April Q&A: Fashion, Beauty, Food & Life

Happy Tuesday, friends! I’ve got my April Q&A for you today. I was planning to start doing these monthly, but I guess I missed March. Oooops!

I put out a call for questions, and I got quite a few, so I’m answering those, as well as some common ones that I tend to get asked regularly.

Fashion Questions

Q // I ordered the BlancNYC Moto Jacket and I love it. It’s a sand/taupe color. I’m wondering if it’s appropriate to wear a suede jacket in spring (if I ever go anywhere! LOL)

A // I believe you are talking about this one. I have it in pink and taupe and will definitely wear mine this spring… or I would if I had somewhere to wear it.

Q // Since my calves are heavy in comparison to the rest of my body, a lower vamp shoes generally is more slimming. However, I like a lot of the styles with a cute ankle strap. I feel like that ankle strap just draws attention to my calves. If I got a pair of ankle strap shoes in a nude color, would that be the best of both worlds? Slimming but still a cute current style??

A // I think so… of course, I’d have to see the whole outfit, but I do think that logic makes sense. If they’re your skin color, they should blend in, and vamp and straps shouldn’t matter much.

Q // Are driving mocs “out”?

A // I’d say they’re a classic, and if they work with your personal style aesthetic, go for it. My mom has worn them forever, and they work for her.

I’ve also seen other young fashion bloggers rock the Tod’s. I always think I want to get a pair when I see them wearing them.

I absolutely love this pair, but it’s spendy. UGG makes a good one for under $100, although I prefer the ones with the more traditional pebbled sole.

Q // Seeing Dr. Birx at the daily covid briefings, she wears silk scarves. Are silk scarves in or out? They seem out to me. No offense meant to her!! 🙂

A // I think Dr. Birx is a great example of a classy woman rocking her personal style and looking amazing, despite the trends. I couldn’t get away with it, but they look amazing on her.

Q // Please comment on classic handbag styles. I can’t figure out what style of bag to buy other than I recall you said cognac, grey or wine were classic colors. Cognac is my favorite. I want a medium sectioned tote or satchel, but I don’t like multiple floppy handles and straps.

A // Handbags are such a personal choice… I love a good tote, and they are always in style.

Some ladies prefer a satchel, but those are fussy for me, unless they have an optional shoulder strap. I prefer a bag I can sling over my shoulder.

Hobos are fun, but they tend to go in and out of style a bit more than totes and satchels. They lean a little more casual because of the slouchy style, although some are more structured than others… like this Tory Burch that I have in ivory. Such a good bag!

Of course, a crossbody is always useful, and great for those times when you want to be hands-free.

You mentioned liking the sectioned bags.

This one is a nice classic choice, and it comes in cognac. This one is a more versatile medium size with two sections, and I love that Devon Sand color.

Of course, there are less expensive options, those are just two that came to mind.

Nordstrom Rack is having a Dooney & Bourke event right now, and they have some nice choices. Also, this Cuyana satchel is gorgeous, and you can get it monogrammed.

Q // Shorter length sweaters…I see you are showing them in your try on hauls. I like that cut. Do you think it will continue Into fall?

A // I hope so! I definitely see why they’re making a comeback — they work so well with higher rise jeans that are also trending.

Q // My question is how to look human while wearing a face mask. (The Bay Area in California is requiring them). I’ve tried using scarves, but they move too much. I kept touching my face. I purchased some mask from Los Angeles Apparel over the internet (no affiliation – it’s just really hard to get any washable mask and need to leave real masks for professionals). Amazon hasn’t been a reliable mask source and on Etsy, it’s hard to tell the mask quality.

A // Haha! I think we are all going to be looking for stylish face masks here shortly! I had a friend make one for each of us girls, but I hate to bug her for more. I need to start looking for some other resources, if we are going to be wearing them for a few months. I’d like to have several options so I can coordinate with my outfits.

One of my friends is supporting this company, but they’re all solid black, and they make me think of a bank robber, haha!

I follow this classy German lady on Instagram, and I actually took a screenshot of her wearing a gorgeous scarf as a face mask, for future reference. Maybe this would be a better use for Dr. Birx’s gorgeous scarf collection. 😉

Q // Do you match the wallet to each purse? What’s a good basic color that’s not black? (So sick of black purses and wallets!)

A // I never used to. I always figured it’s enough trouble to swap out your purse with each outfit, but to switch out a wallet seemed really extra. That said, I have recently fallen into the “trap” of buying a few different wallets to go with different bags.

At this point, I basically have a large “winter wallet” and a mid-size “summer wallet” — they’re both Louis Vuitton, and they match my Neverfull (Damier Ebene) and my Graceful (Damier Azur). Then I recently picked up a smaller black wallet that I use with my smaller crossbody bags.

I don’t switch out my wallets nearly as often as I do my bags, but I may change it every few weeks. It depends on which bag(s) I’m gravitating to the most at a given time.

Q // Who is your favorite fashion designer and which celebrity has a personal style that you admire?

A // I can’t really say I have a favorite fashion designer. I’m pretty basic when it comes to designers — Tory Burch, Vince, Rag & Bone, AG Jeans, AllSaints… the usual suspects.

As far as celebrities go, in keeping with my basic white girl style (ha!), I identify most with Jennifer Aniston’s style, but I also have mad respect and admiration for Kate Middleton. I love how she keeps it tailored and classic, yet never the least bit frumpy.

Beauty Questions

Q // What’s a good eyeshadow crease color for mature eyes? Should lids be neutral cream/wheat/champagne? I’ve read that champagne pencil is both good on brow bone AND aging on brow bone, depending on the blogger. Give us the straight scoop!!!!

A // I’m really not an expert on makeup, so I don’t have strong opinion. I just know what I like on myself, and I stick to gray tones that aren’t too shimmery.

Q // False eyelash tutorial. I love them but haven’t tried application. Totally intimidated.

A // Again, not my wheelhouse. I’ve never applied false eyelashes.

I’m pretty much a plain Jane when it comes to makeup. I recently did a demo on IG Story, and it’s saved to my highlights under Makeup Routine, if you want to check it out.

Life/Food/Relationship Questions

Q // What types of extra-curriculars were you involved in while in high school? (Band or band front, sports, dance, girl scouts, church youth activities, etc)

A // Now, that’s one I don’t believe I was ever asked before! I was in the concert choir in middle school, high school, and college, as well as at church. And our church youth group was very active and probably my biggest social outlet aside from choir when I was in high school.

My closest friends were at church youth group, and in the high school choir. I went to church in a neighboring city, so the two social circles didn’t overlap much, although my best friend from school often joined me for youth group activities.

I also played the violin in the church orchestra, which was quite large. (We went to a big southern Baptist church.)

I never did sports of any kind until I found running in my late 30s, and I never did girl scouts or dance or anything like that. So basically, music was my life! The youth choir was even a big part of our church’s youth group — we put on a musical every year, and we went on a week-long choir tour in the summertime.

Q // Very curious about what IF looks like for you. Can you share what you eat in a typical day?

A // This could be a post in and of itself, but I’ll try to be succinct… haha. As if!

Every day is different, but I basically drink black coffee or water from the time I wake up until I break my fast, which is usually sometime between 2 and 4PM, depending on how I’m feeling and our schedule for the day.

During my eating window, I usually have a snack, then dinner, and then a cookie or a few Hershey kisses. It doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, I eat a lot during that time — probably too much. I’m still tweaking what I eat during my window as I figure out how much I need and what foods work best for me. I close my window as soon as I take that last bite of dessert — usually around 7 and 8PM.

As far as what I eat, that varies greatly, but I eat a lot of meat (probably too much) and cheese and carbs. I know I need more veggies in my life, and I’m working on that.

I’ve never bought into the low-fat fad, so real butter, whole milk, bacon, and eggs are food staples in our household. We buy mostly organic, locally raised milk, meat, and eggs. I don’t buy breakfast cereal — even the “healthy” ones are mostly just sugar and highly processed carbohydrates — worthless at best, but probably slowly killing us as a nation. I blame them for the obesity epidemic, but that’s another post for another time.

The kids don’t really eat breakfast, or they will make a smoothie or toast or yogurt or something. Paul usually makes oatmeal for breakfast, and when I used to eat breakfast, it was usually eggs — either scrambled or fried. Or if I was in a rush, a breakfast bar. (Which is crap, I know. One thing I love about intermittent fasting is I don’t end up grabbing bars and crappy snacks when I’m too busy to prepare a good breakfast or lunch.)

Lunch was usually leftover dinner (soup/chili/casserole/cold chicken or pork loin) or a salad with protein on it (tuna from a can, or leftover chicken from dinner.) I usually make my own dressing — this lemon vinaigrette is my favorite.

I miss salads, and I think my body needs them, so one of my goals this month is to start breaking my fast with a salad in the mid-afternoon, instead of a carbalicious snack.

Kale Salad with Cranberries & Almonds

For meals, I usually prepare a protein, rice or potatoes, and a green vegetable. Or I’ll make soup or stew or a casserole of some sort, with a green vegetable on the side. Tacos, chili, and shepherd’s pie are popular in the wintertime. When in doubt, I’ll usually cook one of those. In the summer, I do a lot of grilling.

We always eat dinner together as a family, unless Paul and I have somewhere to be. I would say we have a family dinner 4 or 5 nights a week, and then do takeout or go out to eat once or twice a week. (Lately, it’s just takeout.)

I usually keep popcorn and chips around for snacking, as well as Mary’s Gone Crackers and fixin’s for a cheese and charcuterie plate, and there’s always something sweet in the house. I keep a candy bowl with Hershey Kisses — they are the perfect little hit to satisfy my sugar/chocolate cravings, and I often pick up organic cookies or gluten-free Tate’s cookies at the store.

In addition to that, C bakes a lot from scratch. She makes all kinds of goodies, but homemade chocolate chip cookies get baked almost every night. I usually go to bed before that, which is a good thing because they are hard to resist!

I still eat 95% gluten-free, and when I get careless, I always end up regretting it. And as I said, I’m currently working on getting a better ratio of vegetables to protein and carbs in my diet. I’m a work in progress, like everyone else!

Q // How did you meet your husband?

A // This one actually IS a post in and of itself. I will just refer you to this: How I Met My Hubby.

Q // How is it going with the new puppy?

A // I had so many questions and requests for pictures yesterday! I think some of you are as excited about our new puppy as we are. So, without further ado, meet Ozzy!

I shared quite a bit in my email newsletter this morning, and I don’t want to be too repetitive, but basically, things are going as well as can be expected. Ozzy is a sweetheart and loves to be held and cuddled. He’s also very playful and likes his toys, but he’s happiest when he’s chasing someone around the front yard.

Savannah, however, was not at all amused by this intruder. When we introduced them in the front yard yesterday, he kept rolling on his back and trying to play with her, and she just growled at him. Eventually she settled down and started sniffing at him, and they appeared to come to some sort of uneasy truce.

When we’re inside, he’s usually in his puppy pen, and she has total freedom to move about as she pleases, so she doesn’t seem to mind him as much. But this morning, they went at it again when C let Savannah out of her room and Ozzy wasn’t in his pen — that was bad timing! He’s almost always in his pen but R had just had him outside, I guess.

For now, we’re keeping them separated most of the time, and keeping their interactions brief (and well-supervised.)

R took care of Ozzy last night, and he did great. So far, he’s only had one accident in the house, and fortunately that was in his pen on the puppy pads, which are there for that purpose.

So yeah, all in all, it’s going very well so far!

I’m planning to hop on a Facebook Live at 1PM EST, so if you have any more questions, you can ask me there, or in the comments below.

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40 Responses

  1. Congratulations on the new puppy. We have two miniature golden doodles ourselves, and they are the loves of our lives now that our kids are grown. Also, they are pet therapy dogs. Best dogs ever and they certainly do require a lot of human attention, but you can’t just help give it to them because they are absolutely precious. Good luck with the puppy stage.

  2. I often have trouble picking the right wash of jeans. The other day comments in a JLS Tribe FB post someone said they wear dark tops with lighter wash jeans and would also wear pastels. Realizing it is an individual preference could you share your thoughts? Thank you!

    1. I agree with all of the above. I think light wash jeans look great with light neutrals, dark neutrals, navy blue, and most pastels. Really, they go with anything… in a way, they’re more versatile than dark jeans. Maybe I’ll whip up a post about it. I do occasionally get questions about what to wear with the different denim washes.

  3. That puppy is adorable!! Our kids have been bugging us for another but I don’t think our 10 year old girl would put up with it. Haha! I’m no expert but I think Ozzy rolling on his back is allowing Savannah to take the roll of alpha dog. He knows she’s top dog! 

    1. Yes, that’s what I was thinking as well. He is used to being with other dogs and has probably learned that. I keep hoping she will get that he is being submissive, and she’ll try to be nice… but I guess it will take some time.

  4. It was fun to read that you had the puppy in your lap in your office. We got our dog (as a puppy) 7 years ago, and I was doing a lot of online live teaching and meetings then-what goes around comes around LOL. Anyway, when the puppy was in the laundry room with a baby gate, my students could hear her whine, so I got in the habit of putting her behind me in my office chair because it was too hard to run the computer with her on my lap and I needed her to be quiet. Fast forward 7 years and she still wants to sit behind me in my office chair every day, although we don’t really fit anymore!

  5. Which LV wallets do you own? I’m looking for a smaller wallet for summer bags. Although right now, I’m using a glamorous ziplock baggie as a wallet so I can be as germ-free and easy to sanitize as possible.

    1. I have the Sarah (DE) and the Emilie (Azur). I like the Sarah better — it has way more card slots. But I got the Emilie in Azur b/c I didn’t want the same wallet twice, and b/c it was considerably less expensive.

  6. Savannah will work out a good relationship with the puppy. She will probably become the alpha dog (even if the puppy gets bigger than she is.) It takes them time to work out their dynamics haha! It will be so much fun to see them together in awhile when they have worked things out.
    Hope to catch your facebook live today, but if not, then I will watch it later. Going to try to get a walk in with the dogs since we are supposed to get rain and yucky weather later in the day.
    I want to thank you, again, for introducing me to IF. Day 92 for me, and I love the control. I still have more inches (not necessarily pounds) I would like to lose, but I will get there. I am thinking of looking at some more of Adriene’s yoga (maybe for toning) once I finish the 30 days. Thank you for sharing that as well. I am not very good, but it makes me take at least some time out of each day for me.

  7. I love hearing about the puppy. And seeing videos. What’s your son up to these days? Is camp a possibility? We are going to start phase one on Friday in GA. I’ll be cautious though. But have hair appt next Tues. cautiously optimistic. Pray it works out.

  8. That puppy!  Our older GSP died last September at 13 and I miss him constantly.  His brother (same parents, different litter) will be 11 next month.  I so want a puppy to distract and console me, but I can’t do it to this sweet 11 year old ‘baby’ I still have.

    I am living vicariously through you  ; )

    I’m sure you’ve read it all, but I think Savannah, while growling, showing teeth, etc., is very unlikely to actually hurt (aside from a disciplinary reminder) Ozzy.  It is my understanding and experience that while it can look and sound AWFUL, an adult dog will not harm a pup.  Just for what it’s worth… advice from a stranger on the internet.   HAHA

    Have a great day.  Can’t wait to see Ozzy at 1:00

  9. Etsy has a lot of really cute masks. Just wash before wearing to be on the safe side. My sister-in-law has been making masks for healthcare workers to wear over their N95’s (?) and she made several for me. I figure I might as well be stylish if I am going to need to wear them for the foreseeable future. The new puppy is adorable. 

  10. I wanted to let your readers know about a lady I follow on Instagram who makes and sells washable and reusable cotton masks with MERV filets.  MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value and filters >90% of fine particles, which is equal to that of P2 a d N95 filter systems.  It can be used for 12 months and cleaned by wiping with an antibacterial and left to dry.  
    You can view the masks at http://www.funkyfido.com.au. It is an Australian company, 
    Juls and she was a pediatric nurse who contacted RSV from a patient years ago which ruined her lungs so she is now on oxygen herself and wears these masks. She is an amazing human being and so sweet and funny. If you don’t want a mask, but just want to smile, check out her Instagram account funkyfidos where she films the hilarious antics I’d her darling westies. 

  11. Hope I can hop on your Facebook live today.  My question is when shopping at Nordstrom Rack is the merchandise the real deal?  I know some of the other discount stores produce knock offs.  Ozzie is adorable!  Savannah should calm down soon I’m sure.

  12. Ozzy is adorable!  I’m sure he is bringing y’all lots of laughs during this trying time!  Keep us posted with plenty of pics!

  13. Congratulations on the puppy again. He’s so cute and Savannah and him will be buddies in no time:)  I would also like to see a post on the different washes of jeans and what color tops look best.  Sometimes it’s a given when getting dressed but sometimes not so much. Really enjoyed your Q&A post😀. Thanks for sharing. 

  14. My puppy, a mini Schnauzer was afraid of the lawn. It took a long time to get him to walk on it. He was a pseudo-rescue — a pure bred puppy mill puppy from the Midwest sold to a puppy broker in Oakland California where he was kept in a dark windowless room. My daughter’s then boyfriend bought him and neglected him terribly. I was asked to dog sit when they moved to a no pet home, and basically refused to give him back. We had 10 wonderful years with him. Seeing Ozzy makes me want a puppy so badly. But the heartache of losing him is still there. I’m really torn. Maybe after we relocate….I really enjoyed your sharing about him. BTW, I was a Girl Scout! And in choir, and played the cello! And Southern Baptist. I’m probably old enough to be your mom, and if I actually were your mom, I’d be very proud of you. Okay no more sappy comments! 😂

  15. Ok, so all of the Q and A was very helpful, but – I am in LOVE with your new puppy! We have an 8-year old yellow lab/hound mix, named Ozzie! He is our best dog ever! I hope you have as much love and joy in your household from your Ozzy as we have from ours!

  16. EEK! I love the pupper!! Please share regular pics of him!

    Also, on the taco topic…I also use a homemade seasoning mix for mine, but I make a batch 3-4 times the size of the recipe and store it in a jar in my spice cabinet. Then I only have to make it every few times instead of each time. Makes taco night that much easier! 🙂

  17. Your puppy is darling ❤️ I love your stories about him . Is he a golden doodle ? What breed dog is Savannah? 
    Sounds like you eat well ! Loved the lemon salad dressing recipe .  I’m up early , around 5:30 – 6 and I’m starving by around 9 , wish I could bypass breakfast! Was it difficult at first ?  I don’t eat after 5 -6 though and in bed by 9 .  
    I love all your fashion blogs !  Enjoy that beautiful pup 😀🤗

  18. May I ask where you got Ozzie in Lancaster County?  I live in Lancaster and am looking for a mini golden doodle, but want to make sure I am getting one from a reputable place.

  19. Good luck with the new puppy! What fun memories you will be making with your kids (even David) still at home together to enjoy and bond with him.

    Also, fun read about how you met your husband! God works in mysterious ways! My roommate introduced me to my husband who was his friend as well. They too married and now live in the same neighborhood as us & their daughter was our girls nanny the last two summers. 🙂

  20. I’d like to know what other fashion bloggers you follow on Instagram who you feel show a good fashion sense for women over 40. At one point I was following so many and realized I had nothing in common with many (some who were just having babies, in their 20s, etc..)  so I began unfollowing most. But I don’t want the opposite either (age wise) as I’m still working, consider myself still young at 53, and live in a very fashion forward region/area. Any ideas? 

    1. Honestly, most I follow are younger… but I feel like I just kind of instinctively know how what works for me at my age and what doesn’t? Like you, I have a younger style for 47, and I just sort of follow my gut. I will have to pay better attention as I follow my IG and let you know if anyone occurs to me. I think I’ve shared before the ones I really like, and they are all younger.

      1. Yeah, I seem to remember a blog post way back where you gave a nod to other bloggers you liked. I still follow a couple young ones on Instagram because they’re in CA. “Fashion Jackson” is one I like (although none of what she wears really translates into my daily wardrobe needs; 3 inch heels with jeans is an example- it looks sooo chic, but I can’t do that in my job or anywhere else I go really) and I follow Cassie Randolph (who is the same age as my son 😆  but I think her mom is my age and she often posts pics of family members; her mom is beautiful, fashionable and they live in Newport which is my “hood”). 
        You’re the most relatable fashion blogger for me. And it’s funny because you live in a completely different climate and area than I do, but 90% of the time you choose items that would work for me. 😊 

  21. Hi Jo-Lynne,
    Great question and answer session today. I’m with Becca! 🙂 Not fond of the puppy in the crate. Especially all night. 🙁 I know that’s how they do things these days, but I like the old fashioned way…..ha ha. Let the puppy be with the family outside of the crate. 🙂
    Anyway….he is adorable. I must have missed the part when you first chose him as far as the breed he is? I’m guessing a Labradoodle mini?
    BTW, that was not too much information on how he did his first day. I hope Savannah will soon want to play with him as she gets more comfortable with the new kid in town.
    Thanks for sharing.

  22. This quarantine has allowed me time to start reading your posts again and how I have missed you!! You keep it real, you’re classy and I love your style. I ordered the Blank NYC jacket in the grey chateau you featured a few days ago. I hope I like it! I plan to pair it with a floral top like you did.

  23. Yes, please to a post on choosing which colour top to wear with different denim washes. I realize I tend to buy dark wash jeans, plus so many of my tops are navy, black or charcoal. When I put them together, the look seems so blah or too matchy-matchy. Although is matchy back in style? Thank you for all your hard work.

  24. I’m a choir gal too – concert choir in middle and high school. Church choir off and on since then. Church, teen group and camps were where I made my friends, some of them life long. 🙂

  25. I think silk scarves are a classic, like trench coats and white button down shirts.  A beautiful scarf can really pull an outfit together!

  26. BEWARE OF ETSY. I just happened to see that one of you girls recommended Etsy to buy a mask from. That is exactly what my husband and I did. We ordered them on April 3rd and they were supposed to be shipped on the 15th. They still have not been shipped but it shows that a label has been created!! We are told by Etsy that once a label has been created there’s nothing they can do about it. So as of right now there’s nobody we can contact to ask them why our package is sitting there with the label on it. There’s no way to contact anyone on Etsy including the person that was supposed to ship them! We also have not been successful to find a place on the Etsy website to let other people know not to order fro this person. Outrageous.
    The company that we ordered them from was highly recommended to us. 🙁  🙁

  27. Love seeing your little Ozzy! You remind me so much of my daughter who has an older little Shih Tzu and got a goodendoodle. The golden wanted to play with the shih tzu too much so they decided to get the second goldendoodle puppy to be a playmate to the first one. They are so adorable and love being with each other and the shih tzu is back to being queen of house!
    And then there is my son! My daughter-in-law convinced him it would be ok to get a puppy. We were introduced to an adorable little cockapoo. When my son said an absolute no to getting another puppy, she managed to convince him that the puppy needed a pet so they got a cat! We now have several grand puppies who open their own presents at Chrismastime!
    Thanks for sharing thru your blog during this crazy time. I always look forward to it!

  28. This California time doesn’t jive with yours…sorry for the late post and question.  What are you reading now?  I would love that to be a regular appearance on your post somewhere so I (we) can check periodically.  I’m frequently looking for something good to read.  I haven’t found anything to capture my attention since I read the Crawdads book.  Loved loved loved it!!!  I am in love with Ozzie!  I’ve always had a soft spot for Goldens, even tho’ I’m not a dog person.

  29. Informative post!  Ozzy laying on his back when Savannah is around is a very good thing.  He is saying that Savannah is the alpha dog and he is being submissive to her.  Good boy!

  30. I need shoes! I have a narrow foot and, usually, shoes are to wide on my foot, so online orders are dicey for me. Is your foot medium width, narrow, wide? I’m always tempted to order when I see cute showed on you!

  31. Was interesting hearing your growing up story and how close it relates to mine! I did do scouts, but was in band and choir through school and choir in college. In high school I got really involved with my youth group/choir and we traveled the country with musicals yearly. It was the best of experiences and I’ve maintained many of those friendships still. My hubby and I also met on a blind date in 1992 through a friend and now have three daughters and will celebrate 27 years this fall. Must be another reason why I find you so relatable and have been reading your blog for years now. Love your style and hearing about your family life!

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