Bridging the Gap Campaign!



Today is an exciting day with the launch of an unprecedented campaign, “Bridging the Gap,” where 100 Millennial and 100 Midlife Influencers are coming together to blur the boundaries as we believe we are stronger together!   With today’s launch of Bridging the Gap, we are stepping up to take part in an unprecedented campaign for social change.  As women from multiple and disparate demographics, we have much to offer one another and are encouraging Reciprocal Mentorship.  What exactly is Reciprocal Mentorship?  It’s a new and empowered way of bringing the generations together by each sharing their unique gifts with the other.  To learn more about the campaign click here.


Fashion Trends and Friends is so honored to be part of this campaign and to be partnered with our new millennial friend, Sabrina Howard, also known as Girl with the Hipster Glasses.

Meet Sabrina Howard!

Sabrina is a twenty-something, born and raised in Chicago and is currently earning a PhD in Los Angeles.  All three of us Fashion Trends and Friend girls hail from Chicago so we felt an instant kinship the minute we met Sabrina.  In fact she was back in Chicago visiting her family when we first spoke.

Over the past 5 years she has developed a passion for holistic wellness.  She is dedicated to figuring out how to live her best life through nutritious food, physical activity, and a positive mindset.

Sabrina began practicing yoga seriously in 2014 and in the summer of 2016 became a 200-hour certified yoga instructor.  While talking to Sabrina, we learned that her love of yoga wasn’t overnight.  Rather she grew to love it over time and it developed into a passion.  She doesn’t proclaim to be a fitness guru or a nutritionist/chef but she does appreciate a healthy lifestyle and thought it would be cool to have people tag along on her journey to live healthily and happily.  In fact if you are in Los Angeles and are interested in arranging a 1 to 1 yoga session, contact her at  She would love to connect with you and help build your practice.


As a young woman working hard to earn her PhD in Urban Studies and full-time blogger, this Millennial is showing the world how to live a healthy sustainable life!  Sabrina’s blog is filled valuable information on Health and Wellness, Recipes, Workouts and her other passion, Travel.  If you’d like to learn more about Sabrina check out all her social media.






Fashion Trends and Friends is grateful to be part of the Bridge the Gap Campaign. As Catherine GraceO, the founder of the campaign says, “Isn’t it time we came together to bridge every single gap? As a society, we’ve made substantial progress in letting go of many labels and divisions, yet when it comes to ageism, it doesn’t get talked about. We intend to change that together. There is energy and innovation in youth and wisdom and experience in midlife. Let’s share with one another and embrace both for the greater good.  Deep inside of every Midlife Woman, a Millennial exists and within every Millennial lies a future Midlifer. We invite you to join us as we show you that age is just a number while it’s your attitude about life that keeps  one young or makes one old. With the concept of Reciprocal Mentorship, we encourage these demographics to embrace one another and share their unique wisdom.”

A heartfelt thank you to the Sabrina Howard, the Girl with the Hipster Glasses. We are so honored to work with you on this campaign and hope to develop an ongoing relationship where we can help one another!  We are definitely #StrongerTogether!





Rodan and Fields

Rodan and Fields – a Two Month Trial

Several blog posts ago, Lori did a video review of Olay Regenerist Anti Aging Cream.  In the video, I was her sidekick.  As a result of that video, Joanna Pritchard reached out to see if Lori and I would be interested in trying Rodan and Fields.  Since I’m constantly on a quest to find the “fountain of youth” in a bottle or an “instant facelift” in a bottle, I was totally game to give it a try.  Joanna sent us all of Rodan and Field’s Redefine Amp It Up Special.

Morning Routine:

The morning routine consists of 1. Daily Cleansing Mask, which feels much like an exfoliating scrub.  Directions say that it is best to leave it on for approximately two minutes.  2.  Pour Minimizing Toner and 3.  Triple Defense Treatment – AM.  The morning routine for me was quick and easy.  These three steps were actually less than what I was doing previously.

Evening Routine:

The evening routine consists of 1. Daily Cleansing Mask, which is the same as the morning. 2.  Pour Minimizing Toner 3.  AMP MD Roller, which uses micro-exfoliation along with powerful Retinol and peptide technology.  Think of a sharp, prickly sensation.  During the first two weeks, I used the roller three times a week.  After two weeks, I used it daily.  4.  Night Renewing Serum 5. Active Hydration Serum and  6.   Redefine Overnight Restoration Cream.  The night routine was far more extensive than the morning.

Initially, I was overwhelmed by all of the products. (We were also sent travel sizes, which I greatly appreciated.)  Joanna was patient in explaining the process to me; and I felt the need to organize myself to keep the steps simple and quick.  It should be noted that the products are clearly labeled with both numbers and am vs. pm.


My Results:

I am putting myself out there and being totally transparent as I rarely go out or photograph myself with out any makeup, but in order to see results it is obviously necessary.

My thoughts prior to starting:

One Month:

My thoughts one month in:

Two Months:



As promised, I used the Rodan and Fields Redefine Amp It Up exclusively for the two months.  I feel as though all of my areas of concern are improved and the overall look and quality of my skin is much better.  Several thoughts regarding my two month trial:  prior to using Rodan and Fields, I had a great morning routine.  Rodan and Fields morning routine is actually shorter than my previous routine, which is a plus.  My evening routine was somewhat inconsistent.  Using Rodan and Fields caused me to develop a better routine and habits. I wish I had done more to protect my skin and establish a good skin care routine at a much younger age.  Advise to millennials – start now if you haven’t already!

Lori is one month in to her two month trial.  Come back in another month to hear Lori’s thoughts and see her results!

Do you have a skin care routine you swear by or have you found a “face lift” in a bottle?  Please share!

This post is not endorsed by Rodan and Fields.  This post is my own and represents 100% of my honest opinions.

A Special Thank You:

If you’re interested in any of the Rodan and Fields products, please reach out to Joanna Pritchard at:







Soft Surroundings

Soft Surroundings – Part 3 of 3

I cannot tell you how pleased FTF was when Soft Surroundings approached us to choose pieces from their Fall “Transitional and Timeless” collection.   If you haven’t heard about Soft Surroundings before, their philosophy is to #Livesoft by making it easy for women to take time out for themselves. They do this by providing soft-yet-stylish outfits that are amazingly comfortable.

I’ve been receiving Soft Surroundings catalogs in the mail for a number years and have been a fan.    Not only have I bought clothing and shoes, but have purchased their home items as well.  I was thrilled a few years ago when they opened a retail location at La Encantada here in Tucson. The only thing I wish they carried in their store are their shoes.  Love, love their shoes!

As I was browsing the selections Soft Surroundings sent us to choose from,  I saw these Ellenora Mules and fell in love with them immediately.   Given that embroidery is a big trend this fall/winter season, these were a must have.   Therefore, the outfit I selected had to go with the shoes!  LOL

I can tell you in all honesty that I love every single piece that I received from Soft Surroundings. The quality is great, the pieces worked so well together and are great staples to build other outfits with.

The Pants

Like Julie and Lori, I chose the 5 Pocket Pull On Leggings.  They come in 7 different colors and also come in tall, petite and women sizes.  I chose the washed denim (so they could go with my mules!)  What a huge surprise these pants were.   I wouldn’t classify these as leggings, as they are more of a heavier jean material, but they have stretch to them.  They are so comfortable and flattering.   Even my husband said they looked great.   I loved them so much I went over to the store and bought another pair in willow green and found this cute embroidery top to match.

The Top

I ordered the Berkeley Top in Olive because of the fun flared sleeves.  I was a little bit worried the top might be too clingy because it’s made with some spandex.   But it wasn’t an issue.   The top fit great and is flattering on me.    This top also comes in tall, petite and women’s sizes and 6 great fall colors.    The top is on sale right now for $39.99

The Shoes

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I fell in love with the Ellenora Mules.   I especially like the fact that I could start wearing them immediately.   Unfortunately, there are fall shoes I would love to wear right now, but I would look a bit ridiculous wearing them when the temps are still in the 80’s.  The quality of this shoe is fabulous, fits true to size and are very comfortable.   The shoe also comes in tan as well.   The shoe was worth the $139 price tag, but are on sale right now for $99.99.

The Necklace

I thought this Kamilah Necklace blended in well with the color pallet of the outfit.  I liked that the blue tassel is the focal-point and that the necklace has a textured look to it. Was $89.95; Now $69.99

One of our blogging friends JODIE’S TOUCH OF STYLE is also working with Soft Surroundings.  I thought I would share her post so you can see how others are wearing some of the same pieces to give you ideas of how they could work for you!  Link to post here

So, there you have it.   I’m starting to get ready for fall.   How about you?

A special thank you to Soft Surroundings for sending FTF the outfits for us to share with you.  If you missed Julie and Lori’s post’s, you can view them below



The posts are not endorsed by Soft Surroundings.  The posts are our own and represents 100% of our honest opinions.

Update:   I just received this fabulous bag of goodies from SS    How lovely is that!   Those of you that follow our blog know I love a good scarf, so can’t wait to wear this one.  I’m anxious to try the skin care products and will share with you my thoughts after I have a chance to use them.


Soft Surroundings

My Time. My Place. My self.

(Naperville, Illinois)

Soft Surroundings – Part 2 of 3

Fashion Trends and Friends were thrilled to receive an email asking if we’d be interested in collaborating with Soft Surroundings…well let us think about it – YES!  We each were given the opportunity to select a top, pants, jewelry item and shoes from the Soft Surroundings Fall Transition Line.  How fun and exciting is that?!  We jumped at the opportunity!  Last week Julie showed you what she chose, I’ll show you my choices this week and next week Cindy will preview her choices!  This was a pretty easy assignment as I was already a Soft Surroundings fan!  I did however approach the project a little differently from Julie and Cindy.  Instead of looking to create an outfit I chose pieces that I could mix and match with other things in my closet.


I chose the Wanderer top.  This tee-weight slub top is light and breathable in pure cotton, with a cardigan’s snap-front panache and relaxed side slits. Front princess seams, long sleeves. Cotton. 27″ long.  It is shown in Canyon Red but I preferred the Vintage Black.  This fabric is so soft!  It feels great on your skin!


Like Julie, Soft Surroundings 5 Pocket Pull on Leggings was my pant choice but I selected them in white.   White pants and shorts are my fashion uniform for the summer.  However if white isn’t for you they come in six other colors!  You are sure to find one you like.  They have a real button and fake zipper front but the waist is actually elastic and they pull up like leggings.  Genius!  In the picture below I’ve combined the Wanderer top and 5 Pocket Pull on Leggings for a casual Friday office look but I can wear each with many other pieces in my closet!


I couldn’t resist this Terre Necklace!  It is only available now in black stone and ivory.  I chose it in brown and ivory.  They are both beautiful!  The neutral tones make it easily wearable.

I love this top and wanted to transition it to fall.  So I paired it with jeans, booties and this awesome necklace and voila I have a great fall look!


To say I fell in love with these Paydon Sneakers is an understatement!  I love everything about them but especially the tassels!  It is a shoe like this that takes an outfit from ordinary to wow what a cute outfit!!  I paired them with white jeans and a denim shirt to run errands and they put a little something extra in my step!


Soft Surroundings – Naperville, Illinois

Julie and I went to Soft Surroundings in Naperville, IL.  What a beautiful store!  Our intent was to exchange sizes on a couple of items and well, you know what happened next.  Here are a few of the things I had to buy!  I love this Perfect Layers Top!  For girls like me with a chubby middle it is a really great choice because the layers flow away from the waist and hide a million sins!

I also had to have these great Metro Leggings.  They come in nine different colors. I liked them because of the fit and the comfort of the elastic waistband.  I must say I would never wear them as shown below.  I will wear them with a longer top that covers the waist and hides the elastic waist band.

Although I didn’t buy the top below I loved it.  I just wasn’t sure where I would wear it.  Julie also tried it on and it looked amazing on her too!


Thank you Soft Surroundings for asking Fashion Trends and Friends to partner with you.  We were already fans and had a wonderful experience and appreciate the opportunity to review your Fall Transition Line!

Which item was your favorite?  Return next week for part 3 in our 3 part series for Cindy’s fall transition picks!




Soft Surroundings

My Time. My Place. My self.

(Naperville, Illinois)

Soft Surroundings – Part 1 of 3

Fashion Trends and Friends were thrilled to receive an email asking if we’d be interested in collaborating with Soft Surroundings…well let us think about it – YES!  Cindy, Lori and I were asked if we’d like to pick a top, pants, jewelry item and shoes from the Soft Surroundings Fall Transition Line.  How fun and exciting is that?!  We jumped at the opportunity!

I chose the Bermondsey top.  This deftly draped knit top creates a subtly chic look with understated fashion details. Pearly buttons collect gathers along the side, with a gentle cowl boatneck and long sleeves.  It comes in the five colors shown.

Soft Surroundings 5 Pocket Pull on Leggings in the sand-washed denim was my pant choice.   Look at all the amazing colors they come in and with just the right amount of stretch they are super duper comfortable!  They sit just below your natural waist. After wearing mine all day, they did not stretch out and bag like others do becoming too large!

This stunning necklace presents a one-of-a-kind gift of Nature – a gold-encased pendant of sliced blue agate druzy, a gemstone associated with creativity and strength. Mingled with shimmering crystal and intricate gold-like beads handwoven on linen thread, grey feldspar also brings balance and flexibility. I’m going to be able to wear it with so many outfits!  It’s quit the statement piece.

Moto-inspired suede booties have all the requirements for a cool modern edge, like laser-cut perforations and a strappy harness with silver studs, to a scalloped top and rounded toe. A chunky stacked wood heel, synthetic lining and man-made sole complete this fast-track Vince Camuto design in all-purpose taupe. 1″ heel. These booties are buttery soft and super comfortable!  They will be on major repeat all fall and winter!  To say I love everything about them is an understatement! LOL

Soft Surroundings – Naperville, Illinois

Lori and I met up to exchange sizes on a couple of items and low and behold a shopping excursion emerged…I know you’re shocked!  The sales associates were so helpful!  The store itself has a warm, inviting and friendly atmosphere. Soft Surroundings was already a favorite of FTFs so this was simply a reminder of why!

Other Favorites and Purchases:

(Please disregard our bare feet in these pictures – LOL!)

Two textures, one terrific tunic. On top, a soft woven overlay ends in a modern asymmetrical hem – and that’s where the light chiffon underlayer begins, offering silky contrast.  Lori and I both loved this top (it comes in three colors) and it pairs perfect with my Patience Necklace. 

I’m wearing Soft Surroundings Metro Leggings!  Lori and I give them two thumbs up for comfort, figure flattering and holding their shape!

I had to have the Aurora Velvet Topper!  The soft material, rich details, comfort and trend factor were all pluses in my book!  I think it looks great with the cream top shown above.  However, I chose to pair it with the Celine Tunic, which comes in seven colors.  The asymmetrical high-low hem adds additional visual interest.

Another successful shopping adventure complete!

Fun on a Photo Shoot:

A special thank you to my hubs, Len!  He’s always willing to take my photos, but the problem is he thinks I look beautiful in all of them.  Therefore, he feels as though one and done is a good thing.  Truth be told the delete button is my friend.  This is the hardest part of blogging – decent pictures!



Being one with the geese and avoiding all of their poop…  LOL

Worshiping the Sun god and Mother Nature…

Ummmm…I have no idea!  What remotely even says I’m ready for my picture to be taken?  Nice face…LOL

Hope you got a good laugh!

In all seriousness, FTF followers please come back next week for part two of our three part series.  Next week, Lori will feature her Soft Surroundings outfits and the following week Cindy will share hers.





How I Got Rid of My Under Eye Dark Circles in 5 Minutes!

I’ll be completely honest with you, I’m the type of person who will get dark under eye circles almost immediately if I’m not caught up on my sleep.

Lately these dark under eye circles seem to be appearing more than I would like. I’ve googled the best way to get rid of them but a regular routine of eight hours sleep and some of the “home” remedies just isn’t always feasible with all the traveling I do.   So how do I get rid of them?

I found a solution and it only takes a few minutes to see the difference with a little help from my new beauty hero Doron Gaby, the owner of Le Visage here in Tucson.

This past week my husband and I were shopping at La Encantada here in Tucson.  We were passing by Le Visage a skin care/day spa shop, when a girl offered me some moisturizer samples.  I took them because I had heard good things about the products they carry and I’m always looking for samples because they are easy to pack when I travel.   I’ve never actually gone into the store because frankly when I’m at the mall I’m in a hurry to get in and out.

I really don’t remember what the girl said to me, but she got me in the store.   In the store, I was greeted by Doron, the owner (pictured above)   Ok ladies….if you were greeted by Doron would you not at least listen about the products he offers?   LOL!

I was telling Doron how I’m getting dark under eye circles more frequently.   He showed me a product called Lionesse White Pearl facelift filler for dark circles and puffy eyes.  He asked if he could apply under my eyes so I could see how quickly it works. Within less than 5 minutes the dark circles were gone and the fine lines smoothed.   I have never seen a product work so quickly at firming up my skin and eliminating the dark circles! I was absolutely amazed!   Even my husband was amazed.  SOLD!

Pretty amazing, right? Do you see the difference? Note: I don’t have an ounce of makeup on my skin or under my eyes, just a bit of mascara.

Because this product is a facelift filler I also decided to try on my chin.  Again, take a look at these results!

More About the Lionesse Facelift Filler

I just want to mention that this is product works for me. However, we’re not all the same and what works for me might not work for you.

The Lionesse Facelift Filler is a specialty serum/gel.  It can be used anywhere on your face.  It works on all skin types.  The product contains vitamin E to repair skin damage, Hyaluronic Acid and avocado oil to moisturize the skin.  It’s light weight and doesn’t flake on your skin (well at least for me) like other products I’ve tried.   You can feel it tightening immediately.   It lasted all day for me, so I didn’t need to reapply.  

Instructions say its meant to be used once per week and/or before special occasions.  Does leaving the house qualify for a special occasion?   LOL   I’ve been using it daily.  Make sure you face is completely dry before you apply.  You only need a small drop per eye. Then let it dry.  I actually put my hairdryer on the cool setting and blow the cool air on each eye to speed up the drying process.   You then can put moisturizer or any other product over it.

 Let’s Talk Cost

Now, I try to keep myself on a bit of a budget when it comes to beauty products. I DO splurge every now and then to treat myself.   The MSPR of this product can be $175 to $995!  My jaw hit the floor when I saw this price range.   I needed a moment to recover.

I was able to purchase from Doron for $135!  That was more manageable.  Its still a bit more than I would normally spend, but the product works like magic! So for me, it was worth the investment.

Offer For Our Followers!

Doron has kindly offered the White Pearl Facelift Filler to all of our followers for $135 + FREE Ship!  This is not just for your first order, but also every reorder!   If you don’t live in the Tucson area, you can call the shop.

How to get this offer:  Stop in or Call  520-299-1938

Tell them you follow Fashion Trends and Friends and give them code FTFeyes

If you do order the product and try it, please let us know how it worked for you.  We would also love for you to send us your before and after pic!

Other Products I’m Trying

I also purchased some other products for my skin: the nightly eye cream from the Amber Collection, the Vitamin C serum from the White Pearl Collection and Ultimare Pearl Facial Peel and scheduled a facial for next week.   I will be blogging about the results.  So stay tuned!

I want to thank Doron for being so generous in offering this price to our followers.  I had a great time and can’t wait for him to give me my facial this weekend!

*Note: All opinions in this post are entirely my own. I do not work for, nor was I paid by Doron to write this post.


FTF Friends – Meet Lynn O’Dowd!

A Fellow Friend in the Forever Fierce 50 Revolution!

FTF is as much about friends as it is about fashion.  So from time to time we are going to introduce you to some of our most fashionable, creative and talented friends.  Women we love dearly.  The kind of friend who if they called you in the middle of the night and said they needed help, you would pop out of bed, grab your keys and run out the door to get there as fast as possible.

Lynn O’Dowd is one of those friends.  My sister, Karen, calls them forever friends.  Those you’ve shared the majority of your life with and who literally stood by your side during life’s ups and downs.  Lynn and I met in the fifth grade at Hillcrest Elementary School.  We shared spin the bottle, first kisses and were catholic girls that went to Bar Mitzvah’s together.  In high school, she was a cheerleader and I was a pom pom girl.  When we decided to go to the same college, being roommates was a no-brainer!  Post college we were all about the disco scene and went through I don’t know how many Mr. Wrongs and Mr. Rights for right now!  We consoled each other about the Mr. Wrongs and laughed together about the Mr. Rights for right now.   When we each found the real Mr. Right, we stood by each other’s side again as bridesmaids.  She and her husband attend all my sons’ big events; first communions, confirmations and graduations.  She was by my side again holding me up as we said goodbye to my father who passed 3 years ago.  She is truly a forever friend so let me introduce you to her and fill you in on all the amazing things she is doing!


Meet Lynn O’Dowd

Lynn worked in hospitality and corporate America right out of college and was very successful but after 15 years needed a change.  After a lot of soul searching and great consideration, she changed careers and became a certified professional organizer and an executive productivity coach.  In 1999 Lynn launched her own business, All About Time!  She trained with Tony Robbins and even appeared with him on the Oprah Winfrey show!  She is wildly successful!

Even though she built a fantastic business, enjoyed her work and was gratified by the impact she was making in the lives of her clients something was missing.  She was satisfied but wanted to bring more joy and happiness into her life.  After a lot of soul searching and personal reflection, she remembered how much she enjoyed singing in the high school choir.  So she joined her church choir.  She loved it but it wasn’t enough.  Then she remembered how much she enjoyed playing guitar as a young woman so she dug it out of the attic and began playing again.  She enjoyed it but it wasn’t enough.  One day while reading the paper she came across an ad seeking a singer for a rock n roll band. Even though it scared her to death she gathered all her courage, auditioned and got the gig!.  Lynn was a singer in a rock n roll band.  Now her soul was singing!


She performed with the band for about a year and was having an amazing time.  Everyone wanted to hear HOW she did it, and wished they could live their dreams, too.  She realized there are so many people who feel they could play a bigger game (get on a bigger stage), contribute more, and make a bigger difference in their business and life. They have these big dreams in their career or life, yet they often never get to fulfill any of them due to fear, lack of self-worth, or perhaps the negative voice playing in their head.

So, she decided to do something about it…


Meet Lynn O’Dowd – Keynote Performer

Lynn wrote and performs what is basically a one woman show.   A unique, soul-energizing, transformational keynote.

She ultimately helps people tap into the missing ingredients that prevent them from experiencing a spectacular outcome in life or in business. 
She helps them Unleash Their Inner Superstar, so they can literally become who they want to be or fulfill who they were born to be.

In a nutshell, – she moves them from I CAN’T to I CAN in 30 to 60 minutes.

She accomplishes this by using her own story and song lyrics to teach about transformation and she physically transforms before the audience’s very eyes with an eye-popping costume change that allows her to Unleash her Inner Superstar (in her case, Lady Gaga) to drive home the message that we all have hidden gifts and talents within us, we just need to let them out!


The common result & benefits of her keynotes are standing ovations, tears, many photos with her as “Lady Gaga”, and audience testimonials on how they transformed, followed through on their dreams, and achieved new levels of passion, performance, and courage in business and life.


Lynn’s Inspiration Comes to Chicago! Lady Gaga at Wrigley Field

Much of Lynn’s inspiration  for her keynote performance comes from Lady Gaga. When she learned Gaga was coming to Chicago, she knew she had to go.  My husband, Mark, is also a big fan so we made it a double date.  To say it was fantastic is an understatement!  The weather was perfect, the venue historic but what really stood out to me was the positive energy flowing throughout the crowd.  Lady Gaga’s fans are diverse, accepting, kind and loving. Everyone was so happy and excited to see her perform.


The people watching was amazing!  Here are a few of my favorites.  They were happy to strike a pose!

The Best Part of the Night – Lynn Get’s Picked to Be in the Mosh Pit!

Do you believe in karma?  I do.  Lynn and her husband  had just arrived when a Wrigley Field staff member took one look at Lynn’s costume and asked if they’d like to watch the concert from the lawn directly in front of the stage!  Of course they said yes!  Lynn got to see her inspiration up close and personal.  Nobody deserved it more!  Check out my girl in the mosh pit!


Find Out More about Lynn and her Keynote Performance

If you’re looking for a great keynote speaker check out Lynn O’Dowd!  To learn more about Lynn visit her website and social media pages.

Lynn O’Dowd Keynote Performer








What’s the Right Dress to Dress Your Body Type…

How to Pick the Right Dress for Your Body Type

I typically don’t wear dresses to work.  However, for whatever reason, dresses have kind of been my go to recently.  I’m finding them to be easy to wear and comfortable.  Part of the reason might be attributed to the fact that I have figured out what style is figure flattering on my body type.  Think camouflage the mid-section, bootie and minimize my large chest…phew that’s a lot of camouflaging!  HA

Practical Fashionista 

In this brief video, Practical Fashionista describes how to pick a holiday dress for your body type.  In reality, the holidays aren’t that far away, yet her tips are perfect for picking a dress for any occasion…


Were you able to identify your body type?  The hour glass was my body type for years until I hit my 50’s.  Now I think I’m a triangle.

My Recent Dress Purchases

This dress works on my body type (think triangle) because it camouflages all of my problem areas (mid-section, booty and large chest).  I’m comfortable wearing dresses right above the knee.  The statement necklace and cold shoulders draw the eye up towards my face and away from my problem areas.  Once I figured out that this style of dress was figure flattering, I knew to look for others with the same silhouette.

As you can see, this dress has the exact silhouette as the dress above.  It’s figure flattering because it hides what I consider my problem areas.  Additionally, it has POCKETS!  Who doesn’t love pockets?!!  This material usually causes me to not try it on as I’m fearful it will cling in all the wrong spots.  However, if it’s slightly heavier, it doesn’t cling at all!  Phew!


If you watched the video, you know statement jewelry pieces draw the eye upward.  Both necklaces came with earrings and were purchased on Amazon.  If there’s something specific I know I want and don’t want to drive all over looking for it, Amazon is always my first go to for searching.  The prices are usually great and with prime I get delivery quickly!  That’s a total win in my book!

Shop the Dress (a Similar Look):  New York and Company

You’re probably noticing the pattern of the same silhouette in all three of these examples but I thought it worth sharing especially since all three are varying material.  This dress is far more casual and can be worn without leggings.  I wore it without in Punta Cana.  The material is like a sweatshirt type material and it has a small zipper in the back.  Other selling points were the POCKETS and the SEQUINED lettering GLAM…happy dance!  I think this can be dressed up or down and worn multiple ways, which are always good selling points!

Shop the Dress:  on sale for $24.97 at New York and Company


This denim dress is figure flattering because it flows away from my body yet has some structural interest:  bare shoulders, ruffled top, hem line cutouts and I can’t forget to mention comfort!!  Although I would never wear this to work, it’s perfect for summer days and evenings.  By the way, while I absolutely adore those sandals, I was ready to either be carried or crawl home.  Sometimes I sacrifice comfort for cute, but I think I need to give these away.  Size 9.5…any takers?  HA!

Shop the Dress (a similar look):  on sale for $19.97 at Carson’s


This beauty grabbed my attention because all of the amazing details, which you might have heard me describe on FTF’s Insta Stories.  Love the colorful embroidery, the grommets around the neck and sleeves, the tassels and it has POCKETS! The denim material doesn’t cling and as Lori would say it covers “my sins”!  This dress could also be worn over leggings, jeggings and will easily transition into fall.  I’ve actually seen this dress in several locations.  I purchased it at Steinmart.

This dress is made of what I’d consider tee shirt material.  It’s very soft.  Initially I was concerned that it would be too clingy, but it’s not.  The blue coloring is ombre and goes from a darker to lighter blue.  While it hits right at the knee, I felt more comfortable pairing it with white leggings for extra smoothing underneath.  It can be dressed up like shown.  I wore it to work; but it can be thrown over a swimsuit and worn to the beach.  It’s loose enough that it doesn’t draw attention to any of my flaws.  The lines of faded color along the sides also slim and draw your eye vertically.

That about sums up my recent dress purchases.  Do you have any tips for dress shopping?  Please share your tips and favorite spots to shop!


The Rocky Road to Menopause and How Essential Oils Can Help

A little over a month ago I received an unexpected gift in the mail.   It was a set of 6 essential oils from Eden Gardens.   The gift was sent to me by a coworker (who is a Millennial).  The note in the package said….” Thinking of you and hoping you can get some relief from your hot flashes/insomnia/anxiety with these.  I’ve being using them for several years and they have helped me tremendously.   Hope they can help you”.

Wow!  How thoughtful and lovely was that?!  The coworker and I work closely together. I’ve been complaining about all my premenopausal issues to her.   She is great in getting me to laugh about everything that is going on with my body right now and to not get so stressed about it. (She has a very funny, dry sense of humor that I love!)  Even though she is 20 years my junior, I don’t think of her as that much younger than me.   It’s actually pretty amazing how much we do have in common even with the age difference.  We are “bridging the gap”!

I wanted to try the oils out before I gave an honest review.   I must be living under a rock, because as I started researching Eden Gardens and found that there is an essential oils craze right now.   It’s not that I didn’t know about essential oils.  I’ve been using lavender and Tee Tree on and off for years, but it really seems to be “a thing” right now.


My new best friends…. meet Clare Sage, Peppermint  and Joy (a Synergy Blend)

Joy  this is a combination of sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis), Lemon (Citrus limon), Tangerine (Citrus reticulata), Lime (Citrus aurantifolia), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Litsea (Litsea cubeba), Damiana (Turnera diffusa), Jasmine (Jasminum officinale var. grandiflorum), Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia

eden gardens

I’m using it when I feel a little tired or sluggish, I just rub it on my wrists and the back of my neck. I don’t know if its psychological, but it does seem to help.  It also has a very nice fragrance without being overpowering. I can only say it really does bring me “joy” when I use it. LOL   Even my husband, who does not like the smell of most oils, enjoys this fragrance so this is a keeper.

My Hot Flash Help – Clary Sage and Peppermint

hot flashes


Clary Sage

It has significantly reduced my hot flashes during the day.   I need to apply at least 4-5 times a day.  I mixed some clary sage with peppermint, and put it on the back of my neck, behind my ears, and on the sides and tops of my ankles.   Night sweats are still a bit of an issue so I just bought a diffuser on Amazon and am going to see if this helps at night.   A couple of girls at work tell me they use it to help with PMS cramps. I know not every oil works for everyone the same way, but worth a try for those with cramps.

Funny Story:

The other day at work I had a hot flash come on quickly.  It was in the middle of a meeting with about ten 27 – 32 year olds (men and women) I had the 5oz bottle in my bag and pulled out the bottle, shook it on the tissue and inhaled/exhaled.  They had that look…what on earth is she doing. I told them why and I was trying the essential oils. The reaction was actually pretty amazing.   The comments were “that’s cool” (no pun intended LOL) Cindy you crack me up with how honest you are.  That’s what we love about you…you are so direct and transparent.  How nice right!? One even commented “yeah my mom is getting hot flashes and she says it’s miserable.   I need to tell her about this.”   Again, “bridging the gap”  Note:  It didn’t get rid of the hot flashes completely, but it definitely helps a lot!


Peppermint oil may also reduce your discomfort when experiencing hot flashes. Add no more than two drops to a tissue. Hold the tissue up to your nose while breathing slowly.  I’m also using it for some nerve pain I’m having.  I’m rubbing on my outer ankle and lower back.   It actually is working!   It only lasts for a couple of hours, but very helpful.

Roll Ons and Base Oils

Eden Gardens also sells roll ons that are pre-diluted.  These will be great for travel, but since I already have the oils, I  just purchased a set of roller balls from Amazon and some fractionated coconut oil  so I can “do it myself” right now.  I’m going to use the roller ball with Be Still Synergy Blend and rub it on my wrists when I start to feel anxious (which seems to be getting worse for me when I fly! No idea why!)  More to come on how this works for me.

My experience with Eden Gardens has been positive.   I’m still playing around with how many drops I need to use.   Also, I should mention it’s very affordable! I encourage you to check out their website to learn more about the company.  There are lots of great resources on the website that share ways to use oils, and you can also contact the company if you have specific questions.

All in all, would I say essential oils work 100%? No, not for me.  But they do help a lot!

I’m in no way affiliated with Eden Garden.  They have no idea who I am, and they are certainly not paying me to write this post.  Anyone can purchase their oils through their website or Amazon.

How about you? Are you already a die-hard fan of essential oils?