Friday Date Night

In a previous post here, I told you that all the linen pieces I own are white. I was wrong! I forgot about these black linen culottes. I removed the self-tie belt that came with them and added a lighter color taupe leather belt. Since I have a short waist, I try to elongate the torso visually by wearing a belt in the same tone as the top.

I wore this look (plus a mask!) to early vote in the Tennessee primary elections. Only two people were in line; we kept six feet apart and used a Q-tip to push the polling booth buttons. Learn how to register to vote and find the deadlines for voter registration in your state here.

I always wear culottes with a block heel shoe to balance the proportions. Style tip: treat culottes as a midi skirt. I tucked in the white cotton tank and then added a very lightweight cotton cardigan. Similar tankcardigan – Culottes here or herebelt.

The watch is here. A similar link bracelet is here. Tennis bracelet here. Similar earrings are here.

A similar bag is here. The shoes are here.

My summer reading list includes ‘The Blue Zones Kitchen’ by Dan Buettner. I will try many delicious looking recipes, but I found the one I’m showing you today on his website here. You can purchase Dan Buettner’s books here.

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My version of the recipe is below. I prepare food much like I get dressed, “Use what you have and make it work.”

Cowboy Caviar
1 cup olive oil
½ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Stevia (I used brown sugar)
1 can black beans, unsalted & drained
1 can Adzuki beans, unsalted & drained
1 can whole kernel yellow corn, unsalted & drained
½ of a red onion (or sweet yellow if that’s what you have)
1 of each – yellow, red, and green bell peppers – finely chopped
1 jalapeño, finely chopped (or canned green chiles if that’s what you have)

In a bowl, mix beans, corn, red onion, and peppers.
Pour olive oil and cider vinegar over the vegetable mixture, and stir.
Let the mixture marinate in the refrigerator overnight for best taste results (the longer it sits, the tastier it becomes).
Drain thoroughly, and add cut-up fresh avocado, fresh cilantro, and serve with organic dipping corn chips.

Corona beer and a slice of lime would pair perfectly with this dish, but I don’t have any. I will serve it tonight with a lovely Italian Valpolicella Ripasso.

I hope you also discover ways to make your weekend feel special.

Links in my posts may provide a small commission to me at no additional cost to you. I use my Sony Alpha a5100 camera’s timer and a tripod to take my photos.

  1. You always look pretty. ♥️ Love the black and and white fresh look too. . Thanks for sharing. We enjoy cowboy caviar too. Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend

  2. Good to know I am not the only one using what I have during the pandemic! Actually encourages creativity!

  3. Recently had a heart attack and my cardiologist recommended the Mediterranean diet for heart health. This recipe is perfect timing! Thank you for all that you do for us, Susan!

  4. My family has a similar recipe that uses jarred red peppers and agave syrup in place of sugar. We called it Poor Man’s Caviar. By any name it is delish!

    Admiring the culottes and thinking they would be a good option for very hot weather instead of a close fit pant. Something to consider. I’ve never owned a pair.

    Glad to hear you voted. So important.

    Have a great Date Night.

  5. Those sandals are divine! Love the woven straw on the heels. You look fabulous as usual. Thanks for the tip about the belt. I too am short-waisted with an ample bust (and only just over 5′ tall) so I almost always wear my tops out, otherwise the top half looks virtually like one big boob! The Shapeez silkee short bras have helped so much to minimize them and I will think about tucking in with a top-matching belt. I follow some other very lovely women’s fashion blogs but only your style consistently appeals to me. Glad you are healing.

    1. Adzuki beans have a mild, nutty taste with a sweet quality about them, so there is no substitute in sweet dishes. In savory dishes, you can use equal amounts of kidney or red beans.

  6. The Cowboy Caviar looks delicious Susan, and Valpolicella is one of my favorite wines! I love your look, (especially the heels), but, I’m afraid a 3 inch heel may prove too high for me. Happy Friday to you!

  7. Thank you for mentioning voting early! And thanks for the recipe. You are making your blog work even in the midst of the pandemic. Hang in there!

  8. Hello from Canada! This is a lovely post. I love your outfit, those shoes are great. I am going to try your recipe too! Thanks so much. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  9. The best tip I’ve ever heard: elongate a short waist with a similar top tone belt instead of matching bottom color. Same with a black or navy long pant or just culottes? Cowboy Caviar a family holiday favorite! We use Agave as well, just a tad.

  10. Thank you for more healthy eating ideas! Two of your books, “The China Study” and “The Blue Zones Kitchen” look interesting!

  11. In my opinion, culottes and wide legged crop pants are unflattering on everyone. They visually shorten the legs and unless one has slim ankles, they just make the Lower legs look chunky. Designers want women to purchase new things every season, and throw out their old “unstylish” clothes, so they introduce new trends that are diametrically opposed to what was stylish in recent seasons. Women, look in your full length mirror and decide for yourselves, do not let designers decide for you.

    1. Culottes have been around since I was in high school, and they were called gauchos. If you can highlight your waistline, they can work as a cool alternative to slim-fitting or even tailored pants.

  12. Susan,
    Your date night look is wonderful on you. Like you always say wear what you like you are only telling us what works for you. To say something doesn’t look right on everyone is wrong. That why we have freedom of choice to wear what we want in life.
    Susan keep sharing You tricks and tip I look forward to them.
    Have a great weekend!!!

  13. I have been eating a version of Cowboy Caviar every day since the middle of March. I love the stuff!

  14. For us lazy, but health-conscious cooks – there’s a product called “Pico de Guaco” that is available in the deli section of my grocery store and it’s WONDERFUL! It’s some guacamole on the bottom, topped with the same diced vegetables you’ve shown, Susan, on the top. I dump it out onto my drained canned beans and corn and…..instant Black Bean Salad that’s just delicious.
    This is a very smart outfit today, Susan. Those shoes are killer.

  15. Thanks for reminding everyone to vote early! I have worked election for nearly 30 years. Things have certainly changed in 30 years. Our county provides wooden coffee stirrers for the voting machines and we give out ink pens in a cellophane wrapper for signing and you keep the pen. We have plexiglass between registrars and voters and wear masks. The machine operators will wear masks and face shields! Hand sanitizers are scattered throughout the voting place. We voted early and hoping many do to eliminate crowds on Election Day!
    Glad you were able to have a date night! You are recovering nicely! Hope you feel as good as you are looking!

  16. I always learn something new with your blog. Thank you
    You look lovely and walking so beautifully on that road to recovery .

  17. Hello from Australia. I enjoy your blog very much. Two things stood out from your post today. First, that you are gently reminding people to vote (in Australia, it is compulsory) and second, that The China Study is on your reading list. Both are commendable.

  18. Love your updates and stories- and have just bought the Blue Zone are second person this week who has discussed this work…and recipe looks amazing x

  19. I really enjoy your blog I’ve just joined from
    Nova Scotia and am
    Of your vintage! You
    Look amazing!

  20. great post from clothes to recipe ( and safety measures while voting). So glad that you are continuing your road of recovery from Covid.

  21. Just bought the Blue Zone Kitchen and am loving it. Read The China Study many years ago and it changed the way I eat almost 100 percent. Much more aware of what highly processed foods do to your body.
    Love your site and all the tips for dressing beautifully with a core wardrobe and great accessories.

  22. Hi Susan,

    It’s so nice to see you getting “all dolled up” again and out and about. Your meal looks so healthy and yummy. I hope everything turned out lovely for your date night. It’s so important to have something special to look forward to.

    Be safe and always take tender loving care of your precious self.

    I have a sign that my bestie sent me that I keep meaning to add to my top that says. “Underneath all this is a friendly smile.” In a masked society, we need substitute for our best form of nonverbal communication, the smile is a casualty of war with the virus.”


  23. So glad you are feeling better! Thank you for this recipe, it sounds great and I can’t wait to try it! Always appreciate your clothing tips. So glad I found your blog, you are encouraging me to keep moving forward on my weight loss efforts and I really have enjoyed wearing my jewelry again. I had stopped putting forth the effort, but you have sparked a new interest and now I look forward to picking out the right pieces for each outfit. Love that coin necklace!

  24. QTips! Genius. I have a gigantic package of them. I bought some of those tiny zip top baggies for carry small items and packing etc. and I had put a handful of QTips in one to take in carry on, so I thought, why not use them for similar purposes as you did. I put another little baggie in my purse for use with those infernal checkstand keypads. Thanks for the tip. No pun intended. Or maybe pun was intended lol. I used to tear open an alcohol wipe and wrap it around my finger to enter my pin etc. I tried the QTip today and three people commented. It’s sure easier than the wipe and there’s always a waste basket of some sort between the checkstand and the car. Thank you! Three anonymous shoppers also thank you!

  25. What a good look on you! I remember wearing culottes in high school and gauchos again in the 80’s I think it was, but I was smaller then. Your posts are so inspiring and maybe one day I’ll become inspired enough to drop a few pounds yet again. So happy to see that you are doing well.

    Oh, and thanks for the Q-tip hint. I bought a large box because I couldn’t find a small one and thought I’d never use them all.

  26. I am 73. I need help with my skin. Used Este Lauder for years then Olay. I have never had rough skin till lately. Have I ruined my skin using cleansers and moisturizers that remove dead skin cells? Can you recommend a product to help? I’ve even tried coconut and olive oil. Please help.

    1. Hi Linda. The routine I follow is here. Be gentle and give your skin some time to replace old cells with new. It may take a month to see a difference. Drink lots of water and eat lots of vegetables. What you put in your body makes a big difference too.

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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.