Look what I found!

LogoEvery spring and fall when I do my seasonal closet switch, there are decisions to be made about what to put away for the following year and what to get rid of. At the beginning of each season, I turn all the hangers in my closet around. If the hanger is still turned at the end of the season, I know that that item was never worn and that I should think about shipping it off to the second-hand store. This year is a little different though. We had such a non-summer here in Alberta that there are more unturned hangers than usual. There simply weren’t enough truly warm days to wear all my summer clothes!

Sometimes there are items in my closet that I haven’t worn for a long time that I can’t bear to part with. Those go into storage and sometimes they remain there for several years. Eventually some of them come back into circulation. I’ve shared a few of those on the blog before and today I’m going to show you one that’s coming out of hibernation this fall.

In a recent post about wearing black and brown with confidence, Pam Lutrell of Over 50 Feeling 40, shared this outfit.

Pam Lutrell

The Eileen Fisher jacket, which had apparently been in her closet for a long time, immediately brought to mind a similar one that I used to wear. I knew that it would look great over my new zebra top, but did I still have it? I couldn’t remember for sure! It was a much loved piece, gifted to me by my very generous sister-in-law. Surely, I wouldn’t have gotten rid of it. I went looking and sure enough, there it was, just waiting to be resurrected!

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I used to wear a lot of brown. So much so that I eventually tired of it. Now that brown is so on-trend again and I’ve had a nice long break from it, I’m definitely ready to put this piece back into circulation.

Though the jacket is old, you may have noticed something brand new in my photo… my haircut, fresh from the hairdresser! Now that summer is pretty much over and I don’t need to be able to put it in a ponytail to golf, it was time for a shorter do.

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How do you decide which garments to keep and which to get rid of?

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Looking in the mirror

LogoWhat’s the first thing you notice when you look in a mirror? If you’re a woman, chances are it’s your hair. That’s certainly true for me. If our hair is a wreck, we feel like a wreck. Right?

Lately, I wasn’t happy with what I was seeing in the mirror. I love my curls, but there was just TOO MUCH hair. I had it trimmed awhile ago, but it grows so fast that it seemed like no time before I was back where I started. It was definitely time for something more drastic, so I decided to do something I’d never done before.

In the past, whenever I’ve tired of long hair, I’ve gone from cascading curls to a pixie cut, never anything in between. The only time I’ve had in-between hair has been when I was in the process of growing it out. This time I decided to opt for a short curly bob.

About three weeks after each of my PRRT treatments, I begin losing what looks like an alarming amount of hair. That goes on for the next few weeks, but unlike patients on chemo, I don’t lose it all. Thankfully, I had very thick hair in the first place, so even with the twice a year thinning, I have lots. I also have natural layers now as the regrowth is at all different lengths. All my hairdresser had to do this week was cut off the excess length and my hair fell into place as if this was the length it had always wanted to be! She was as happy with the results as I was.

Now when I look in the mirror, it’s still my hair I notice first, but I’m happier with what I see!

Looking in the mirror and liking what I see.

On chilly days my neck is missing all that hair though, so it looks like my scarves will be coming out to play more often in the next while!

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It’s not about age

LogoI’d like to begin by thanking those of you who responded to last week’s Fashion Friday post either here or on Facebook. I posed the same question about the length of my hair on Jennifer Connolly’s A Well Styled Life Community Facebook page which has a much wider audience and almost 100 members responded! So far, #4 is the overwhelming favourite. In fact, more than half of all the responders chose that look.

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Though they didn’t all agree on which one made me look most youthful, I was surprised at how many women mentioned that as their reason for choosing one hair length over the others. Have we been so indoctrinated by our culture that we automatically equate youth with beauty without even realizing it? Have I?

I admit that I don’t want to look older than I really am. That’s why I don’t straighten my hair when it’s long. That really pulls me down and makes me look haggard while the curls do seem to give me a more youthful look.

I do embrace the age I am, however, wearing my 65 years bold t-shirt with pride. I have no desire to turn back the clock, though I do wish sometimes that I could slow it down! The years seem to be flying by at an ever increasing pace and I’d like to have more time to enjoy each one of them.

Neither do I have any great desire to erase the visible signs of aging. I decided many years ago not to colour my hair, but to age with grayce and I love this quotation from Queen Elizabeth II. Don’t retouch my wrinkles in the photograph, I would not want it to be thought that I had lived for all these years without having anything to show for it.

Attitude not age

 

A hairy situation

LogoIt’s been quite awhile since I mentioned my hair here on the blog. As you may have noticed in several of my most recent Fashion Friday posts, I’ve been wearing it up or in a ponytail a lot over the summer. I don’t want it in my face when I’m golfing or kayaking and it’s much more comfortable if it’s off my neck on hot days. In spite of the fact that my twice a year cancer treatments cause significant thinning, I still have a very heavy mane!

Though I won’t do anything until golfing season is over, I’m contemplating going for a shorter cut in the fall. The question is how short? That’s where I’d like your input. The following five photos show the progression from short to long that’s taken place over the past two years. In the comment section below, please tell me which length you prefer.

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#1 was taken in the fall of 2016 a few months before I decided on a whim to start growing it out. At the time I didn’t have a particular length in mind, but after keeping it short for many years, I simply wanted a change. #2 was taken five months later shortly after I started letting it grow.

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As it grew longer, I discovered “plopping” and began to embrace my natural curls. #3 was taken at the beginning of October 2017.

My hair has always grown quickly, but once it reached this point it really seemed to take off and #4 was taken less than two months later!

#5 was taken in April of this year. I had a trim shortly after that, but it’s at least this long again now.

So my question for you is this: when summer is over, should I cut it short, leave it long, or go for something in between? Your response can be as simple as one digit (#1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) or you can explain your thoughts.

Plopping: Amazing curls in 6 easy steps!

LogoI hope you’re not tired of hearing about my hair yet because today I have good news for those of you who, like me, struggle with what to do with your naturally curly locks. Not long ago, I had reached a point of total frustration with my partially grown and extremely unruly hair. I was almost ready to call my hairdresser and have it cropped off again. That’s when I decided to try plopping, a technique that my daughter often uses on her much longer, but equally curly, hair. I was absolutely amazed with the results and it’s so easy!

When curly hair is wet, the curls are smooth and defined, but when it dries, those lovely curls lose their definition and often become a nasty pile of frizz. Definitely not the look we want! What we do between wet and dry makes all the difference in the world. Plopping helps curls keep their shape, even after they dry.

So what are those 6 easy steps?

Step 1:

Wet your hair and squeeze out any excess water.

Step 2: 

Apply product. This may include a leave-in conditioner as well as mousse, gel, or curl creme. I use a handful of Herbal Essence Tousle Me Softly mousse.

Step 3:

Lay a long-sleeved cotton t-shirt on a flat surface (chair, bathroom counter, bed) with the sleeves closest to you. Using a t-shirt instead of a terry cloth towel is key to successful plopping. Terry cloth absorbs too much moisture, which curly hair needs, and its harsh fibres promote frizz. If you prefer, you can purchase a special microfibre plopping towel, but one of the things that I like best about plopping is that it doesn’t require any costly implements. I simply found an older t-shirt in my closet that I wasn’t wearing often and set it aside for plopping.

Step 4:

Bend forward at the waist positioning all of your hair on top of your head and at the centre of the t-shirt.

Step 5:

Take the far edge (bottom hem) of the t-shirt and flip it up over your head so that it rests at the back of your neck. Tie the sleeves of the t-shirt behind your head. If they are long enough, you may want to wrap them around to the front and tie another knot to make your turban more secure. Tuck in any loose ends and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. The t-shirt will soak up moisture without creating frizz and will also absorb any excess product preventing hard, crunchy curls. Some women leave their hair covered longer; even overnight. Experiment to discover what works best for you.

Step 6:

Remove the t-shirt and let your hair air dry or blow-dry it with a diffuser. Do not touch the curls while they are wet.

It really is that easy! I don’t take great selfies, but here’s what my very first attempt at plopping looked like.

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While the curls relaxed a little through the day, this is what it looked like 8 or 9 hours later, ready to go out for dinner with my husband.

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I can’t begin to tell you how many compliments I’ve had since I started plopping!

For a simple tutorial complete with photos, click here.

Creating a distraction

LogoIt’s now been five months since I made the decision to let my hair grow out and I haven’t given up yet! I even survived six weeks of camping, often without power. I’ve been surprised and pleased with how well it’s gone, but there are days when I despair and consider giving up; days when the unruly curls and frizz almost get the best of me.

I’m enormously grateful to whoever invented hair combs. Some days sweeping the sides back and holding them in place keeps me from completely losing my mind, but I’ve also learned that accessories are a great way to create a distraction taking attention away from my hair and focusing it elsewhere.

Here I’m wearing a silky scarf designed by Northwest Coast indigenous artist, Clifton Fred, and a pair of eye catching earrings.

The same principle works to draw attention away from other flaws or body parts that you’d rather not accentuate. Hats, scarves, sunglasses, belts, statement jewelry, colourful handbags, or stylish footwear are all great ways to steal attention. Use them to draw the eye away from those parts you don’t particularly like and to enhance those that will give you your best possible look.

For example, if you have what is commonly referred to as a “turkey neck”, lose skin around the neck that often develops as a woman ages, you may want to camouflage it by drawing attention down and away from that area. Opt for scarves, necklaces, or earrings that create long vertical lines. On the other hand, if you are big busted and prefer not to accentuate that feature, shorter statement necklaces that draw the eye up to your neck area are a better choice.

Be careful not to overdo it by wearing too many accessories at once, but be sure to add one essential and inexpensive accessory to every outfit… your beautiful smile!

Before we leave the topic of my unruly hair though, I just wanted to share the fact that it’s a genetic trait inherited from my mother’s side of the family. Clearly, I have passed it on. Here’s my youngest grandson ready for his first day of preschool last week.

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And here’s what he looks like when Mommy tries to tame his locks!

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Photos of Simon: Melaina Graham

Growing it out

LogoDry hair, oily hair, straight hair, curly hair, thick hair, thin hair, coarse hair, fine hair… is there such a thing as a woman who is truly happy with her hair? It seems that we always want the hair that someone else has! Apparently, we’re also willing to spend a lot to get it. I have no idea how accurate it is, but one estimate that I read recently stated that American women on average spend approximately $700 annually on their hair. That would include haircuts, perms, colouring, shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, and other styling products, as well as accessories including combs, brushes, curling irons, straightening irons, and clips.

Like most women, I get tired of my hair. A few months ago, after keeping it short for many years, I started wondering if perhaps it was time to try a longer style again. I asked you what you thought and several readers urged me to let it grow. Here’s what happened:

 

In today’s photo, I had just come from the hairdresser. She trimmed the ends, shaped it a bit, trimmed the front and thinned out the top. She also had fun playing with my natural curl so it’s a bit wilder looking than I usually wear it.

I still haven’t decided what my ultimate goal is or how long I’ll let it grow, but reaching the point where I could tuck it behind my ears was a milestone. Summer probably isn’t the best time to be trying to grow it out, but it helps a lot to be able to tuck it under the edges of my cap when I’m golfing, especially in the wild winds that we’ve been having lately.

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While we were chatting today, my hairdresser (who has only been doing my hair for the past couple of years) asked how long it’s been since the last time I had long hair. I honestly couldn’t remember, but it must have been back in the 90s. Here’s a photo from way back then!

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Yes, I’ve aged a bit (okay, maybe a lot!) but I still have incredibly thick hair. I lose a little after each of my cancer treatments, but still my hairdresser has to thin it! I know… some of you would love to have thicker hair. I wish I could share a bit of mine with you. As I said, we always want the kind of hair that someone else has!

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New looks

logoHave you ever noticed that adding a new basic to your wardrobe can breathe fresh life into older pieces?

I’ve only purchased one item from this season’s cabi collection, the Indulgence Tank. With it’s wide ponte waistband and two floaty layers of lightweight polyester creating a beautiful blouson effect, this pure white sleeveless top will go with practically everything.

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Here I’m wearing it with a short navy cardigan that hadn’t been out of my closet all winter. Purchased at Uniqlo shortly after my arrival in China in early 2013, it was once a wardrobe staple, but I’d grown somewhat tired of it. When I paired it with the Indulgence Tank, however, it felt almost new again.

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In these photos, you’re seeing me with more hair than usual. I normally have my hair cut every six weeks, but it’s now been almost nine weeks since I last visited my hairdresser. That’s because I’m trying to decide whether or not it’s time for a longer style. Some days, like the one pictured here, I’ve been playing around with its natural curl instead of straightening it. Regardless of what I decide, I know that it needs a good trim to give it shape, but what do you think? Cut it short again or let it grow? I really want your opinion!

Aging with grayce

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Why is it that gray hair on a man is often considered sexy or sophisticated? Think Richard Richard GereGere, ladies!

Women, on the other hand, have long felt tremendous societal pressure to cover their gray. Amazing amounts of time and money are spent fending off the effects of time and trying to hang onto a coveted youthful ideal. Recently, the lovely young Duchess of Cambridge was chastised in the press for allowing a few strands of gray to appear in her lustrous brunette mane!

Times and trends are changing though and even some well known actresses and models are choosing to embrace their gray. Far from looking old and washed out, these gals are stunning!

Jamie Lee Curtis

 

I’ve always loved Jamie Lee Curtis’ short pixie cut and doesn’t it look great in pewter?

 

 

 

 

 

Kori Hendrix

 

 

Here’s Kori Hendrix, a Texas realtor and model. Isn’t she gorgeous?

 

 

 

 

 

 

In days gone by, it was thought that women who did let their hair go gray should at least keep it short, but not anymore! Look at the flowing locks on these beauties!

Ingrid Becker

 

In her late 60s, Ingrid Becker is a top German model.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Model Cindy Joseph

 

Cindy Joseph, began her career in the late 1970s working as a make-up artist for fashion and beauty photographers. In 1999, at the age of 49, she was approached on the street by a casting agent and asked to model for a Dolce and Gabbana ad campaign. That ignited her modeling career with Ford Models Inc., which continues to flourish today at age 66.
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Nicola Griffin also came to modelling later in life. A middle-aged single mother from Nottingham, England, who ran a business organizing student exchange trips, Griffin was standing in line at the bank with her twin daughters when a stranger representing a hair product company asked her if she’d be willing to model for the company’s latest campaign. She was sceptical, but her teenage daughters urged her to give it a try. That quickly led to other modelling jobs and at age 56, she became the oldest woman ever to model for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue!

Born in France in December of 1955, Yasmina Rossi is both a grandmother and a highly sought after model who still looks good in a bikini!

“My hair started turning gray when I was 12 and was salt-and-pepper by the time I hit 20,” says Rossi. “I never colored it, because I knew it was my best asset.”

Yasmina Rossi Model age 59

Yasmina Rossi

Who says gray can’t be sexy and sophisticated?

My first strands of gray began to appear when I was in my mid 40s. I distinctly remember sitting at the dinner table between my oldest son and his friend, both in their teens and both towering over me in height. Looking down at my head, my son commented on the fact that I was getting quite a few gray hairs. “That’s not gray hair,” his friend responded. “Those are silver highlights!” I always did love that boy!

Going gray has been a very slow process. Almost twenty years after that dinner table conversation, my hair still looks more brown than gray in photos. I don’t remember where I first saw the “aging with grayce” phrase, but I’ve adopted it as my own. I can’t tell you whether you should colour your hair or go au naturel, but I love my silver highlights and I have no desire to hide them. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever go completely gray, but if I do, I hope I can carry it off with as much dignity and grace as the beautiful ladies shown above!

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