straight blonde  silky  hair  in movies like Annie Hall, Reds and Manhattan was  a yardstick for beauty  by which a generation  measured themselves.


Her rich memories tend to vear so rapidly from one idea to another that it can be hard to follow  her thoughts.   I also have to admit  that she certainly held my attention when discussing  her famous relationships.   I got the impression  that her breakup  with Warren Beatty and Al Pacino  were  painful but she is still close friends with Woody Allen.    However I felt uncomfortable to read that Allen’s pet name for  her was ‘worm”. Its not a term  that I would associate with  this  adventurous woman who persued  life on her own terms.

Lets Just Say It Wasn’t Pretty  is packed  with visual  language.  For example  she describes  some of her current outfits, the 47 portraits of famous men that she has hung   on a wall of her home  and  mentions the 14 homes she has renovated in the past 15 years.   But there is not a single photo in  the entire book . Not one.  Even the  cover photo is an image of  a woman covering her face with a bowler hat.This is the third fashion book in three weeks I have seen  that  do not have a single photograph.  I really don’t understand  why publishers pack pointless  coffee table  books with  literally  hundreds of images and very little text and don’t see  to  toss in  a few photos  in books that actually have informtion to offer.

Its tough to drill down into beauty and aging and there are no easy answers. But Keaton entertains us as she nibbles around the edges of a difficut  and sometimes painful  topic.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Cindy of PrimeBeauty is hosting Fashion Flash!  She is an amazing  beauty expert who tries  out brands  in every category  to find the newest and best  personal care  products.  For example  this week you can  read about a new self tanner  from Ireland ( Ireland!!), a review of  the  new bareMinerals liquid foundation and  introduces   the bath and body line that has been  a favorite of British Royals since 1745. I especially love  her end of the week  feature– Frugal Fridays– where she uncovers  budget friendly beauty care   products.  Subscribe to  Prime Beauty for  product reviews that  you can count on.

Fashion FLash Book Review: Absolute BeautyFashion Flash Book Review:  Absolute Beauty by Pratima Raichur

Ayurvedic  medicine is a centuries old  Indian approach to a healthy balanced life.  It is an extremely complex philosophy and  over the years I have tried and failed to understand how  Ayurvedic  principles apply to life in New York City…until now.  Absolute Beauty is the first book I have  read on the subject  that not only  clearly explains the dynamic of Ayurvedic  philosophy, it shows how to  apply these principles to daily skin care.

Ayurvedic health care  starts by dividing  people into three  broad  types– vata, pitta and kapha. The book ofers extensive  characteristics for each profile and I was  definately  impressed  how  accuraely one of the types  actually decribed me. In addition to  describing  skin characteristcs, the profiles cover all aspects of  personality and health issues.

The foundation of Ayurvedic skin treatment is the use of specific  herb fortified oils.  I especailly liked that the book not only described these oils, it offered easy and afforable recipes to make them at home.   The ingredients and directions for  oils to stimulate, calm  or cool  explained how to make an herbal concentrate to mix  with oils. Usually such products can be  pricy, but Absolute Beauty alowed me to  make  enough for friends and family  at less than the price of a single commercial  product.  it was also very reassuring to know exactly what was in each  oil that I produced and to know  that was free of  additives and preservatives.

Ayurvedic medicine  also deals with nutrition, exercise and spirituality.  Absolute Beauty touches on  all these factors  and made me hungry to learn more.  I hope I can find other books on the subject that are  as helpful and well written.

One final thought:  The author, a certfied Ayurvedic physician, has  her own extensive line of  products called Bindi.  But rather than use her book to  promote her company , she offers dozens of simple effective  recipes  for  healing  oils that you can make at home. It is a level  of integrity I wish  other  doctors  would   follow.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Kari of Fabulous After Forty is hosting  Fashion Flash!  I can sort thru 20  different  sunscreens to find the right one for my skin, but when it comes to make-up, I go blank.  Fortunately   I know Kari and her comprehensive beauty site.   On Fabulous After Forty  I can track down the best mascara  or ask a question  about the right  summer blush for my skin. Try   it out yourself and you will never again  waste time and money on make-up failures.

Fashion FLash Book Review:The Lost Art of DressFashion Flash Book Review:  The Lost Art of Dress  by Linda Przybyszewski

When  I was growing up, the rules of fashion seemed to be set instone.  Spring meant navy, winter  meant blck watch plaid and shoes  and bags HAD to match.   It was exhausting  and restricting.   The sixties changed everything and these hard and fast rules  seemed to vanish overnight.  Today fashion rules are  a moving target. Style icons range from minimlist Inges de Fressange, over the top Kardashians and  the  youthful elegance of Kate Middleton.

How we went from white gloves for any  occasion  to anything goes is the focus of a new intriguing book, The Lost Art of Dress.  The  author is a professor of history  at Notre Dame, rather than  a fashionista and she takes decidedly  academic   approach to her narrative.  She digs deeply into the art and science of dress in America with a emphasis on the history of patterns and home sewing.    While her field is history, she comes  from a long line of women who sew.  A skilled dressmaker herself, she provides a comprehensive history of home sewing and the army  of home economic  teachers who taught America how to dress.

The book  bares its academic roots when it  tends to vear  off  topic as it drills deep into the details of the home sewing movement.  I was also a little disappointed in  the illustrations.  Most of the  black and white  sketches and color plates  did not  reflect the fashions discussed in the text.   Despite these drawbacks, The Lost Art of Dress is a useful reference for fashion students to understand the traditions behind popular  style trends in the first half of the 20th century.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion Flash logoThis week  Melanie of Society Wellness is hosting  Fashion Flash for the first time!  Melanie is a professional dancer and certified Yoga instructor  who walks the walk for   good  health and fitness.  Her beautiful site  features  always interesting and informative posts on health, nutrtion  exercise and  stress reduction.   She is  a vegan and her recipes are   so good   they  make  meat seem  like a silly  idea.  She also has a wonderful line of vitamins  to plug in the holes in  our diets.  While I know that recent studies  sugget that vitamins are  unnecessary  these researchers clearly  don’t know  much about the real world.  I would have to eat  more than 2000 calories a day to meet the  current guidelines  for  good nutrition.  With that amount of food I would soon become  another obesity statistic.    Visit   Society Wellness and I think you will become as  big a fan as I am.

Fashion Flash Book ReviewFashion  Flash Book Review: The cLean Momma Workout by Carolyn Barnes

Its no secret that I am not  a big fan of exercise.  I’m not proud  of that, but its the truth.  However I do love a clean house and in fact   you  might say I am a stress cleaner.  When faced with a tough client or looming deadline, I tend to  pull out  a can of Pledge  or  my  Dirt Devil and attack  my house.  When I  found The cLean Momma Workout it was like the mother ship calling me home.

The cLean Momma Workout  shows  how  standard house cleaning activities   can be  refined  to become a total body  workout.  The author, Carolyn Barnes  was  a stressed out,  overweight mom who realized that  daily  cleaning chores  like  filling the diswasher, dusting and   my favorite, the vacuum cleaner,  can be  refined strengthen the body even when  you have  no time  to exercise.  Barnes calls these moves “Taskercizes ” and they can be done anywhere  eg in a car,  at the playground, in the supermarket  and all through the house.   I love  the workout and  wish it had been around when I gained 60 pounds with my last baby.




It’s Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion Flash logoThis week Barbara   Hannah Grufferman of  Best of Everything After 50  is hosting Fashion Flash. Positive Living Expert of AARP  Barbara has  a delight in living and learning that is absolutely infectious.  As the decades roll by,  its all too common to   fall into a cynical disappointed mode and rant  about  what’s wrong with our lives. Not Barbara Hannah Gufferman, and her gorgeous  redesigned blog is the perfect antidote to  mid-life  malaise.  Read it every day for stimulating  new articles on health, beauty, and social issues that deserve our attention.

Fashion FLash supports SCTAHFashion Flash Supports  “The Skin Cancer Take a Hike”

May is National Melanoma  Awareness Month and  the numbers are sobering.  Its the #1 cancer in  women in their 20′s  and #2 in women in their thirties. And unlike other forms of skin cancer is  can be fatal if not caught and treated early.  Reggae  legend Bob Marley  died of a type of melanoma that started under the nail of his  big toe.  He thought it was a soccer injury   and ignored it until it spread to  his lungs.  He was only 36 years old.

Join the Fight Against Skin Cancer

I hve to admit that until I met  New York dermatologist Dr Ellen Marmur I ignored the PSA’s on skin cancer.  Super smart and  beautiful, Dr Ellen is passionate about skin cancer prevention.  Not only  is she an internationally recognized skin cancer surgeon, she is also a skin cancer survivor.  Her story finally got my attention and now I faithfully slather on sunscreens  as naturally  as  I brush my teeth.

Now she is taking her campaign against skin cancer to new heights– literally.

Fashion FLash supports skin cancer  hike

Dr Marmur on training hike in New York state

From July 16-  July 30, Dr Marmur  and  a team of skin cancer survivors and advocates are climbing  Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.   The goal?  To raise awareness and money for a disease that annually  affects 1.5 million men, women and children  in the US.

Dr Marmur has committed to raising $1,000,000 for the American Academy of Dermatology Spot Cancer  Campaign and you can participte by contributing to the “Skin Cancer Take a Hike” climb. If you or anyone  in your family has ever been told that they had skin cancer, you know how frightening the experience can be.  (Been there, done that and got the tee shirt).  Please join me to support this valuable program  and fundamentally  change the landscape on skin cancer  in America.

And on a personal note, Memorial Day is the start of the pool and beach season.   Stock up on sun screens  for the whole family and use it each and everyday.  Stay safe and beautiful  this summer!