Thanks, But No Thanks!

Hard to believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  The kids are coming home from college. Aunt Sally and Uncle Bob, your favorite relatives, are flying in from Wisconsin. You can’t wait to see cousin Mona’s new baby girl. OK, that’s the good news.  Tell us your biggest pet peeve at Thanksgiving, so we know you’re only human!   

                    oxo
                       Geri
 “Cooking for 5 to 6 hours only to watch the meal be done in a half hour and faced with all that clean up. Ugh.
Michelle Fitzpatrick
 
“Kids who take lots of food only to throw it away!!”
Karla Juelfs Meier
 
I don’t have a peeve. I love THANKSGIVING, love the cooking, having family and friends, the chattering of everyone talking. The children laughing. I don’t even mind cleaning up the mess.
Catherine Greer
 
When my stuffing doesn’t come out like my mom’s. Which is every year.
Sharon Ritton-Holly
 
 A table full of food and grandkids who won’t eat anything but mac and cheese.
Sandy Frizielle-Andritsis
 
 Feeling guilty when so many others are struggling.
Liz Dobiesz
 
People who eat and run–no, please don’t do that!
Mona Mason Rhoads
 
People who don’t show up on time.
Elaine Wood Otting
 
Everyone in the kitchen when I’m trying to get food out of the oven and the buffet set up.
Lynn Harpenau-meyer
 
That one family member everyone has…😏.
Pam Williams
 Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows.
Jen Bangerter
That I can never host it and we are always the ones to travel!
Sharon Shepperd-Wolfson
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is about the bounty of earth and family. My pet peeve is that marketing has done its best to turn it into a crazy sales binge fiasco.
William Garner
Gaining weight.
Karin Cooper
“My family😂😂.
Marianna Wright

We ALL Have Issues!

The midterm elections behind us, we were curious to know what issues concern you most. Whether you’re focused on Medicare and the environment, immigration or taxes, one thing is clear: Women are more engaged in our government, both as citizens and as representatives. At least 123 women will be in the next Congress after Tuesday’s midterm elections, breaking the 115th Congress’ record of 112. When women become involved, decisions are made and actions are taken.
                    oxo
                       Geri
 My biggest concern is hyper partisanship, with party over country. When we call each other libtards and deplorables without blinking an eye, we are shameful. I vote for individuals, and therefore I voted on both sides of the aisle, depending on the race.
Bonnie Bell
 
Returning to civility and stopping the hate. Caring for our citizens. Stopping the lawlessness in the streets. Controlling the border. Can’t even make valid comments on FB anymore without someone cussing, name calling and worse.
Mary Markowitz
 
I voted blue across the board this year. There is supposed to be a system of checks and balances in our government to ensure a tyrant does not take over. Apparently that is what has happened. Bet none of you have realized the current regime is looking to CUT Social Security and Medicare. And, the tax cuts set in place are only for the wealthy, not middle class, the poor or the elderly. Food for thought folks.
Norma Roberts Miller
 
Hi kids, this is your mom. Remember to Vote on 11/6. If Trump cuts my Social Security and Medicare I’m moving in with you!
Emily Mosley
 
 My biggest issue right now is the Democrats!
President Trump, we have your back!!
RED WAVE 🇺🇸
Julie Schumacher
 
 Our lawmakers not being able to make bipartisan decisions in a timely manner. Keep voting them out till they get it right.
Dan Perkins
 
Social Security, pre-existing conditions covered by insurance, the environment and the national debt.
Shelley Cole-Yelton
 
Taxes and immigration. TBH – I will just be glad when it is over and we can move on to talking about turkey & what we are thankful for. I am tired of the name calling on both sides.
Maria Sanchez
 
Healthcare, covering pre-existing conditions, and preserving medicare and social security were my main issues!!
Sharon Whitmire Hutt
 
BLUE all the way. Issues are climate change, women’s equality, equal rights for LGBTQ, compassion for immigrants and all human beings.
Susan McNamara Leyes
Healthcare, pre-existing coverage protection and tighter gun laws.
Stacey Hargrove
Socialized medicine becoming reality, gun control and vaccine mandates.
Lisa Robinson
 
Human trafficking/child trafficking. Illegal drug and arms trafficking–all related.
Ellen Berilla Carmody
“Education funding!
Peggy Ritchie
“The economy.
Sue Schwenn

Meet My Chic French Friend (she’s American!)

My American pal Tish Jett has lived for decades in a charming village about an hour from Paris. Married to a Frenchman, and raising her daughter in France, Tish still considers herself an American citizen but has assimilated the French culture so well I often forget she’s not actually a Frenchwoman! That’s a great compliment, because I think French women are exquisite, from the way they dress to how they carry themselves, from their panache as hostesses to their affinity for little luxuries. And, of course there’s the way they talk!

             Tish Jett

A successful fashion journalist in the United States and in France, Tish shared her French sisters’ beauty and style secrets in her successful 2013 book Forever Chic. Now she’s turned her attention to their l’art de vivre in her new book, Living Forever Chic, Frenchwomen’s Secrets for Everyday Elegance, Gracious Entertaining, and Enduring Allure.

The new book, like its predecessor, is a gem, written in Tish’s delightfully natural style (“write like you talk, and you’ll be fine,” a top editor and Tish’s mentor told her when she was starting out) and packed with priceless and practical advice on subjects including setting the beautiful table, creating the perfect cheese plate, and “making our abodes elegant and efficient, from linens to the larder.”

To celebrate the publication of Living Forever Chic, I chatted with Tish (we’re pros at marathon chat sessions)  about her love affair with fashion, France, and flair!

Did you like fashion when you were growing up?

I’ve always had an interest in fashion. My mother was tall, thin and very fashionable. Her father owned a menswear store in Niagara Falls, NY,  and she’d have men’s clothes tailored for her from dad’s shop. Her sister was graceful and feminine, but mother would wear men’s suits and trousers. She loved tailored pieces.  I liked my mom’s style.

When I was in college,  I’d carry the big fall fashion issue of Glamour magazine around with me on campus.   

Please tell us about your background as a fashion journalist.

My first honest-to-goodness job was on Women’s Wear Daily, at the time considered the “bible” of the fashion industry, where I was the Midwest bureau chief based in Chicago. Then I was recruited by The Detroit Free Press to be its Style Editor.  It was a super exciting, glamorous job in a not-so-glamorous city, because I was sent to cover the fashion collections in Paris, Milan and London, which was my first European experience. From there, I became the Fashion Editor for The Daily News in New York, when they were starting an upscale afternoon edition.   

Why did you decide to move to Paris?

The Daily News afternoon edition wasn’t doing well and had become a sad place to work.  I was divorced by then, and my daughter was seven years old. Since I had traveled to Paris many times, and adored it, I thought I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, so I decided to take a gamble and go for two years to see what would happen. So, off we went. Besides my daughter Drea, I had three big dogs.

That was considered a bold move for a single mother in the 1980s. Did you get a job right away?

I was lucky to land a job with The International Herald Tribune, and also became a correspondent for The Chicago Tribune and a big newspaper publishing company.

How hard was it to adjust?  

It was a huge adventure and a very, very exciting time for me.  A real estate agent helped me find a house in the village where I still live with my husband. I’d walk my daughter Drea to the local two-room school, and she was tutored every single day in French.  She learned to speak it in about six months because she wanted to have friends.

I didn’t speak a word of French and would talk really loudly when people didn’t understand my English. I embarrassed Drea when I talked to her in English in public, and she’d run out of sight.  All I had to do was say the words ‘Get the milk.’ when we were in an epicerie. (After being in France for over three decades, Tish automatically slips French words into her conversation.)

How did you meet your husband?

I was invited to a dinner party at the house of one of Drea’s classmate’s, and Alex was invited because he also spoke English.

What was it about your last book, Forever Chic, that resonated with women all over the world?  It’s been translated into 14 languages!

I think Forever Chic worked because it spoke to our demographic about beauty in ways that were positive and possible.  It’s never too late to do something better. Many women told me, ‘I’m taking better care of myself.’ If you do something for yourself, you’re not taking away from doing for other people.  If you feel really good about yourself, you’re really nice to other people. If you feel you look terrible, and you’re stressed, you get snappish and aren’t good around others.

Your new book, Living Forever Chic, is packed with advice about entertaining, homemaking, and decorating.  Is it ever too late to learn how to look and live stylishly?

Never. As we age, there can be a tendency to get comfortable and complacent– I call it Fear of Trying– but don’t get locked into safe and easy.  When you make things as beautiful, interesting, brilliant, distinctive, and amusing as possible, and create your own little world, it inspires joy.

I would recommend to a woman who has never invested herself emotionally in her home to experiment for one week and see what happens when she sets a pretty table, for example. Use placements, and if you don’t feel like ironing cloth napkins, pull them through napkin rings, even with wrinkles.  Plunk flowers from the grocery in a pitcher and see if it doesn’t make you feel happy.

One friend places small glass animals on the table, surrounded by real branches, votives and flowers. Another friend buys inexpensive, colorful glasses at Monoprix, which is the French version of Target.  Pretty is pretty and it doesn’t matter how much it cost. You can take the most humble materials, such as wicker, put them on a table, add some color, and have a beautiful table.

You can create your own world, and take control of your life, in your home. You’re always going to have unpleasant circumstances out of your control but why leave things that you can control with the attitude ‘I don’t care.’

Why are Frenchwomen so concerned about looking and living stylishly?

It all began with the kings of France, who wanted to surround themselves with beautiful things, from porcelain and crystal to perfume and furniture. This constant association in France with beautiful things seeps into individuals and brings out every woman’s unique sense of style.

One of the most remarkable things about Frenchwomen is that they don’t want to be anybody but themselves.  They know they’re original from the day they’re born. If a Frenchwoman doesn’t like something about herself–let’s says her nose, her hair, or her short legs, she’s not blind to it, but she thinks ‘it is what it is.’ She strives to create a vision of herself that makes her look stylish and feel good.

Why do you think American women are generally more inhibited?

A lot of American women don’t want to be looked at, to stand out, while Frenchwomen love it.  They dress to be looked at and they like it. I’m not talking only about young women, or great beauties with exquisite figures.  All Frenchwomen think they’re going to be looked out the minute they walk out the door and they dress accordingly.

Many American women  just want to hide in their sweats, thinking ‘no one will see me.’  But people will see you.

I glow when someone tells me they love my style. It’s a simple pleasure and I take joy where I can get it.

How can a woman feel more secure about stepping out of her ‘comfort zone.’?

You can explore being bolder in small ways, by starting slowly. Let’s say you’ve been wearing simple white shirts your whole life. Why not take a collarless white shirt and put a colorful scarf over it. Or buy a wing-collar tuxedo shirt, which is extremely flattering because the collar turns up, and it has all the lovely detailing down the front. It really is all about the details. Why not wear a crazy pair of earrings. Or try out a bright color nail polish. There are a zillion ageless things you can do that will make you feel fresh and new and different. You don’t have to go berserk.

What kind of Frenchwoman gets the most respect?

A woman who has ‘character.’ She’s solid, knows what she wants, has convictions. She’s respected for what she stands for. She’s not fluffy and unsure and trying to please everyone all the time.  She’s not a pushover, and doesn’t bend with the latest opinion on this or that.

What are the top Frenchwoman “no-nos.”?

Don’t overcomplicate anything you do. The chef at the Michelin three-star restaurant at The Bristol in Paris tells friends who invite him to dinner to keep it simple. Roast, a chicken, get some great potatoes, a vegetable of the season, and do a great ice cream or apple tart for dessert. Just because you’re entertaining a famous chef doesn’t mean you have to overthink what to serve.

Don’t overdress.  Wear a pant that looks good on you to a dinner party. Throw on a blazer, a great silk shirt, and some earrings, and call it a day. Look good for your hostess and her guests.  You owe it to her. Overdressing and fussiness are cardinal sins. It’s better to be underdressed. Be well tailored and simple. Coco Chanel invented the little black dress. She was never overdressed. Yves St.Laurent invented the tuxedo.  He was never overdressed.

Don’t worry about what others think of you. You get to a certain age and you know who you are and what you believe.

Don’t act uncharitably to others, even if their behavior displeases you. Understand others’ limitations and decide the level of friendship you want to have with them. Good manners in France are just part of society; you can be polite and be distant at the same time.

Don’t compare yourself to others or have an unrealistic expectations of beauty, success or what you should be.  Get on with it.  Be the best of what you are. Don’t aspire to look like anyone else. To be anyone. Don’t be a clone to anyone.

Don’t ever think that comfort and elegance are mutually exclusive.  Elegance can’t exist without comfort or ease, whether it’s in decorating or your personal style.  Who wants to walk into an exclusive living room and be afraid to sit down on a precious piece of furniture? And, who wants to be or watch a woman who can’t walk in a pair of stilettos? There’s no point. But don’t cross the red line to sloppy.  There’s a huge difference between ‘I care’ and ‘I don’t care.’

Don’t settle for less. Buy the best you can and don’t become a consumer who is buying and buying and cluttering up.

Learn to say ‘NO.’ When American women say no to something they don’t want to do, we usually give a paragraph of explanation.  A Frenchwoman will just say ‘No, I can’t do it.’ PERIOD. FULL STOP.

What did you learn from writing your new book?

I learned that in order to be free and have a comfortable and joyous life, you have to have an intelligent, well-organized life, from the larder to the closet.  It lets you take care of your grooming, your upkeep. It makes your life infinitely more enjoyable. If you have a disordered life, you’re less content with your life. You’re less happy.

P.S. Now that you’ve ‘met’ Tish, check out her delightful blog, A FEMME D’UN CERTAIN AGE.  It’s witty, warm and welcoming.

Rule Of Thumb

What clever and honest answers you gave when we asked, “If you had to make one rule that everybody had to follow, what rule would you make?”
                    oxo
                       Geri
 “We already have it, and need to obey it: The golden rule.
Emily Mosley
 
“That no one could ever be mean or abuse a child/adult.”
Jill Soucie
 
“Take your shoes off before entering the house!!”
Sonia Nelson
 
“Probably that you had to be respectful. You couldn’t go somewhere, example, a business/retail/restaurant, and be rude or disrespectful.”
Laurie Briner Sharps
 
“To love one another.
Stacey Kincaid
 
“No work on Mondays.
Michelle Gosneigh
 
“No body shaming!!”
Dolly Zielinski
 
“Pajama pants are perfectly acceptable attire for any occasion. 😜
Chris Ciacchella Burke
 
“Respect the earth, use a trash can!
Kathie Kozlowski Wood
 
“None, this is a free country!!
Paulie Nesbitt
“Be good to your parents!”
Vinnie Bozza
 
“Use your blinkers!!!!
Gail Schaefer Manndel
“All stores and businesses had to close on Sunday for 24 hours so there was one day a week for family time.
Jennifer Anne
“Never to lie.
D.S. Lopez
“Mind your own f $#@ing business.
Sue Lasky
“Read to your children every night.
Kathy Noseworthy
Internet access banned to under 18’s.
Sharri Butler-Watts

Giveaway: Win a Styling Session With a FOFashionista!

Your son’s future in laws are coming to dinner. What should you wear?

You’d love to go to your 40th high school reunion this fall, but aren’t size 8 anymore, and want to find a flattering look for your size 14 figure.

Your going on a first date with a banking executive, but usually wear funky clothes. How can you dress more conservatively without sacrificing your individuality?

                  Terry Gibralter

What woman doesn’t face fashion dilemmas from time to time? You might call a friend, sister or your daughter for advice.  Or, you can contact Terry Gibralter, aka THE STYLE DOCTOR. I’ve known many stylish women over the decades, and Terry is at the tippy top of the list.  After years working in the fashion and beauty industries as a stylist and creative director, Terry launched an online boutique, House of Terrance, to sell interesting and unique clothing and accessories to help us spice up our wardrobes.

“Clothing and accessories are intensely meaningful to me. Nothing tells the story of you better than what you’re wearing,” Terry said. “I love sharing my style know-how with family and friends, and with any woman who might feel unsure about how to dress for an important occasion.”

Now Terry will help solve your fashion predicament during a 50-minute styling session online, or in person if you live in the New York metropolitan area. And FabOverFifty is giving one lucky woman a free exclusive styling session with Terry Gibralter, aka THE STYLE DOCTOR, valued at $50.

Simply fill in the form below and tell us about your style quandary to be entered into this cool giveaway!

Win a Styling Session With a FOFashionista!

By entering this giveaway, you agree to receive emails from FabOverFifty and House of Terrance.

Hidden Talents

What funny and honest answers you gave when we asked “if you could have any talent in the world, what would it be?” 
                    oxo,
                       Geri
 “To bring people back from the dead.
Pam Salvati Smith
 
“Knowing when to keep my mouth shut.”
Anna Laurie Ivins
 
“To sing…. I love to sing but can’t carry a tune if it had a handle on it!
Darlene Chavez Gonzalez
 
“Be able to speak publicly without getting tongue-tied.”
Carol Bowyer Gravelle
 
“To be happy.”
Elena Tartaglini Sierra
 
“The ability to make everyone get along.
Becky Hoober Lewis
 
“Not really a talent but charisma.”
Erin Black
 
“Curing sickness!
Debra Travaglione-Caldwell
 
“To fly.
Mitch Lewis
“To heal broken hearts.
Doreen Pack
 
“To write books.
Sylvia MacNeil
“THE most famous Spanish guitarist!
Sue Hudson
“To know when I’m not being nice….🙂
Lizzie Rosenburgh Cook

It’s a Steal!

What funny and honest answers you gave when we asked “if you could steal one thing without consequence, what would it be?” 
                    oxo,
                       Geri
 “Time, it’s running out too fast. My life is more than half over and not a thing I can do about it.
Karen Watkins
 
I wouldn’t be able to enjoy anything that was stolen.
Margie Smith
 
“A brand new Porsche. Put some meaning to the drive-it-like-you-stole-it theory 😂.
Wendy Vargas Bryant
 
“Health and happiness for my son.”
Pam Browning
 
“Billions of dollars. Then I could help animals, homeless, vets, etc…”
Lisa Conrad
 
“A five–bedroom home so that my daughter and grandkids can live with me.
Cathy Treuner Boyle
 
“My innocence as a child back.”
Regina Kaye Sloan
 
“Trump’s tax returns–all of them.
Gayland Williams
 
“A horse about to be sent to the slaughter house.
Shan Chapman
“A beautiful woman’s heart.
William J. Henderson
 
“Cillian Murphy off Peaky Blinders lol.”
Jan Moore
As Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders. Photograph- BBC:Tiger Aspect:Robert Viglasky
 
“What’s that blue diamond called from the movie Titanic? Yes, I would take that!
Vicky Peters
“Food. I am tired of being hungry.
Sharon Manni-Arnold
Absolutely NOTHING.
Beverly Ann
“Those who reply nothing are liars!
Sandy Bowling
“A 30-foot RV.
Elizabeth Saldana

Cheating: Confrontation, Resignation or Celebration!

When we asked what you’d do if you found out your partner was cheating, 129 comments poured onto our Facebook page. We suggest printing out this list of responses and leaving it on his pillow, just in case he has even the slightest notion of straying. 

                                                                       oxo

                              Geri

 
“Drive him over to her place with all his belongings and happily wave goodbye…her problem now…no one cheats just once!”
Kar Slade
“Walk away and not look back – best decision I ever made ☺️.
Judy warren
 
“Stuffed all his dirty clothes in a trash bag and dumped them on her porch with a note that said, ‘If you can f**k him, you can do his laundry.’
Dian Holland
 
“Sell the house and give him half so I never had to bother with him again, then wait for his lovely pension he worked hard for 💪🏼.
Linda Done
 
“It would be over. No screaming, no crying, no hysterics. In fact, if I found it out, I wouldn’t even let him know until I’ve interviewed every good divorce attorney in the area and hired a good accountant to account for every dollar of assets.”
Elayne Robertson Demby
 
“It depends on the situation and the individuals involved – sometimes it’s better to stay, and other times better to leave – just don’t make a snap decision in the heat of the moment – give it time to come to the right decision!”
Renate Patterson
 
“Kick Him To The Curb!! Never Give A Cheater A Second Chance!!”
Carol Sydor
 
“Cry, a lot. The pain and hurt would be incredible. But what else can one do? I don’t believe in violence. So, I guess I would wish her well and let her go. People say they would do all these violent things but what good would that do?
Cary N Sue Faccone
 
“I always said that if I got cheated on I would leave, and I mean what I say because it happened to me and I left. He now regrets it, but it was nine years ago and I’m single and loving it.”
Kimmie Audley
 
“Ask him ‘why?’ Did he have the need to do such a thing. And take it from there. Start the conversation.
Regina Sanchez
 
“Divorce the POS and destroy him financially if you can. Make sure you take all the documents and all financial statements before dumping him.
Kris Julin
 
“Hallelujah! My green light to start dating other men!
Jessica Gedrocz
 
“Put all of his stuff in his car and set it on fire Angela Bassett style in Waiting to Exhale.
Tonya McAlpin
 
“Have him committed because I’d know he’s lost his mind lol.
Deborah Oglesby
 
“Throw a divorce party, and dance every weekend.”
Debra Haywood
 
“I’d wonder where he got the energy and time.”
Karla K Eldridge
 
“In my case I’d cheer as someone else would have the problem.”
Lynda Smith Smith

If You Had Time On Your Hands

“If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?” we asked you. Courtney’s answer is priceless. And, you’ve got to give Arleshia credit for what she’d do.  What about you?

                                                                       oxo

                              Geri

 
“Sleep, because I love sleep. And you can’t take that from me. Lol 😁.”
Courtney Barber
“Make memories with my grandchildren.”
Judith Leventry Baker
 
“Receive a massage.
Christine Ann
 
“Have sex.”
Karen Carlson
 
“Workout😁💪🏻💪🏻🚴🏼‍♀️🏃🏽‍♀️.
Karen Cooper
 
“Scrapbook!!!!♥️😍
Jennifer Smith Barnett
 
“Pray!!!”
Amy Watson Annecharico
 
“Travel, read more.
Cecilia Hernandez
 
“Watch TV and movies.”
Ida M Valero
 
“Clean...”
Arleshia Brooks Tubbs
 
“Sherri Siegel? Color of course!
Donna Appignani
 
I’m tall and can never find clothes that fit. I’d take sewing lessons and design my own fashions.
Emily Mosley
 
“Exercise and do creative things that I never have time for!!!!
Sherri Lyn
 
“Read, bake and crochet, just all the things I do anyway.
Sharon Pritchard Shepherd
 
“Read, read & more reading.
Suzanne Carter

Make My Day!

What heartwarming, funny, clever and honest answers you gave when we asked about the small things that make your day better. And, how nice to hear from some men, too!
                    oxo
                       Geri
 “A random text from one if my kids .
GAYLE CHURCHILL
 
“My Miss Ruby Tuesday! 🐶 
Laura Pennington Traverso
 
“Anti-inflammatory meds. LOL.
Sue Diercouff
 
A good cup of coffee, good walk with my dog, cooking for my grandson, taking a nap, and reading a good mystery. Also enjoying the plants on the patio.
FRAN ESTRADA
 
“Seeing my hubby walk in the door after work.”
JO CURRY
 
“Spending time alone in prayerful thought giving thanks, loving kindness from my spouse, hearing from my children or grandchildren.
CAROLE CRANE
 
“For someone to make me breakfast…. my youngest son used to do it for us when he was young. I miss that and him.”
Vickey Kilde-Goeden
 
“Coffee and Jesus.
Marlene Ybarra
 
“Being appreciated.
Irene Vargas Peeler
“When I get my hour alone to wake up.
Kathi MacDonald
 
“Sunshine.
SUSAN REBECCA
“A huge hug from my wife and an ‘I love you’ would be great.”
VINNIE BOZZA
 
“Laughing with my daughter!
Melissa Williams
“Feeding the birds and watching them, getting up early to see the sunrise!
MARY MATHES
$1,000,000!
BILL WHITFORD
“Sunshine, oysters, music, a smile from a stranger, a sudden rainstorm and a foot massage.
Rose Marie Hagar-Filice
“Wine with lunch.
BONNIE BELL