A Fireside Chat

Thank you for your recent comments and emails. Today, I’m answering some of the questions you’ve asked.

“Will you show us your Christmas decorations?” – I haven’t put up a tree in about twenty-five years, but I do add a few special items on my mantle. I’ve never been one to add decorations for the seasons or holidays.

Santa’s Elf was a long-ago gift from a friend. Mr. Mickey had the stockings made for me more than a decade ago. The snowy lighted church ornament was a gift from another friend. The pictures are from previous Santa projects over the years.

“What is your favorite tea?” – I often buy tins of different teas from Fresh Market, but my long time favorite is ‘Paris’ from Harney & Sons.

“Do you cook or bake something special that you are known for?” – Each year, my family and friends look forward to when I bake fruitcakes to share. I freeze a whole one to enjoy later in the year. Fruitcake is one of Mr. Mickey’s favorites also, so he loves it when I surprise him with a slice on a hot summer day.

“How in the world do you cut your own hair without messing it up?” – I worked out an easy formula this year. After significant surges in COVID cases in my area, I stopped going to the hair salon. I drew the diagrams below to show you how I have been cutting my hair lately.

Start with very wet hair. Part the hair across the top of the head from ear to ear and then comb that section forward. Always cut tiny snips of about 1/4 inch to avoid cutting too much at first. Start at or near the tip of your nose. Use your cheekbones and jawline as markers to evenly cut the hair into a slight curve.

For step two, comb all of your hair toward the back and smooth it against your neck. (The hair will stay in place if it is wet, and you use a fine-tooth comb.) Use a handheld mirror and look at the back in a wall-mounted mirror with good lighting. Cut a straight line across the neck a few inches below the jawline keeping in mind that hair shrinks when it dries. Repeat the combing step if the hair moves out of line as you cut it.

Stand in front of a mirrored closet door (or a mirror on a stand) to do this last step. Stand with your back to the mirror and bend from the waist to look into the mirror while hanging upside down. I comb all of my hair down toward the floor and cut straight across using the length from step one as a guide.

“How do you style your hair?” – I use a one-inch round brush and a blow dryer set to high heat on a low speed. Start with the roots at the crown and lift and smooth each section. My goal is to have some height at the crown with no volume at the sides. I don’t use any styling products.

“What is your favorite TV show or YouTube channel?” – I rarely watch TV, but I very much enjoy several YouTube channels. My favorites are herehere – and here.

“What type of hats do you wear in the winter?” “How do you dress when the weather is freezing?” – A felt fedora is my all-time favorite winter hat. A similar Bailey fedora is here.

I dress in thin layers to stay warm without adding bulk when I go for a walk in the winter. The best use of leggings ever is to wear them under flare leg jeans with boots and thick socks to keep warm. Similar boots are here. The turtleneck sweater is here, and the jeans are here. A similar jacket is here, gloves here, and a similar scarf is here.

“Do you have a favorite healthy soup?” – I do! I eat Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grains & Beans Soup Mix almost daily in winter. After you rinse, soak and cook a cup of the mix, it is easy to add frozen vegetables, boiled potatoes, greens, feta cheese, or anything you like. It’s the perfect way to get some healthy variety while cooking for one. One cup of the mix makes enough for three meals after adding other vegetables. Refrigerate extra and warm it in a saucepan the next day. Add more water or broth if needed.

Pictured below, I added frozen mixed vegetables and topped the warm soup with olive oil, chopped fresh arugula, and feta cheese.

  1. I enjoy your sense of style and I enjoy taking a minute each day to read your blog! Thanks for the education on style!

  2. Beautiful! Once this COVID-19 virus is behind us, I picture myself using this clutch for an wonderful night during a new travel adventure with MY traveling companion!!

  3. I so look forward to your posts and love your style sense. Thank you for all that you do for your readers. You’re the best!

  4. Great idea for the soup! I’m planning to make three nights “soup night” this long winter and I will add this to use frequently.
    SO many great ideas in this post.

  5. Susan, love this post. Thank you for answering questions from the blog comments. Hopefully, you will do this again in the future. Maybe once a month??? Love the purse and it appears that the chain is removable.

  6. Susan,
    I enjoyed your post today. I especially like the tip for the soup. The purse is lovely and it would be a wonderful compliment to my wardrobe if selected. Happy Holidays.

  7. This is the BEST post ever!! Thank you for sharing so much of you! The soup looks yummy and I can’t wait to try it. Have a wonderful weekend and I will wait patiently for your blog Tuesday! The clutch is beautiful!

  8. Fantastic post. Susan! I especially like the instructions for cutting one’s own hair- a skill that has always fascinated me! What is your advice for wearing a flare pant when one is 5’2 and 147 lbs.?
    Thank yoy!

  9. You can draw too! You’re little drawing looks like you! I might be tempted to try that sometime! Thanks for sharing that. Your outfit with the hat is great!

  10. Thank you, Susan. I enjoyed today’s post very much. I like fruitcake so I am going to make one using your recipe. The bag is lovely. I just gave away my evening bag so I would really like to win this one.

  11. My husband loves fruitcake, so I may surprise him and try making your recipe. Thanks for sharing. By the way, the bag is lovely.


  12. I quite enjoyed your fireside chat. Thank you sooooo much for including the fruitcake recipe. I have loved my mother’s cake since I was a small girl and have lost the recipe for that and the Christmas pudding she made. The apple brandy sounds interesting as mom just used regular brandy and once a cherry one. Looking forward to trying yours. She loved Christmas so much and it does remind me of her baking. Also the leggings under jeans is a trick I use also, and the fleece lined ones are great under bootcut jeans on a freezing cold day. Another giveaway, wow, that purse is so pretty for when we are able to truely enjoy travel again. Have a wonderful weekend Susan.

  13. Susan,
    I have followed you for years and have admired your style and have picked up so many tips for my own style along with recipes and eating habits. Love love love this Fireside Chat column and have saved it for myself! I too cut my own hair, always have and probably always will. You offer some great tips. Could you maybe clarify a bit on the back-to-the-mirror step because I’m having trouble envisioning that one! I am also a fruitcake lover and there don’t seem to be many of us! I will try your recipe. Thanks for sharing! Also, I love that purse!

  14. New follower! Loving your style, its inspiring and refreshing that we can still have great taste and fashion sense without being stereotyped by our age!

  15. We’ve started putting a small salad of chopped flat parsley, shallot, pinch of salt, splash of GOO and splash of balsamic vinegar, yummy on top of quiche, last night we had it with hamburgers and looks pretty. Will have to try it on soup, we like Red Mill Brand too! Great way to get those extra nutrients!

  16. Thank you for the YouTube recommendations. I’m always on the hunt to watch something interesting and new (to me ).

  17. The soup looks fabulous! Also, I love the artwork on the very left (only partially visible in the photo) in your first photo. It looks very much like an impressionist painting, with the light, and reflections. Have you posted a photo somewhere of the entire painting? It’s lovely.

  18. Susan, mostly I appreciate your blog’s clarity and honesty. Thank you for including just enough personal information to lend humanity. I hope you’ve recovered fully from this year’s earlier illness. Sending positive vibrations and best wishes for comfort, strength and cheer.

  19. I love that purse. It looks vintage. I have just started collecting vintage bags and would love to add this one to my collection. Number 3!! Lol

  20. I have been looking for a unique but beautiful evening purse the last few weeks, and this one is both. Today’s post was very enjoyable, Thank you.

  21. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post today. Many great tips especially the hair cutting instructions! My husband loves fruit cake too. Yours looks delicious & I’ll be making this one. I love bean soups so will be making that too! Thanks again. Your posts are always appreciated.

  22. Thank you for this post with so much useful information! I have cut my mother’s hair at her request twice over the summer, and was surprised that it wasn’t as difficult as I might have thought. She would love that soup as well, and I will look for some for her.

  23. Thank you for the soup suggestion, can’t wait to try it. Must be pretty popular because their website reads, limit of 2. Would love to win the beautiful clutch but if not so lucky then I wish the winner all the best of enjoyment!!

  24. Love your fruitcake. I made it last year and it was delish. Thanks for showing us the “insides” of your life. that’s generous of you. I especially love the closets posts. You are both so organized.

  25. This is a fun post! It’s almost as if we were all sitting down for a cuppa and discussing all sorts of topics.

    Happy Anniversary to you and Mr Mickey! I’m sure he will have lovely plans to celebrate the years you have been together.

    Good tips on dressing up a hearty soup. The fruitcake looks delicious. I pinned it so we can make it.

  26. Your home is lovely, thank you for sharing it with us.
    I am going to try and trim my hair using your method – wish me luck!
    I would love the box bag – hopefully we will have a family wedding in May.

  27. What a unique bag!. I would really enjoy using it for church and other dressy times. Thank you so much for your generosity!

  28. Terrific post. The elf is delightful. About the cake recipe, please let me know the ounces in the applesauce jar. There are so many different sizes. Thank you.

  29. The clutch is just gorgeous, and I really want to thank you for the suggestion on the Bob’s Red Mill Soup. That’s such a good brand, so I’m going to purchase this soup on my next grocery store visit!

  30. Hello Susan. Thank you for including your fruit cake recipe. I’m going to share it with my daughter. She’s always loved fruit cake and your recipe sounds amazing. Speaking of amazing, you look amazing. I’ve never thought about wearing a hat, however, now I want to check out some fedora’s to see if they suit me. Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey!

  31. Thanks for the tips on cutting hair! I remember the “Flowbee” from As Seen on TV years ago. From what I have read they are selling out now due to COVID! Thanks also for the fruitcake recipe! I LOVE fruitcake, Mr. Mickey and I have that in common. I’ll just have to make it gluten free. Have a lovely Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

  32. I enjoy each of your posts and learn something interesting from each. I’m inspired to look as nice as I can for each day. Thank you, Susan, for taking the time to post pictures and a narrative of your trips and experiences.

  33. Love that hat! That purse would be perfect for my son’s upcoming wedding. I would wear it at the rehearsal dinner the night before!

  34. I love the purse! So cute.
    Your haircutting routine is interesting. And it works, because your hair always looks good.

  35. Wonderful post as always, love your style, especially the hat, sooooo cute, I copy your style whenever I can, but as we are in lock down in Northern Ireland going out is a bit restricted. Love the bag and when we are able to get out and about it would make a very glamorous accessory.

  36. Good on you for cutting your own hair! I have been trimming my partner’s hair regularly during the pandemic – four times so far. He was very sceptical at first, until he saw the results. I used to cut the children’s hair occasionally when they were young and, with a quick refresher from YouTube and a proper pair of hairdressing scissors, I’m now quite confident.
    As for my hair, I just let it grow over the summer and tied it up/back. When salons opened again in the autumn, I made an appointment for a cut, only to have it cancelled when we went into our second national lockdown. I was so frustrated, I just chopped about 4 inches off the length and, with a little help from my partner in trimming the back, now have an above-shoulder-length bob, with which I’m very pleased. It’s amazing what you can do when you have to!
    Thank you for the diagrams and instructions – I will have a go that way next time.

  37. What a great post today. I enjoyed this post with such varied and interesting topics. My request is for you to do similar posts occasionally.

  38. Great post today! I also share the enjoyment of “Paris” tea from Harney & Sons. As a remembrance of one of my late grandmothers who loved to make fruitcake, I will soak the cheesecake in apricot or peach brandy that she was so fond of. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe and more in today’s post. It put a bright spot in the day.

  39. Oh my. I love that clutch style bag! (And I think I need a fedora too after seeing yours, Susan. Thanks always for the links!)

  40. Thank you for sharing recipes and insights to your life. Always look forward to reading your posts each week. The fruitcake looks delicious. The handbag is beautiful. Have a nice weekend. Hope you and Mr. Mickey have a nice anniversary.

  41. Susan,
    You are such a class act and I also see your fun side. I am a firm believer in the concept of “less is more” and only put out a few of my very favorite decorations, most of which have been gifts over the years.
    The clutch is so unique and pretty.
    Christmas blessings to you and Mr. Mickey.

  42. Hello Susan, well who knew? I have been cutting my hair like this for years, just figured it out myself. I never got a haircut that I was pleased with, then I came home and did more trimming. It’s easy once you get brave enough to try it.

  43. I love the bag in the give away. It would match my outfit today perfectly!

    Thanks for sharing your favorite things:)

  44. Happy Holidays, Susan – you look beautiful, as always. This bag is gorgeous and would go with so many things I already own. I look forward to the days when we are all able to go out and I would definitely use this bag on one of those occasions.

  45. The picture of you last is one of the best you have showed us. You look young and stylish, to say the least. Thank you for the tour of your mantle! And for the soup recipe. I’m not great at making homemade soup, but I think with a little prompting my husband can do this. Thank you.

  46. I really enjoy your posts. You live such an elegant life in every way, from your clothing, fashion sense and style to your home decor and the spectacularly healthy food choices you make!

  47. Your blog is so multidimensional! I love all your information from holiday decorating, fashion & food! I love seeing people who are so interested in eating healthy and how it affects your overall health! The soup made me hungry! Can’t wait to copy your recipe! Thank you! Also, I did notice the picture of you kissing Santa on the fireplace

  48. Such a special bag. I look forward to the time we can go out again somewhere special enough to carry something as lovely as this!

  49. The bag is so pretty but I don’t dress up fancy anymore so PLEASE OMIT ME from consideration in the giveaway.
    I just wanted to comment how fun this post is! I had decided to take a pass on Christmas celebrating this year, a first for me – but once I made that choice its interesting how I am not bothered by it like I thought I would be. I love how you do it with just a couple of special things on the mantle. Wouldn’t a cozy fire and a good read be really nice Christmas Eve? I do bake fruitcakes every year, your recipe looks so good I am going to try it, and the idea to freeze it and enjoy whenever is great!
    I will have to get the soup mix as well, looks yummy! I live a little over an hours drive from Glacier Park, Waterton Natl. Park, Banff and Jasper as close as well so it was an “awe” moment to see the pic here! As always I appreciate your style tips, I cut my own hair too – self reliance is the name of the game these days! Thank you!

  50. I enjoy the Harney and Sons teas also; my seasonal favorite is the Hot Cinnamon spice. Soup’s my go-to cold weather food. I just tried a new recipe for a Minestrone-style soup with great northern beans, farro, and vegetables and it’s delicious.

  51. Thank you for being so open about your style with photos of your home. You always look like a lady- and that is a compliment.

  52. Oh, love the bag. Goes with all my holiday styles that I wear when attending our country club events. It would go on my next cruise with me too!!!

  53. I’m an Audrey Coyne fan also.Her style is so classically feminine. You might also check out Marie-Anne Lacouer. She puts a French sensibility to classic dressing. Like you I don’t watch much tv but I do like Britbox for mysteries and humorous shows. An old favorite is To The Manor Born. A classic.

  54. Lovely post Susan! I would love a chance to win the beautiful purse. Thank you for the generosity and how you inspire all of us with practical healthy tips. Great job on your hair and for reminding me how to eat well. I will try your soup this week and may try the fruit cake! I would love some of your ideas on how to battle the blues during this time of year…I struggle with the shorter days as do many of us. Take care!

  55. I would love this purse. It would be a great addition to my limited collection.
    Have a safe and happy holiday.

  56. I’m so glad to hear you are not one of those over the top decorators! They constantly encourage people to buy more stuff, then buy more containers to put it in! I know everyone one is different and whatever brings you joy and all that. But glad to see at least one person not into excess. I can’t stand clutter, it actually makes me feel quite nervous and suffocated. I do decorate a bit, but look forward just as much to New Year’s day, when I take it down and all returns to a calm normal. The soup recipe sounds great, too, I hadn’t seen that one here. Nothing like soup on a cold day!

  57. Thank you for the delicious soup recipe! I have been a vegetarian for about 40 years and always look for healthy options that offer variety.
    Love the purse and thank you for entering me into the drawing!
    Stay healthy and warm!

  58. That soup looks delicious. It makes me remember when you had Covid and could barely eat soup. So glad you are back to your sparking self! Blessings!

  59. Susan, I love everything you do, everything you wear, and everything about your diet, your fashion sense, your home, and your wonderful sense of adventure. I’m writing today to say I love, love, love Glacier National Park! I can just see you there, hiking, having alone time, and having the most wonderful time of your LIFE!! It is absolutely one of the most beautiful places on this planet. If you’ve not been, you must go and enjoy this truly thrilling place. I wish most deeply for you to be able to drink in this amazing, breathtaking place. Peace and love. Happy Holidays!

  60. Soup looks delicious! Yummy arugala and feta. I think I will add to my vegetable soup. I love soup. You always look so pretty….you wear a hat well too! Thanks for sharing your fruitcake recipe.

  61. This reminds me of a gold and tortoise evening bag my mother got as a gift from a friend in Cleveland during the fifties. I still have the bag but the shape has been distorted due to storing it in my hot attic. Would love to win this one and the black/silver color scheme is more to my liking. Something I can leave my kids!

  62. Hi! Thank you for the soup mix tip. I love this brand for flour(s) but have never tried the soup mix. Now I will!

  63. Your fruitcake looks delicious…it has prompted me to bake one again…using your recipe. Thanks and Merry Christmas

  64. Wow! What a cute bag. I don’t possess and have never had a box bag before. It would make a wonderful addition to my choice of handbags and clutches.
    Do have a lovely Christmas Susan.

  65. Miss Susan, After you choose winner is it possible to purchase a similar bag at a store? LOVE THIS BAG!! I received clothes from your favorite store. I wish the owner of the store much happiness and success in her future. Her clothes are perfect..

  66. A wonderful post, as usual. Thanks, Susan.

    Long time since I commented, but that bag really caught my eye. Goldtone hardware seems to be more prevalent recently, but I love silver! Would love a chance to win it.

  67. I loved reading your post on cutting your own hair. Oh my gosh that is genius. I never thought of hanging my head upside down but it makes perfect sense. Now I just need tips on how to color my own hair. Thank you so much for your wonderful informative posts.

  68. Thank you for sharing your home and life! I think the Minnie/Mickey stockings are adorable! You are such a generous lady! The clutch is beautiful! Thank you for the drawing opportunity! Happy Holiday Season!

  69. Thank you so much for this post! I’m definitely trying the soup mix – your photo looks delish!
    I’d love to be in the drawing for the clutch.

  70. I get so much joy from your posts. Just real life interesting things to brighten up anyone’s day. I also like shopping at my local Fresh Market. I am going to look for the soup mix next time I go. I have to admit now that my kids are all in their 30’s I don’t put out as much decorations either. Makes my husband happy as he hates getting it all out of storage.

  71. We eat soup year round! It’s nutritous, comforting, freezes well and is delicious. Now we all hopr to win purse and a place to go so we can carry it!

  72. I also love a fedora! I love fruitcake too! Can’t wait to try your recipe! I decorate every room in my house for Christmas and every holiday! I have 7 grandchildren and another on the way, they truly love coming to grandma and grandpa’s house, it’s magical! Merry Christmas ❤

  73. I think your blog posts are so interesting, and informative! I have gotten so many tips,and style ideas.Thank you very much! I would love to win atny of your giveaways! Have a blessed day! NH

  74. Thanks for your soup receipe, and I love those jeans! I bought some tan Frye boots that would look great with a flare leg. I finally decided to break out of my black boot phase because I saw you in tan and thought “Why not?”.
    I felt I was getting in a black shoe and handbag rut and ready to breakout for something out of my comfort zone.
    I have the same leopard loafers and even bought a red mini purse. Thanks for sharing some of your favorite things.

  75. Thank you for all of your wonderful fashion advice, tidbits of interesting information for eating and staying healthy. Even sharing Mr. Mickey with us from time to time. The putting leggings under your jeans was something I never thought about. My late mother in law told me about putting a mans sleeveless T-shirt under your top or sweater during winter to keep your chest extra warm. I thought I would share that with you. So enjoy your blog.

    Georgia Peach

  76. Oh my! What a wonderful post! Fashion and food! Susan, I have copied so many photos of your fashions that I have run out of data space on my iPad!! I like having the photos as my daily guide on how to dress with style.
    Oh, and that handbag. It is everything! The perfect size! The perfect colors! Sequins! Leopard print! I am swooning!

  77. I love a nice warm bowl of homemade soup. I’m from the south so on ocassion I’ll have cornbread with mine. Your decorations are wonderful. The old ones we use year after year are the best. I have a trio of little choir girls that I hang on my wall every year, it’s not Christmas until I put them up. I haven’t been many places this year to see decorations. I love the stores at this time of year, I think I’ll give myself a haircut. Thanks for that. I do cut my fringe bangs when they get long so maybe I can do this. You look great in a fedora.

  78. Since moving from the east coast to the west and a warmer climate I haven’t made a pot of soup. You have inspired me to get cooking! I have seen that Red Mill mix in the grocery; will definitely try it!

  79. Thank you for the post, Susan! Nice looking outfit. I’ve bought a fedora but haven’t had the chance to wear it yet. Beautiful purse! It reminds me of one my mother had. Thank you for the giveaway. I’d love to win it.

  80. I look forward to receiving your blog. You give helpful hints on how to dress one’s body. I especially enjoy your sharing your pics of your trips and Mr. Mickey! His closet is amazing!!
    I have been following you since Susan at 50 and have seen your transformation.

  81. Hi Susan! Just taking a minute to say how much I enjoy your blog. I love looking at how you pull all your pieces together and always look classic. Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy every day.

  82. Thank you for the hair cutting tip. I, too, have also been cutting my own hair. Very similar method – except I part my hair down the middle and put it in two ponytails behind my ears. Then just trim the very tips. This gives a few more layers- which works great for my curly hair.

  83. Love the bag and would like to be entered in the drawing.
    Thank you for sharing so many details about your life. The hair cutting instructions were very helpful.
    I know you will make the most of the holidays. Your home is lovely. The best to you!

  84. Your soup looks delicious. I have been a vegetarian since 8 years old and love to try new things. The purse looks beautiful and would add some pizzazz to solid colors. Thanks for sharing, I have followed your blog for years.

  85. Hi Susan,

    I think it is wonderful the way you share yourself on this blog. You wouldn’t believe how much I have enjoyed it. I have made several purchases from your recommendation and love all your show.

    Thanks for bringing some sunshine into my day!!!

    Mary Ellen Todd

  86. Susan, I really enjoyed your post today. Thanks for sharing the soup mix. It looks like a delicious soup. The purse you’re giving away is beautiful.

  87. I so enjoy your posts, thank you. And I’m impressed that you take the time to answer questions and reply to comments.

  88. Thank you for the diagram for cutting your hair.
    This helps me a lot.
    Is your hat warm? I like the style…
    Thank you!

  89. Susan, absolutely love your style and the comfortable, relaxed way you write. I look forward to your posts and enjoy them tremendously! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  90. I do love your blog. It’s always so interesting to see your helpful tips , also it feels like your a friend who writes. It’s lovely to see what you and Mr Micky do when you venture out. I live in a small village in Derbyshire, England and it’s so nice to see photos of your part of the world. So interesting.
    Judy Webb

  91. I thought I was the only one who does not put up a tree. I celebrate Christmas, but I never went overboard with the decoration. A nice, small arrangement on the coffee table and something on the mantle, and that’s it! Merry Christmas, Susan and Mr. Mickey! (and keep up the good work with your wonderful blog)

  92. I feel I’ve been to your home, had a wonderful cup of tea, followed by delicious fruit cake, how lovely. Your room looks cosy and inviting. Thanks for the invitation.
    Just a quick question about the cake, do you put the decoration on top before cooking? Never made one like this before, it looks wonderful.
    That hat really suits you Susan and you look dressed for some chilly weather.
    Yet another generous give away, you are thoughtful.

  93. Plenty of great tips today, but the hair cutting amazes me the most! I also feel warm just thinking about leggings, boot cut jeans, tall boots and warm socks- brilliant! I also have the perfect sequin skirt to wear with that bag! Fingers crossed….

  94. Susan, hats are such a challenge for me, but I think I may consider your recommendations! Thanks for your website and advice, you always look beautiful.

  95. Hello Susan, Thank you for your post, the tips, photos and information are so helpful to me! You are so insightful as to what helps women look like a lady and still be fashionable. Love the purse, would be a great addition to any lucky ladies collection. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  96. Love your style. You convinced me that skinny jeans are not for me. And I shop frequently at Talbot’s so I picked up more appropriate jeans.
    And thanks to you I got rid of my “junk” clothing. I now dress intentionally.

  97. Great tips…. thank you Susan for your devotion to making me feel confident about what I wear, and feeling good about myself as I grow older!

  98. I look forward to sll your posts and always come away with a nrw tidbit. Love the leggings under flare jeans. Happy Friday!

  99. Thank you for making me aware of so many wonderful things, especially the tea and YouTube channels. You are truly a special individual, Susan! Winning the clutch would be a wonderful Christmas surprise!

  100. Really enjoyed your sharing your personal favorites with us.
    The picture with “Santa” is priceless! I enjoy your posts and always find a way to restyle clothes that I have or maybe even but something new. These are difficult times and you help keep a smile on my face!

  101. I wish I could cut my own hair but it’s poker straight and every cut shows. My hairdresser of the last 30 years has temporarily closed her salon so I will be pretty shaggy when I see her again.

    Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year!

  102. Susan,

    So glad you included your soup recipe. It has become pretty cool here in Florida and we are in the mood for lots of soup.
    Love all your hints/ideas.

  103. The soup looks delish! I’m going to try it. And I’ll have to stalk the hat until it comes back in stock. Thanks!

  104. I enjoyed today’s post. Thanks for sharing and please enter me in the drawing. The sequined purse is beautiful.

  105. Thank you for the tea recommendation! I’ve already placed an order. I’m always looking for new tea choices! Your home is beautiful!

  106. Hi Susan, love reading your posts! I’m going to purchase the soup mix. I enjoy making homemade healthy soups in the winter months. The sequined clutch is cute for a night in the town sometime soon hopefully. Have s great day.

  107. I look so forward to your stories! I do wish you had a new post every day! Love also the new brands you include in your articles. Happy Holidays

  108. Thanks for sharing the two recipes – I’ve never made fruitcake, but my significant other loves it.
    Merry Christmas!

  109. Since I discovered your blog, I have enjoyed your commentaries immensely. I live in Church Hill, a small town outside of Kingsport. My husband and I also
    take drives, and visit so many of the same places. One of my particularly favorite posts was about closet arrangement. I have been plagued by the shoulder poufs, and now hang shirts and blouses inside out. Voila, no more heating the iron for a 30 sec touchup! Thank you, and Happy Holidays.

  110. I think you look great in the flare legged jeans. Thanks for the tips on layering with thin layers. Nothing more uncomfortable than layering and end up like a puff marshmallow.

  111. In the hope that we will be able to enjoy the things we did pre Covid – my big treat is to go to the opera ( all sadly cancelled for now) and this purse would be PERFECT for such an evening.
    Meanwhile your columns cheer me up – thank you!

  112. The purse is gorgeous and would be enjoyed by anyone who wins. I love the soup mix idea and have added to my grocery list.

  113. I love this bag!! Please choose me! Your always so well put together. Merry Christmas to you & Mr. Mickey! Portia Bell

  114. What a great article. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas to you. I don’t feel guilty about trying to decorate every corner of the house anymore. Evelyn

  115. This has been one of my favorite posts. Love the Q&A and getting to know you better. Don’t care for fruitcake, but would love more of your recipes. 🙂

  116. The handbag is quite unique and attractive. Fun to carry.
    Love the fedora, gives you a jaunty, wonderful appearance.

  117. Dear Susan,
    Enjoy your post. The sequined black and silver clutch style box bag is beautiful.

  118. Loved your question/answer article today and look forward to seeing “Susan After 60” in my email.

    I’m 5’9” and a curvy 40 lbs overweight. Large bust, short waist and long legs. What styles would draw attention away from bust and hips?

    Definitely going to try the soup you mentioned today.

    Thank you!


    1. Always wear tops that are sleek and simple in dark colors. Show off your long legs in skirts or slim straight-leg pants. Handheld satchels and good looking shoes are your best accessories.

  119. I love felt fedoras in the winter I have all shades. It’s a great accessory. I love your outfit. Timeless and classic. That sequin box bag is to die for. I would definitely put it to use.

  120. Thank you for such a great post! I don’t watch much TV, but we do like period pieces or old movies. I enjoyed watching Catherine Gregory’s trip to Glacier National Park, how beautiful! Will watch more of her adventures, thank you for sharing. Can’t wait until we can travel again, our trip to Maine this past summer was cancelled due to Covid and I was so disappointed, but thankful we haven’t gotten it and understand the need for precautions. So glad you are you are well again. Your fruitcake looks delicious! Will save the recipe. Saving this entire post as I also found your tips on haircutting very helpful. As I get older I am putting out less decorations, but do manage to set up the manger scene and still enjoy the sparkle of the lights on our medium size tree. I decorate it with white lights, Cardinals, icicles and snowflakes and keep it up through February as our winters are so long in Michigan it makes everything cozy and helps pass long nights. The soup looks delicious, will look for it in our store. May you and Mr. Mickey have a very blessed Christmas!

  121. I so enjoy your blog. You encourage me as a 70+ year old – that I don’t HAVE to look old but I don’t have to look like a 30 year old either. Thanks for your encouragement and inspiration, Susan. Keep typing!

  122. This bag is lovely Susan . Thank you for offering it. I so enjoy your blog as it has been so helpful in choosing healthy foods, appropriate attire for each season, and places to travel in the area. Your zest for life is contagious, especially in this time of staying close to home and being rather secluded to remain safe.

  123. I love the black & silver purse you posted ! As I never carry gold chained purses, this would be perfect for me ! Please add me to you list for a give away I really enjoy your post & style in dressing. Thank you. Lana C

  124. Congratulations Brenda Peterson!
    Your hair cutting pictures & instructions are so informative-thanks! My local Canadian supermarket carries your soup brand, so I’m eager to try it.
    You recommended two books in a past blog: one about eating (the name Joel, I think, is involved) and one about style (written by a woman for women over 50 or 60?). Could you refresh my memory so that I can order these books? Many thanks!
    The clutch bag is so original.

    1. Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman MD is the book about eating healthy. I’m not sure which one the style book might be. I’ve read many! A long time favorite is Forever Chic: Frenchwomen’s Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance by Tish Jett.

  125. Wow! That clutch is beautiful! I love soups and am going to try the Bobs Redmill. Looks yummy! Hope your holidays are healthy and happy. Thanks for all the great fashion advice this year. ❤️

  126. I love your suggestions for dressing to suit body type/life-style/ etc. and incorporating classics! Thanks for the encouragement to buy higher end clothing as an investment. And I love today’s peek into the rest of your life!
    Please do NOT enter me into the contest – I have absolutely no place to take that gorgeous handbag!

  127. Black and soler… how stunning! I have black dress pants that I wear with many tops for evening events. I also have a black dress. What a stunning outfit maker this sequined bag would make! I would love to win it! Thank you,Susan, for the opportunity.

  128. That purse is beautiful! When you changed your eating habits, did you do it gradually? Or did you just go “all in”? I’m trying to change my habits for the better and love reading about your journey.

  129. Thank you for the hand drawn diagram of how you cut you hair. I can’t find anyone where I live that does a good job of cutting curly hair. Your diagram will give me start on doing it myself

  130. Happy Holidays to you and Mr. Mickey! I love your stories and fashion sense. I always fill so refreshed after reading your chats so thank-you for kind words; always inspiring! My food choices are similar to yours so thank you for sharing the Bob’s Red Mill soup mix! I can’t wait to make it. The purse is charming too:) Kind Regards, Judy P.S. I love the pictures of you and Santa on the fireplace!

  131. This purse is beautiful! It would be a lovely addition to my wardrobe. Thank you for all you do and Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Mickey, Sherry Stanley

  132. Love the soup suggestion from today’s post…sounds so good! The black and silver clutch bag is stunning! I’m holding on to the hope that someday I’ll have an event to go to again, after Covid! Stay safe Susan!

  133. I especially enjoyed your post today. The soup looks so yummy and any tea with the name Paris has to be good.
    With the help of a YouTube video Mr. Rick, my Mr. Mikey, has been cutting my Hair since Lockdown.
    Keep safe.
    Carolyn Sakamoto
    Las Vegas, Nevada

  134. Susan,
    I am relatively new to your blog/website. I look forward to each and every post and always take something away from them that I can use and relate to. With so many websites and blogs out there for the younger ladies, it’s been a joy to find one that fits my age and lifestyle. Thank you for being a blessing to us all!
    Susan Avery

  135. Thank you so much for your fruitcake recipe – the photo looks just like the fruitcakes my mother used to make and I remember that she wrapped hers in brandy soaked tea towels. Unfortunately, after she passed away I couldn’t find any of her “standard” recipes – I guess she made everything from memory! Headed to the store today to get the ingredients!

  136. Susan, I’ve been following you for some time now. I am in my 70s, and quite a few years ago, my daughter suggested that I read your e-mails. Since then I have rarely missed an e-mail. You are quite an exceptional woman. Thanks for all you do for us.

  137. I would call myself a collector of bags/purses. I have collected Vivian Alexander bags for some time now. I am 72 and like your blog….simple, elegant, and comfortable is the way I would described your style. Your suggestions have benefited me and I have enjoyed a bracelet I purchased in one of your photos. Sometimes I like to think outside the box with the choice of purse I carry. And yes I do on occasion use a Vivian Alexander Egg purse paired with jeans and crisp white shirt. Some would probably consider weird, but I would like to think you would agree with my choice..

  138. Thank you, I love your style. And we love fruitcake too, making it Saturday. My hands are getting really dry looking forward to using your suggested skin care.

  139. Oh, I do love your winter outfit. The hat really makes it. I have several hats that, for some reason, I never get around to wearing…The time is now.
    Should I be so lucky as to win that lovely purse, I surely will have to get into my fancy mode.
    I am enjoying your newest posts. Like visits with a friend. Thank you.

  140. I enjoyed your post. I also add vegetables to soup in the winter. I am definitely going to try Bob’s Red Mill soup mix.
    Love the bag…. it is beautiful!

  141. Your fruitcake looks delicious! I have never made one but may give your recipe a try! It sounds like a wonderful summer treat.

  142. I was cutting my own hair. I did a decent job. But since places have been open where I live, I’ve been going there. I always wear a mask. I don’t like wearing them. So I might just stay home and use your way of doing it. Thanks for letting all of us know.

  143. Thanks for all your inspiration. My fruitcakes were a flop so will try yours next time. It is wonderful that you know your own style so Intimately, at 65, I am still struggling to find mine. I do know a whole bunch about what doesn’t work lol. I guess that is something. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  144. Mr. Mickey’s closet is unbelievable but just looking at him gave me a glance into his personality and I had figured he was a very neat man…He like order…Love to read your blogs…Nola

  145. Oh how happy I was to read that you too like to gift fruitcakes! I am 64 but as a young girl would help my Nana make them & store them in festive tins or wrap pretty for the holidays. Your recipe brought back happy memories. Love to read your blog and the purse is exquisite!
    Merry Christmas

  146. Thanks again for your many tips. I bought two hats similar and have enjoyed wearing them. They are great to hide Covid-hair! I may be using your trimming tips next! You are so generous in sharing with us.

  147. I love the traditional look that you share ……..thank you for continuing your posts as it certainly inspires me. Happy Holidays to you and Mr Mickey

  148. I love your column and seeing your lovely home. I’d like NOT to put up a tree either, and as soon as the grandkids are old enough not to care, I plan to stop.

  149. Susan, that is a lovely teacup! What is the name of that pattern? I really enjoy the crisp look of blue and white,
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us!

  150. Loved hearing more about what you enjoy, helps me to expand and try new things! Can’t wait to try the tea and the soup!
    Thank you for sharing Susan.

  151. Thank you for the fireside chat.I was delighted with the Christmas atmospere and the nice Fedora.
    I am grateful for your blog.
    The clutch is wonderful, still I wonder where and when I could take it with me.( we are in Greece in the second big lockdown )!

  152. I need an evening bag to wear to my daughter’s wedding. She actually got married right before Thanksgiving 1500 miles away from me. No one could go because of COVID. We all attended by Zoom. She still has a deposit on the venue so we’re hoping to have a big celebration sometime in the summer.

  153. Oh my! That bag is quite lovely.
    It’s a joy just to look at it!
    Thank you, Susan.
    This entire post was most interesting.

  154. I miss you so much on Facebook . Without post notifications, I get busy and forget to look up website . You are such an inspiration and I enjoy your tip, info , life sharing photos etc . God bless you and Merry Christmas .

  155. I have really enjoyed following your blogs. I love looking at the places you travel and you are so generous with your knowledge about so many things. I hope you are staying safe.

  156. I always enjoy your posts. The evening bag is very lovely and I would love to be the lucky winner!
    Love and thanks.

  157. Oh my goodness!! I’d love to have that black and silver bag!! It’s exquisite and would match a lot of my clothes.

  158. I love soup and you and I eat very much alike. Just curious what spices you put in the red mill soup mix. This is best on my list to try.

  159. I have learned so much from you and last week I found out that you have been learning from Mr. Micky. You two are a beautiful pair – sharp and stylish.

  160. Love the drawings of cutting your hair. Haven’t cut mine since March. Hasn’t been this long since high school. Love the hat look on you. Also love purse!!
    Xoxo Janie from Chicagoland!

  161. Your blog is my absolute favorite! I love the variety of tips on fashion, healthy eating, and beauty. I also enjoy glimpses into your life, such as pictures of your travels and your beautiful home. The links to your favorite products work very well. Thank you for sharing!

  162. It’s encouraging to know that you, like me, don’t put up a Christmas tree. We didn’t last year for the first time ever. This year I felt I ought to put one up – I don’t know why I felt obliged to do so.
    We had a 4ft white tree and when it was trimmed, we realised it was actually an ugly grey. I realised why – it had been white, but our house fire last year had obviously smoke-damaged the tree. Now it’s in the bin.
    We like the Susan Lordi Willow Tree characters, so we have collected a nativity set in this design over a few years. This occupies the spot where the tree would have been. I’m not a minimalist, however, I don’t like clutter. Therefore, this will be our new style of pared back Christmas decorating.
    I like what you said about leggings under jeans/trousers. We joke that my husband wears long-johns under his clothes in the winter and I have the female equivalent! 😉
    The bag is so very beautiful and elegant. I’d love to be entered into the draw please.

  163. I’ve enjoyed your blog for several years now, and think it’s time I let you know that I appreciate not only your fashion ideas, but the way you embrase our and enjoy our season of life. Thank you.

  164. I have gleaned some valuable fashion and lifestyle tips over the years from your delightful blog.
    I just “binge” read & reread your latest blogs for the last hour.
    Thank you for always been upbeat and honest.
    It is always fun to take a day trip or weekend getaway with you & Mr. Mickey.
    Your home is lovely.
    I am a longtime antique dealer and really appreciate your curated collection.
    My first roommate when I moved away from home was a gal from Johnson City.
    Please keep writing your blog as it brings happiness & joy to so many especially during these difficult times.
    You are an inspiration to live our best life.
    Hoping your holiday season is merry & bright.

  165. I have found all of your information,stories,photos and advice so very helpful during the past few years. Thank you for such a wonderful gift.

  166. I love the haircut instructions!! I’ve been learning to layer a snip at a time because longer hair just does not “suit” me at all. I look at it this way: Mistake?–it is hair. It will grow. There are hats on the rare occasions someone outside my “intimate circle” sees me, which right now is just about NEVER. Along the way, I’ve become more and more fond of the way my hair looks when I do it myself, although I do hope to get it done professionally at some point again. Right now, I’m taking no chances with major surgery being just a phone call away after the latest emergency COVID-19 measures. I love your blog, I rarely comment, but I had to with the whole hair thing. Thanks for that!

  167. Hi Susan,
    I just happened to be rereading through your blog posts again today and was very excited when I found out your favorite tea turns out to be the same tea I tried at my son’s house a couple years, fell in love with it, but was unable to find anywhere. I am a long time hot tea lover and will be purchasing the Paris tea, thanks to your post!

    Wishing you and Mr Mickey a blessed Christmas!
    Stay well,
    Brenda Done

  168. Love your style, and the fact you bring in older pieces that you obviously enjoy, don’t feel the need to buy new wardrobe complete every season.

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.