Hobbies and Habits

A hobby is an activity done regularly in our leisure time for pleasure. A habit is something we often do in a regular and repeated way. We consciously pursue hobbies, whereas a habit may be something we don’t even realize we are doing.

Changing bad habits to better ones, such as getting regular exercise, maintaining good posture, eating mostly plant-based foods, and drinking lots of filtered water, were life-changing for me. After I identified routines that were causing me health problems, I mindfully set about changing my path. It takes about two months to form a new habit.

The Tahari ASL winter white moto jacket was from an end of season sale last spring. (I had my eye on it for months!) Well-planned purchases are the only ones I make now. I want to enjoy my items often and for several years. The white tank and black pants are from 2018, as are the shoes.

My hobbies, including making boutique jewelry and blogging, changed my life.

In 1989, I started making fashion jewelry as a diversion from a soul-crushing job. Within a couple of years, I taught myself how to create, market, and promote my designs so that I was able to leave the job I hated. I earned a living pursuing my passion for the next ten years until my hands were no longer strong enough to keep up the pace. Since I had the industry’s connections and knowledge, I built a website and started selling supplies to other designers.

In 2019 I sold my jewelry supply business to turn my hobby of blogging into my full-time job. Earning a living doing what you enjoy most means your work never feels like an unpleasant chore.

I temporarily returned to my jewelry-making roots to create the earrings above as a lesson plan for Regina, the new owner of the company I started. The pierced/post earrings measure 44mm (about 1 3/4 inches) long. I’m giving them away on Friday to a randomly chosen winner from the comments below.

If you’ve ever thought about making jewelry as a hobby, there are thousands of components at Vintage Jewelry Supplies here.

That’s my little sister and me with our Dad. He is balancing examples from his tobacco harvest during the late summer of 1962. The County Agent came by with his camera to record the tallest tobacco he had ever seen.

I’ve always been grateful that my life began on a farm in Western North Carolina. Watching my parents struggle through demanding situations taught me never to give up and never stop learning. The experience also showed me that changing your habits could alter your life. If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, don’t expect a different result.

The start of this new decade is an excellent time to think about what makes us feel happy, healthy, and fulfilled. Let’s do more of that!

  1. Thank you for sharing your story.
    Your blog posts have helped save me money as I shop and to take charge of my eating and to drop 15 pounds.
    I look forward to each new post.

  2. How brave of you to strike out on your own. Soul crushing is how I would describe my job, too. Thank you for telling your story.

  3. Thank you for showing me, and the rest of us how to grow older with grace. I will continue to pass along all your great tips for eating, dressing and luving to the younger generation in my family. I have 8 grandchildren and they come to me for advice and I pass along everything you have taught us through the years reading your blog, etc. Add mentor to your list of accomplishments. Thank you!

  4. From what little I have seen of your jewelry, it looks like the designs are well thought out and of high quality. Too bad all of your blog followers did not have an opportunity to have one of your creations among their collection of jewelry. Anyone of us would be thrilled to win these earrings.

  5. Susan, I discovered your blog about five years ago and since then my appearance has improved greatly. Now I know how to shop for myself. I know what works for me and why (from jewelry to bras). What I wear and how I look are an accurate representation of the real me. Clothes are no longer a costume. Thank you for sharing your journey. I rely on you more than you can possibly know.

  6. Wonderful post. Instead of resolutions for the new year, I set goals for the year. We eat healthy meals in general but I have a few lingering bad food habits I want to be rid of by 2021. The earrings are just beautiful. I would love to win them.

  7. Beautifully designed earrings – the blue beads together with the silver really compliment each other. They would look stunning with my grey hair!! I always enjoy your blog and your down-to-earth and sensible but fashionable approach to dressing. Best wishes for the coming year.

  8. The earrings are gorgeous. Whoever wins them will be truly fortunate to proudly wear them! Thank you, Susan for sharing your many talents with us.

  9. Those earrings are beautiful and classy.
    You are always inspiring me to make some changes. I am beginning the new year with trying to eat more nutritious food. I am also trying to work on a decent,looking wardrobe that fits my style and life.

  10. I absolutely love the earrings, especially the colors….thanks for the opportunity to win them.

    Marilyn Pack

  11. Love the earrings. You are also my mentor. I am beginning a new decade closet cleanse. And, I plan to be brutal. Only those items that are classic and fit me well have a home in my closet.

  12. In my search for blogs that resonate with my lifestyle and belief system, yours stands out as a favorite. It is inspirational, compassionate, well-balanced, and sensible. Thank you for sharing your style and life with the world through your blog. It is honest well-written, and portrays a beautiful life. Thank you for sharing how you changed your life by changing some bad habits and working hard (which it is obvious that you do). We all know that deep down, but sometimes we need to be reminded that to get different results, we must do different things. May we all reach new goals in 2020.

  13. Happy New Year! Will be exploring new hobbies and interests as I begin my retirement this June after more than 41 years of helping others!

  14. Yours is the first blog I read on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – even before I read ours. (Although I have proofed ours enough to know it’s okay.) We are near the same age, but my body type and clothing choices are different from yours. (I am long, lean, and flat-chested.) However, I still love seeing how you put everything together. http://the2seasons.com/

  15. Once again, your perseverance and creativity inspired me today! I realized after reading your blog today that I have not pursued ANY hobbies of late other than camping and hiking. I used to crochet and do needlework and sewing until my eyes needed readers and then I didn’t like the fatigue that happened as I generally went after that hobby like one does a “job”.

    I really loved creating my own garments and tatting lace AND creating beautiful afghans for people and this makes me want to dive in again but with less urgency this time so I can actually enjoy it without a deadline AND to teach my daughter to do those things as she has been wanting to learn to sew her won clothing.

    Thank you for continually inspiring us all even beyond fashion!! You endeavor to empower us to live beautifully and strong and I for one, am bettered because of it.

    Your earrings are BEAUTIFUL and whoever gets them will be blessed by the fruit of your labor!


  16. I am married to a hard-working farmer and I love having been able to raise our children, and now grandchildren, in a way that teaches a good work ethic. I am new to your blog, but am enjoying your posts. Those earrings you designed are beautiful. Looking forward to following you in the new year.

  17. I am happy to identify myself as a regular reader, for several years, of your thoughtful advice and narratives. I especially appreciate your forthrightness in presenting yourself as a real person with a real life, not some airbrushed runway model. The earrings are exactly my style and color combination! I would be happy to win them and almost as happy to know that another reader wins them (you have created a good community here, you know).

  18. Gorgeous earrings. Wouldn’t they be the perfect accessory to wear to my 50th high school reunion in April !!! Jefferson Davis High School, Montgomery Al

  19. Love the earrings! Love the outfit you have on and actually I can confess that I wear this exact combination (sometimes with a change of tank….black instead of white) with one of white jean jackets. It looks really sharp and I always get compliments. At 4′ 11″ I have to be careful to pick up what works. Thanks for your blog!

  20. Love this post! I too, have started making jewelry, first as a hobby, and now as a small business. See Gemnosity.com. What a delight and what an outlet for my creative side! Love your earrings. You are a very talented lady. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

  21. Susan, I always enjoy your blog and get inspiration from you whether it is clothing or accessories. I, too, like classic clothing that can be worn year after year.

  22. Lovely earrings! You are such a talented lady! I too have started making jewelry, first as a hobby, and now as a small business. See Gemnosity.com. It’s been such a great outlet for my creative side! Thank you for so openly sharing your gifts with us. (Apologies if my post shows up twice. The first time it would not post.)

  23. I love the earrings and would be excited to win/wear them, not only because they’re pretty, but because they are a part of your history. Thank you for all that you do for us, Susan.

  24. Just wanted to say hello from another girl who grew up in WNC! My parents also struggled to make ends meet but my little sister and I saw how hard they worked and it was a great example for us to follow in our adult lives. The earrings you made are beautiful!

  25. I love the earrings and that they have post closing. Earrings with a wire don’t work for me anymore. I have been following you through two blogs and love your tips on fashion and lifestyle.

      1. What a wonderful blog to start the new year!! You always amaze me with your talents. The pic of you with your sis and dad is precious!
        Love the earrings and they would look lovely with my grey hair and many blue jackets……..
        Happy New Year to you and Mr Mickey.

      2. Susan, I am sorry you consider wires on earrings vulgar. I wore posted earrings for years, but my fingers have lost their dexterity, and I can no longer manage posts. Now I wear French hooks (which I guess is the same as wires?). My ears feel naked without some kind of adornment!

  26. I am so grateful your life’s journey led you to blogging . Love that you touch on so many different, worthwhile topics in you blogs. I have grown and changed much in the short time I have started following your blogs, as my habit your 3 weekly are always a part of my morning reads. Love that you and your buyer of your jewelry business have stayed in touch. The earrings you did for Regina are stunning, who ever receives them will be very blessed. Thank you and am looking forward to your Wednesday’s topic.

  27. I anxiously awaited your first post of the new year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Your posts are always interesting and I love learning from you. One important lesson I learned from you is to try to purchase a selection of quality basics that can easily be enhanced with accessories. Today, my inbox is filled with emails from many of the retailers I buy from offering me tremendous discounts. I am doing my best to only purchase needed items since impulse buying is on my new year resolution list! I look forward to your future posts. Enjoy your day!

  28. The earrings are beautiful! I have enjoyed reading your blogs and receiving your helpful health and fashion advice. Thank you for sharing and motivating us.
    Happy New Year!

  29. What a wonderful post to start the new year! I hope to reach my goals this year of losing weight and eating better. I have already purged my closet and will start buying pieces that work for me. Thank you for all you do! The earrings are beautiful!

  30. Hi Susan, I would love to be placed in the random drawing for the beautiful handmade earrings. Thank you. That’s a cute picture of you with your Dad and sister.

  31. Beautiful earrings! You certainly have an eye for design. And that tobacco! I also grew up with my father growing tobacco but don’t remember any stalks that tall or I’m sure he would have also taken a picture.

  32. Thank you Susan. I am retired after a bone crushing career as well. I am mostly grateful for my life now. I exercise daily with my little dog and love my family. I have a few great hobbies. I am not as satisfied with myself as I would like to be. I have gained weight and it makes me feel so disappointed in myself. I try your many practical suggestions for fashion, and have learnt so many lessons that continue to improve my style and buying habits. I have to get control of what goes into my mouth! I will keep trying! Thank you

  33. Lovely earrings—and indigo blue is Pantone’s pick for color of the year!! I have always loved that color & it is universally flattering.
    Thanks again for all your tips—I’m heading out for a walk now.

  34. What a beautiful and beneficial message you have shared in today’s post, Susan. Thank you for reminding us to do what makes us feel happy and healthy! The earrings are beautiful. I am sorry I did not “discover” you when you were sharing your jewelry making talent with others through your jewelry supply company.


  35. The earrings are beautiful. It would be like wearing a work of art. My father was also a tobacco farmer in Kentucky. The picture brought back so many sweet memories.

  36. Always beautiful. Happy New Year to you and Mr Mickey! Thanks for reminders to take care of ourselves. ❤

  37. I love following your blog and have modeled much of my wardrobe after your ideas. The earrings are stunning and I would be proud to wear them.

  38. Your blogs are one of the highlights of my week. They are such an inspiration to become a better person. Love the earrings!

  39. I discovered your blog a year ago, I went through and read every post all the back to when you were blogging under 50 not frumpy. I have learned so much about dressing for my body type and buying good quality pieces that you truly love. In August I successfully started my weight loss journey after trying for many years; reading your blog was the true inspiration I needed to finally get me to see what I need and want to do. The earrings are lovely.

    Thank you,
    Suzanne B.

  40. I love your posts! I just told my husband yesterday, after showing him a “new” outfit from my closet, how much your blog has changed the way I shop and assemble my wardrobe. It is such a pleasure now to plan what I am wearing.

  41. Susan I’ve enjoyed all your comments for several years now since my daughter referred me to your Facebook. In fact I’ve ordered several items from your “store”. I sure hope I’m in your drawing. Please kept up with all your wonderful ideas for all of us.

  42. Thank you for sharing. You are always an inspiration. You’ve made wise choices along the way to achieve the wonderful. Changes in your life.

  43. Thank you for sharing. You are always an inspiration. Love the blogs and all the choices that changed your life along the way.

  44. Susan, First let me extend best wishes for the New Year! I love your blog and have been following you for three years. Love the earrings you made ( how generous of you to share with us).

  45. Very inspiring post. I am on a mission to integrate the types of life changes you mention in 2020. I lost my way from a more healthful lifestyle and need to reclaim them for my physical and mental health. Thanks for the reminders and encouragement. And….. those earrings are stunning! BTW, I was unaware even after reading for several years that you are originally from WNC where I now live, but I will always be a midwestern girl at heart.

  46. You are truly an inspiration to me! I did not know about your jewelry making career, but another example of your creative abilities! I would love to win your earrings!

  47. Thank you so much for this post! I love this picture and the gratitude and respect that you show your parents. This world would be a better place if young people had and showed more respect for their parents.

  48. The white moto jacket is lovely. I’m sure you made a good choice! Thank you for blogging.
    Over the years of following you I have improved my health, physical appearance and attitude. It is always insightful to realize an attractive look doesn’t come without having to change. So I embrace that concept. During the past holidays I ate too many foods that do nothing for me and as a result I did not look or feel my best. I’m back on track and have learned a valuable lesson that I hope not to repeat next holiday season! Happy New Year to you and Mr. Mickey!
    The earrings are beautiful and I would love to wear them. Thank you for the opportunity.

  49. Susan… I understand aging and loosing the flexibility in your hands … me, too! Your blog has been among my must reads for many years… since the “not frumpy” days! Your confidence and positivity are catching! The earrings are lovely. Thank you for sharing your life and thoughts with us! Happy 2020!

  50. Susan love the picture of you with your Dad and sister. You continue to educate and motivate me to approach life deliberately instead of merely reacting to the current situation. For sure, being more mindful of wardrobe purchases.

  51. My husband grew up on a farm in Kentucky back in the 40s and 50s. He enjoyed the picture of your father’s harvest very much.
    Your handiwork is lovely. Glad you are still able to pursue your passion as a hobby.

  52. I like the length of these beautiful earrings. A lot of earrings I see and like are just too long. I can’t pull that off!

  53. The earrings are beautiful. I’m loving the fact that you are so generous with these giveaways……and I love the blog.

  54. Happy New Year Susan!-Thank you so much for all your helpful information. You are never too old to learn.
    The earrings are absolutely beautiful.

  55. Happy New Year 2020 dear Susan!
    I love your blog! Monday Wednesday and Friday are my most interesting days !
    Thank you for advice over style and food and exercise.
    But most of all over life philosophy!

  56. I too was raised on a farm, in Southern Indiana for me and spent me entire life as a artist. First as a Graphic Artist, then as the owner of decorative arts business and today as a floral Designer. I enjoyed it all. I love your earrings and your blog. We should never stop learning!

  57. Hi Susan…. Please add me to Susaniacs who would love to own a piece of work crafted by the Style Maven who has taught us so much. Thanks… Jyoti Sangha

  58. I would love to have my name entered into the drawing for the lovely earrings. I wear only silver jewelry and lots of blue tones as well!! Thank you!

  59. Always enjoy your blogs. You have taught me a lot about simplifying my wardrobe and purchasing those things that may be a bit pricey…but work wonderfully.

    I too am a Carolina girl from Swannanoa, NC and also a farm girl, but still love the girly dress up look. One of my sweet hobbies is making my own jewelry and I don’t intend to get into selling it; but I have made a thing or two for my sisters. I am 66 and still “got it going on” from farm girl to dress up and I intend to keep enjoying your blog to teach me all kinds of good things.

    So glad you enjoy “our neck of the woods” when you visit near Asheville. Keep up the good work and keep us informed. You and Mr. Mickey seem to be made for each other. Happy New Year.

  60. I needed the reminder about well planned purchases. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the sales. The earrings that you designed are gorgeous!

  61. Susan,

    Your blog was one of the first I discovered several years ago. Since that time, I followed other bloggers. Now most of the others have fallen by the wayside but I have never been disappointed or lost interest in your page.

    You are an inspiration and have reminded me that a few good-quality items are better for my lifestyle and the environment.

    Thanks for staying true to yourself.

    Carol Spears
    Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

  62. What a sweet photo of you and your family! I volunteer with our County Agent in WNC and know how hard our farmers work to give us good food and to provide for their families. I thank hardworking men like your father.

  63. Such an inspiring article Susan. I’m embarking on a new vocation for myself, now that my daughters are in college. I loved seeing the photograph of you with your sister and dad. I have many fond memories of summer vacations spent in Brevard, NC and of Camp Merrie Wood in Saphire Valley. The earrings are lovely and so elegant. You have such a talent and creative flair! May you enjoy a happy and healthy 2020!
    Elizabeth Tobin

  64. Susan! What a great photo! I’m curious about the color of your hair when you were a child. In this pic it looks medium brown/blonde, but I recall seeing a photo of you in the Navy where it almost looked black. And how fortunate for you to grow up on a farm. My farm friends are the most stalwart, strong people I know.

    1. As a toddler, I was a cotton top with pale blonde hair. It darkened as I aged, but it was never black. When I was in my early twenties, it was ash brown and started to turn gray in my late teens. It is now a silver/gray.

  65. What an adorable picture of you and your sister with your dad! That is some tobacco! Love the earrings…you are so talented. I love reading your posts and checking my closet for items to recreate your outfits. Probably the most important message is healthy living.

  66. Just love the earrings and would love to wear them. Thank you for all the wisdom you share with us Susan

  67. Susan you look lovely in this outfit. It is one of my favorites. I wore something similar with a white puffer jacket but yours is more beautiful and practical. Thank you for sharing the photo of your dad and sister, it is very special.

  68. The earrings are stunning. Thank you for your blog. You have caused me to rethink purchases and I have learned so much from you.

  69. I love the white moto jacket but I also adore the photo of you and your little sister and dad. You are always an inspiration, Susan. Happy New Year to you and yours. Cheers, Violet.

  70. Susan, you are soooo talented, not only with your blog to make it interesting, introduce new designers at least to me and looking absolutely stunning in what you wear and sharing the reasons why you put together what you do and to top it off making exquisite jewelry. I would be honored to wear any jewelry you made.
    Clara Bulens of Iowa

  71. That is such good advice Susan! And advice I am going to try doing this new year. I am overweight. Not grossly to anyone but myself. But “myself” is who counts most on this matter. I am starting a change of habit today!

  72. I began following your Fifty Not Frumpy blog because that title was my goal. I continue to appreciate and look forward to your blog as we both advance into our 60’s.

  73. Hi Susan; great to see you again after the holiday season. Think I just might need the TMRW STUDIO
    Mitchel Leather Box Bag you directed us to. It is beautiful. Great plan always, to watch for loved items to go on sale!

  74. Thank you for your inspiring messages, Susan! My goal this year is to use the things I have rather than accumulating more and more stuff. Love your white jacket!

  75. How special that one of your readers will have the gorgeous earrings you made. That is tall tobacco… I miss seeing it grow in the fields, but I’m happy that other crops are replacing it.

  76. Your earrings are beautiful!
    I also look forward to your blogs. Your down to earth advice and your classic sense of style have helped me so much.
    As I’ve said before, you are an inspiration to me. Thank you!

  77. So glad for this post! I remember you posting about jewelry making in the past and was curious about where to buy supplies. Once you mentioned a glue you preferred. What tools and glue did you use to make the earrings?

    1. I always used E6000 glue with a needle tool or a toothpick to apply only a tiny amount of glue to each piece. A wire forming handtool, a wire cutter, and flat-nose pliers were the tools I used.

  78. Since I started following your blog I have been inspired to become a better dressed, healthier woman. Thanks to you I have purged my closet of over 100 items I never wore and have simplified my clothing selection. I have become more aware of how eating foods that are good for my body make me feel and look much better. Thank you Susan for your lovely example…and have a very happy 2020!

  79. Just retired so love your inspiration. I am ready to explore all kinds of new hobbies and habits. Hope I’m randomly picked for the gorgeous earrings too 🙂 CJ

  80. Stunning earrings. I look forward to reading and learning from all of your posts, such as this one. My husband and I have decided to change our eating habits together, and it is good to know that it may take two months to fully transition over to our new lifestyle.

  81. Beautiful earrings. I have very sensitive skin and am always searching for earrings that won’t cause a reaction.

  82. I love the vintage look to these earrings and, since I have short hair, I love the larger piece on the earlobe! Your classic style fits me well as I can no longer (nor do I want to) wear the trendy styles. Happy New Year!

  83. Love the beautiful earrings and blue is my favorite color. Happy New Year, Susan. I truly love reading your blogs.

  84. Happy New Year to you and Mr Mickey,
    I just want you to know how much I have learned from you regarding impulse buying and choosing a working wardrobe.
    Being a impulse shopper I have wasted lots of money on things I do not wear or need.

  85. What a wonderful story. I so admire your sense of style and down to earth common sense. Really look forward to your messages.

  86. In love with your gorgeous earring creations. You are truly an amazing woman of endless talents. Always an inspiration to me.

  87. I grow up on a farm and thankful for all I learned. I enjoy and have learned a lot from your blog.
    Earrings are beautiful. Thank you

  88. Susan, thank you for your blog. I enjoy your insights into lifestyle and fashion. I’ve followed
    you for several years from Clemson, SC. I like how you wait for the right moment to make
    your purchases. I’ve been waiting a long time to purchase a French Kande necklace since I
    first saw one of yours. Delayed gratification can be sweet. Your previous vintage inspired
    jewelry business has always sounded so interesting. Those are beautiful earrings! Happy New Year.

  89. Happy New Year Susan!
    I have always enjoyed your posts. You have been a inspiration to me and I intend this year to eat more plant based foods. It’s been a struggle for me to lose weight but I am determined this is my year! Thanks you for setting a fine example of gracious living and healthy eating.

  90. I truly gasped when I saw those gorgeous earrings! Would be honored to win those from such a lovely lady. You are an inspiration to many including me. Thank you Susan.

  91. Welcome back from the holidays, and Happy New Year. I can appreciate your rural upbringing. I grew up in rural Georgia, and it taught us not to be afraid of hard work and challenges. Love the earrings, and blue is my favorite color.

  92. I love those earrings. I too have enjoyed making jewelry in the past, but haven’t done it for a while because my eye sight has been an issue, but I do appreciate hand crafted jewelry.

  93. These earrings are beautiful! So in hopes I am lucky enough to win them. I enjoy your blog and have used so many of your tips. I gave on a Clara Sunwoo Moto jacket in liquid leather and I love it. Thanks for modeling it which inspired my purchase.

  94. Earrings are beautiful. I’ll keep my fingers crossed I get selected. Thank you for your wonderful blog. Makes my day.

  95. When I read about a woman and her jewelry making business I think of the wires and beads most beginners sell at craft fairs. Your earrings are so far beyond wire and bead! They are stunning and look like a jeweler made them. Besides designing them you also created them, I am in awe.
    I have been a reader for several years and, as many readers, credit you with teaching me how to dress. I now look in the mirror and ask myself What Would Susan Say? Sometimes it’s a thumbs up and others it’s a try again! Those fails are usually gifts and I have now started a donation box for them. No sense in keeping them in my closet if I’m not tall or thin enough to have it make me look good.
    Thank you for your continued inspiration. Even your relationship with Mr. Mickey helped me feel more confident in my relationship. Here’s to both of you in 2020.

  96. You are a true inspiration, and your blog is my favorite. Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge! I need a moto jacket! 🙂 Love the picture of you and your family.

  97. Thank you, Susan, for your ever-positive encouragement to be your best possible self….which includes being the AUTHENTIC, GENUINE you! While you are definitely always stylish and elegant, you aren’t a cookie-cutter role model. I love that you are YOU. Unique. Individual. It is obvious that you research and look for what is optimal for you, whether it be health, life-style or fashion. I also love the way you approach aging. Age has never affected me…until I hit 71 this summer. I suddenly felt those 71 years. You are truly an inspiration to thrive, no matter the age or stage. AND….your classic style doesn’t have to be reinvented every season with a new wardrobe. You are truly comfortable in your own skin and own style and own wardrobe. Kudos and God bless you!

  98. I love the earrings, they are just beautiful. If I don’t win them, I wouldn’t mind purchasing them.

  99. Love the old photo – your dad was so handsome! Also, I love the earrings. I would be happy to wear those anywhere!

  100. Happy New Year Susan! I’m so excited to hear you are full tome blogging. You are an inspiration! I would love to be chosen to receive those beautiful earrings. Here’s to a wonderful 2020!

  101. I always eagerly read your blogs. You are a bright light in this confusing time. As I age certain styles or
    fashions are not right for me. I am battling the dilemma of what color do I wear other than my favorite color black.
    You wear black but always soften it with your third piece and your jewelry. I am boldly coping you.
    You are a cool undertone and I am a warm., but I am still able to copy your basic formula. Black pants and a black or ivory tank are my go to.
    Please keep up the great work and blessings for a wonderful New Year.
    Your jewelry pieces are lovely. These earrings are wonderful.

  102. Happy New Year, Susan! What a smart look you’re wearing , love the white moto jacket and all the touches that make it look so attractive. Thanks for your inspirational post today and sharing the picture. Always look forwrd to your suggestions and outings. Take care.

  103. Happy New Year Susan!
    I love this post it was very inspirational and I hope to implement some if not all your suggestions. Looking forward to the new year and a happy and successful healthy lifestyle.

  104. I am looking forward to establishing new hobbies during the “off season” of my job as cheesemaker/affineur on our small dairy farm. Hopefully by April, some creative hobbies will be part of my everyday life so when we start up work again in the spring, I will be used to spending at least an hour a day on my hobbies and will continue to do so.

    Beautiful earrings – thank you for the link to jewelry supplies!

  105. the earrings are beautiful! I’ve been following you for a few years, we are about the same age and size, although differently proportioned. I love learning from you!

  106. The earrings are lovely. I admire you for making the changes in your life that were both meaningful and helpful. Knowing something and doing it are two different things.

  107. These are beautiful earrings. Anyone would be thrilled to wear them. Thanks for showing us how to use clothes we have and mix with more updated pieces. Very helpful.

  108. The earrings are beautiful, and the family photo is sweet.
    I always look forward to reading your posts!

  109. Enjoy your blog very much. At one time, I also made jewelry for gifts and to sell at our church Christmas Fair.
    I no longer do that as I have lymphoma and am undergoing treatment.

    The earrings you showed in your blog today are lovely. Hope you make a few others.

  110. Happy New Year and yes, let’s change troublesome habitual behaviors into simple, satisfying routines!!! Thank you for your blog Susan – you’re an inspiration!

  111. I didn’t entry the give-aways from the last two month, but I can’t resist hoping I could be chosen this time…….explicitly because you made them with your own hands. I have made jewelry on and off for about fifteen years. Your post makes me want to start again. Thank you for all you have done for me and, after reading the other posts, many other women.

  112. You are so right! As long as we keep doing what we always have nothing will change! Here’s to changes in 2020, the good ones!

  113. Your talent never ceases to amaze me. The earrings are gorgeous and would look great with my white hair and blue eyes.
    I have so much respect for you on your path to help other women. Thank you for all you do. I have learned so much from you at 68 years young.
    I look forward to your posts!

  114. Thanks Susan, you are inspirational as always. Loved seeing that old black and white pic too I look forward to enjoying another year of your tips, wisdom and life journey.

  115. When I read your sentence “If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, don’t expect a different result.” Wow, that hit home with me. I am now age 69 and have struggled with my weight for at least 10 years. Although not greatly overweight, the excess is concentrated in my waist which makes fitting into clothes with a waistline very problematic. I have been able to lose 5 pounds or so, but gain it back plus some. I know I do not feel or look as good as I could and it makes me unhappy. So I am determined to lose this excess weight in 2020 and you are an inspiration. I MUST stop doing what I have been doing as far as weight loss efforts are concerned as they are not working, and try something else. I am now recording what I eat in a diary, avoiding fatty foods, and trying to limit portion size. I also have begun a walking regimen and am enjoying it. So I am hopeful that this is a life change with positive results. I love the photo of you and your sister with your dad. Such a great picture- thank you for sharing this bit of personal history with us.

  116. Dear Susan,
    You are a lesson in focus and determination which defines strong character. I love making jewelry too, but nothing as professional and artistic as yours. Oh and love the new jacket!

  117. Hi Susan, A Happy New Year to You. I love the colouring of these very beautiful statement earrings. One of my base colours is blue so I am always on the lookout for blue jewellery. I’m looking forward to your blogs in 2020 to see what you have in mind for the seasons ahead.

  118. These earrings are showstoppers!! Thank you for your generosity in sharing your talents and skills!

  119. Those earrings are absolutely gorgeous. I enjoy your posts and fashion sense and tips. It’s been changing the way I dress and shop. Thanks so much.

  120. Very cute picture of & your sister, brings back memories for me, Thank You.
    The earrings you made are stunning I have toyed with the idea of making jewelry, but never ventured, I am a sewer & have always enjoyed the solitude. Thanks for all your post they inspire me. Happy New Years.

  121. Yes growing up on a farm is magic. Our 3 grew up on a wheat and cattle farm in outback NSW Australia and know as parents they all give their kids lots of farm type experiences even though they are city kids. As parents it is a hard life and in many ways we are pleased our kids pursued careers off farm. Especially now with the frightful drought we are enduring.

  122. I’ll soon be retiring from a job that I love. I know that I will have more time for my hobbies which helps me to look forward to my new lifestyle.

  123. Susan, thanks for sharing not just your fashion insight, but details of your life, and precious memories from your past. You inspire me to appreciate every part of my own life!

  124. Susan, I love seeing photos from your childhood and earlier years! I appreciate the inspiring information you present to us each week! Blessings to you in the New Year!!

  125. Darling memory you shared!

    Your blog is a daily treat for me, the lovely handmade earrings would be the cherry on top. Stunning!

  126. I admire anyone who has a talent and passion for creating jewelry. I support artists and purchase many local pieces whenever we travel because I understand that many times this hobby is also their livelihood..

  127. Your blog is so inspirational to me! I am trying to buy less and buy to enjoy for many years. Keep up the great work!

  128. What an inspiration you are Susan. You were brave to leave the soul crushing job. I’ve been blessed to love my career these 30 years, I love forward to retirement to try my hand at more if my pursuits for God and fun! Amy

  129. I’d love to know what prompted you to start blogging. You do a great job and I look forward to your posts.

    1. In 2011 I lost more than forty-five pounds and had to buy a new wardrobe. It wasn’t as easy or as much fun as I thought it would be. After wasting a lot of money and looking pretty ridiculous at times, I decided to share what I had learned in hopes that it would help other women not to make the same mistakes.

  130. Oh Susan, how I look forward to your posts! The earrings are exquisite! I wish we could buy them!!


  131. Susan you have changed my life in many ways…my closet, my exercise and diet thank you! I no longer feel like I have to explain why I mostly eat a plant based diet….and don’t purchase the latest fad clothing…keep on blogging!!

  132. I read your blog faithfully. I do have a hobby, sewing. I am trying to integrate better habits like exercising everyday and eating better. Thank you for your taking the time to write your blog.

  133. Exquisite earrings! Your artistic ability is such a blessing in your life and to all of us you have helped nurture and guide. Thank you!

  134. Hi Susan,
    You are such a great inspiration to me! I have incorporated many of your styling and fashion tips into my wardrobe since finding your blog. Dressing has really never been easier! I would like to purchase the camis from Express that you wear and endorse-I love the portofino original blouses and own several! I am a size L in the blouses as my bust is 39″. I ordered the cami in size L but they seem loose. What size do you wear? I don’t know if the size M will be too tight in the bust? I am 5’61/2″ and weigh 148 pounds. What do you suggest?

  135. Enjoyed today’s blog. At 73 I am always seeking a more simple, joyful life. Thought you might be interested in reading a book I just finished, Joy Seekers by Shannon Kaiser.(a book about finding peace, happiness and fulfillment.).

  136. Your earrings are beautiful!
    Wish your hands were up to making many more.
    Love your blog …I have learned so much from you and your suggestions help reel me in from going too trendy…
    Thank you so much…Sharon Mcdonough

  137. I love learning a little bit about your experiences growing up……..I think we may have had a similar childhood!

  138. Mind, body and spirit. I’m working on improving my mind by thinking on the good things I have and trying to eliminate negative thoughts. For my body I ate mostly plant based last year and ended up the year with the weight I started with. First time I didn’t put lose weight at the top of things to do in the coming new year. That was inspired by your healthy way of eating. I don’t eat after 4 and turns out it wasn’t hard to do.
    So, that leaves spiritual. I’m a Christian so I’m reading the bible through this year. It’s been a while since I did that. It does seem time is flying by now. Thanks for your blog. It is a bright spot in my day.

  139. I would love to be the new owner of your earrings, Susan! I dabbled in earring-making after taking a beading class many years ago and enjoyed it but put away my supplies when my kids were little.

  140. Wow – what a talent you have for making jewelry and writing a very encouraging and life changing blog.
    Earrings are gorgeous. Would be a wonderful birthday gift. (65 yikesl)

  141. Susan,

    I absolutely love your picture! Your Dad’s tobacco is amazing!
    Your comments about your remarkable childhood are wonderful and heartfelt.
    Thank you for sharing and caring! I do appreciate!

    Your earrings are lovely!
    You are a lady of many talents!

  142. Lovely earrings!
    And, I enjoyed a bit of your personal history and the inspiration we all should
    consider about habits, especially.

  143. I just found your blog recently and have been enjoying it. I’d love to win the beautiful earrings you designed.

  144. Love the subtle edgy style of your white jacket! We are taking a 2 week cruise this year and I will be using many of your tips and tricks. Thank you!

  145. Thoughtful post, I appreciate it. How very wonderful to earn a living from something you enjoy doing! Your earrings are feminine and beautiful, a reflection of you

  146. Susan, your blog is always inspiring. I’ve watched my weight creep up again, so now it’s time to start a new habit of exercise and eating better. Thank you. Ann Fitzgerald

  147. So glad I discovered your blog, I look forward to it. Your earrings show what a talent you have in design.

  148. Your earrings are really beautiful. Would love to have a pair like them. I am into dangling earrings.

  149. Hi Susan! Those earrings are absolutely beautiful! I love the photo with your dad as well. Thank you for sharing all the fashion tips and advice-it has really helped me in updating my style and so many other ways. Happy New Year!

  150. I love he picture of you and your father. I so appreciate your blog and want to tell you that it has made a difference in how I shop and what I wear.

  151. I love hearing about your life before blogging! Love your sense of style and pointers on putting together outfits!

  152. I adore your jewelry – and thanks for the tip on the jewelry resources. I’m so glad I found your blog, so interesting to find one with a more mature woman that makes me feel like there’s still hope to have style at my age!

  153. I love the picture of you as a child with your dad and little sister! Thank you for sharing so much with us and being my inspiration

  154. Hello Susan,

    Your comments in this blog are timely words of wisdom for me as I keep expecting change and things to happen, such as losing those last stubborn 10 pounds, but resort to my old habits after a few days. I know what is good for me and do exercise a lot as well as incorporate your styling ideas into my life but find it a struggle to prepare mainly vegetable meals, avoid sugary foods and eat less! You have given me a nudge and I will try and persevere for two months when, hopefully, the habits I cultivate will become life long.

    KInd regards,

  155. These are lovely! The tiny beading is so delicate. Love the silver paired with the striking shade of blue!

  156. Thanks for this post. I like to think of the New Year as a chance to reset myself. I am starting alto do/ what I did and what I thought journal experience this year. I hope to become more intentional with my time spent alone, with my spouse and with my grandkids. Sometimes ai think I am all,over the place with busyness.mHappy new Year. The earrings are lovely.

    PS I never new tobacco could look like that. Too bad it is so harmful. Love old photos.

  157. The earrings are so pretty Susan. Can you provide the website for the jewelry company? I would love to see what she makes.

  158. Hi Susan,

    As always you look stunning. I’ve learned to save money on clothing from reading your blog and watching your videos. Now I’m even letting my soon to be 65 years old self see what my hair looks like without its every 5 week color. It might not be as pretty as your lovely color but I’m anxious to save money and time for other things to do with my time.

    Thanks for your site and offering the pretty earrings.

    Have a peaceful and blessed New Year.

  159. Susan, these earrings are lovely. I could use them with a lot of outfits! Thank you for all your helpful information. I really enjoy your blogs.

  160. Your message today could not be better timed for me Susan!
    I have been enduring a tragedy which occurred in our family a few days ago and I have been struggling to do even the most basic of things.
    Your post is lighting a spark of inspiration for a fresh start to build some healthy habits into my life and also to find a meaningful hobby to bring some joy.
    Thank you and God Bless You always.

  161. What a truly inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing. I too just left a job that left me feeling dead inside. I didn’t realize just how much the job affected every other aspect of my life in a negative way. A decade ago I lost 80 pounds after completely changing my eating habits and lifestyle. Lately though, I’ve been struggling to keep my weight in check. Now, with the holidays over (and after reading your inspiring story) I’m ready to take charge of my future and change again for the better.

  162. These earrings are stunning. I envy those who are so artistic, but then everyone has a strength and must endeavor to find it.

  163. Jewelry is great therapy! One day I hope to be able to make more time to explore that option. Thank you for sharing another one of your diverse talents and thanks for the link to the store.

  164. Susan: I have been following your blog for a number of years. You have been such a great roll model. When I wonder what to wear for a certain event, I ask myself ‘what would Susan wear.’ As the years come and go I have had to make needed adjustments to my look. Following your posts have been a tremendous help. I am sure you don’t hear this nearly enough . . Thank You

  165. Susan I love how you always look crisp and put together. You have really help me downsize my wardrobe. Make it simple! Now I don’t stress out in the mornings. Thank you so much! Glenna.

  166. Thanks for an inspirational post and for pointing out the importance of cultivating positive habits. It’s good to be reminded. Happy New Year to all!

  167. How interesting that you were able to change your hobby into jewelry making. Theses earrings are beautiful and will be a staple to the wardrobe of who ever is lucky enough to win them! Thank you for this opportunity.

  168. Beautiful earrings! I’ve dabbled in jewelry making a tiny bit. My problem is I have too many hobbies and too much stuff. 🙂

  169. I love the earrings and they would be a perfect match for what I am wearing to our first grandchild‘s’ wedding!!!!!!

  170. Susan –
    Through trial and error and thoughtful reflection you have discovered the way to live a happier more balanced life. Kudos to you! Thank you for sharing your gracious style and words of wisdom with all of us!

  171. Hello, it will sound cliché, but I am inspired by you how to dress after 50, be an elegant and still feminine woman, and I use my hobby that is sewing to make my own clothes, thanks for your dedication to teaching and inspire other people. . a hug

  172. I would be so excited to be chosen to receive those beautiful earrings! I have also been interested in jewelry creation, but my main “hobby” is painting – both landscapes and still lifes. This hobby brings me much pleasure too. I work as an architect for a high end residential construction company and love your blog. It keeps me “grounded” when making purchases. I usually have black as my base color and then a fairly neutral palette of sweaters and other accent accessories. I feel much more put together than in the past! Happy New Year – looking forward to many more posts from you in 2020! Best, Nancy

  173. Susan, you look so gorgeous in that white jacket outfit. The photo of you with your sister & dad is adorable 😉
    Coincidentally, I grew up on a farm in PA and my father raised tobacco for many years. Many years later I also designed and sold jewelry and have since retired. Thanks for sharing your story….you are so inspiring to us.

  174. New to reading your blog and the information you put in it. I like the pictures of the places you and Mr. Mikey visit too.

  175. So happy to learn about your Vintage Jewelry site, since I also enjoy hobby jewelry making from time to time.
    I will shop there now that I have the link. I also love that your are not promoting “fast fashion” and reuse and recycle things to enhance a classic closet. Thanks!

  176. Susan, I look forward to your blog every week! This was another gentle reminder about taking care of ourselves and appreciating what we have, where we came from and who we can be. If you love what you do you will never WORK a day in your life….or something like that. 🙂

    Since I started following you I find myself when shopping, pairing down my wardrobe and making wise purchasing decision I literally smile and think Susan would appreciate that I’m making a wise choice. Thank you for all the tips!

  177. Hi Susan! What a beautiful outfit and talent making those earrings! Thank you again for all of your inspiring posts and for sharing your fashion knowledge with the world. I wanted to let you know it is being learned and applied. Yesterday I took the time to actually try and plan an outfit based on what you’ve taught me. It was a chilly morning here, so I grabbed my new Everlane grey cashmere sweater, with a spandex undershirt underneath. Topped it with that cute grey suede moto jacket from Express, and some black leggings. The leggings were too form fitting, Swapped those out for some black straight leg ponte pants and it made a big difference from the tighter leggings. Then I put on my grey suede SE booties. Struggled a bit with a long silver necklace being too much with the moto jacket and it’s silver zipper, etc… hardware. Opted for a silver, and a little sparkly, scarf instead. Oh my gosh, I felt and looked good. It was perfect for my petite frame. As I went throughout my day, it was amazing the compliments I got. People told me how cute I looked today, how adorable my outfit was, and that I looked amazing, It was confirmation that I nailed it. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am learning, slowly but surely. Please keep teaching! Have a great day!

  178. Those earrings are gorgeous! I hope I win! My hobbies are painting and sewing. Both of which I used to teach. Actually I still teach a few classes a year. I’m enjoying retirement even though I am busier than ever so it seems. Your blog has helped me make better choices in my clothes.

  179. Hurrah for 2020 and some new blogs from you Susan.Im looking forward to seeing more holiday snaps from you and Mr Mikey as you set off on your travels and date nights. Many miles separate us Susan and we will never meet ,but I feel this Uk gal has got herself an American friend.

  180. Love this post that includes memories of your past! You express yourself well.
    You are also talented in your hobby. Beautiful earrings!

  181. Love this post of reminders of your past! You are a good writer that expresses yourself well. Talented in your hobby as well. Beautiful earrings!

  182. I would love to win the earrings, not only because they are beautiful, but because of the message they come with. You are so wise.

  183. Appreciate learning about your personal walk in life as well as putting together a classic wardrobe. Thanks for sharing.

  184. I enjoy your down to earth fashion style I’m a self taught potter. I show my work to my daughter and daughter in law at thanksgiving to choose their Cmas presents and use the rest as gifts.
    Gabbiano Drsigns

  185. Hello Susan,
    I would love to own the pair of earrings you show in the picture. They are lovely. Please put me in the drawing and thank you again for your blogs.

  186. Hello Susan! Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year! You are an inspiration. So smart and talented. I would love the earrings you made. My hands are also tired from years of work, but that’s ok, I enjoyed what I have done in past years. I made stained glass windows and lamp shades for years. Every home I have lived in has a window that I designed and made especially for that home. Now, time to rest my hands.

  187. Very inspiring message. I took early retirement a year ago and am still struggling to “find my retired self.” I never had hobbies other than reading and am still not sure where I am. But I working towards a fulfilled retirement and your message was very helpful. Thank you.

  188. I enjoy following your blog for wardrobe tips, Susan. I have been mostly plant-based for 2 and 1/2 years and feel much better overall, having lost about 25 pounds. You haven’t lost your eye for making beautiful jewelry! Have a great New Year!

  189. Wow, what a beautifully earrings I absolutely love all your jewelry, but they are far away for me to reach them. Oh well girl no matter how old can dream right? It is not easy to found earrings that will cover wrongly pierced and stretched earlobe.

    But I’m and always will be you admire and big fan of your blog .

    Much happiness and health to you and Mr. Mickey and please keep us happy with your pictures and lovely stories.

  190. Happy New Years ! Thank you for this post. Your example is inspiring and I will be making changes in my habits to be more healthy.

  191. Hi Susan,
    Thank you for sharing the picture of your little sissy and your father. Your roots leave foot prints on your heart forever.
    I think living on a working farm instills and weaves so many things into your life that are transforming. One BIG thing is the work ethic, living on a working farm is not easy. My mama grew up in Iowa on a farm and I recall all the stories she shared with me. Then lost everything. It certainly builds character.

    I know you enjoy reading. I am reading Hoda Kotb’s new book, “I Really Needed This Today” Every page has a quote. I thought the following one was comforting. “You don’t have to move mountains. Simply fall in love with life. Be a tornado of happiness, gratitude, and acceptance. You will change the world just by being a warm, kind-hearted human being. ” – Anita Krizzan

    It would be a honor to win the earrings you made.

    Happy Healthy Everything in the New Year.

  192. I really enjoy your blog! It was fun seeing you and your Dad and sister at a young age.keep up the good work, and a Happy New Year to you.

  193. I really enjoy your blog! I am about your age and share your classic fashion style. I am truly amazed that you always look so elegant just by combining your basics over and over again with different accessories—-awesome!

  194. Thank you for your openness and honestly. You continue to raise the bar in quality and creativity. Beautiful earrings.

  195. The earrings are beautiful. I have been wanting to pursue jewelry making but haven’t got the push yet to do it. This may be the year though! Thank you for the great blog!

  196. Hello Susan,
    Your blog is very timely this morning! I am sitting with a cup of tea examining why I feel in such a funk! I retired about six months ago and started out with a bang. I bought all new living room furniture to better reflect my taste, and have started on a more healthy lifestyle by losing 25 lbs. to date and joining a gym.

    But suddenly I feel stuck! You have reminded me that my quest to “reinvent” myself in retirement is still a worthy thing to do. I believe I will get going this morning and head to the gym!

    Thank you so much for your encouragement! I have been following your blog since last summer and enjoy each one. I love your classic style . I have fallen away from the planned, color-coordinated habit of wardrobe purchases in recent years and will begin a new habit by cleaning out my closet and once again adding only quality, coordinated pieces back in.

    Again, thank you for the encouragement this morning,
    Joan Holmstrom
    Oakhurst, CA

  197. I enjoy reading your posts! Those earrings are gorgeous! I can see them going to a very formal event or happily out and about with my favorite jeans.

  198. Susan, I love reading your posts, they are so calming! I am taking many of your suggestions and trying to be more mindful when eating, shopping, etc. Thanks for continuing your blog.

  199. Your words are heartwarming and encouraging, thank you for who you are.
    I married a loving man over 52 years ago from a tobacco sharecropper family in South Carolina,
    I feel we share a very small common past.
    Thank you, Joan

  200. I’m needing to invest time and energy in forming better habits NOW! I’m starting with healthier eating and exercise, but your comment about posture caught my attention. I’m 5’11” and have had poor posture since I was a teenager.
    What specifically do you do to improve/maintain your excellent posture? At 59, I want to try to avoid that inevitable “dowager’s hump.”
    Thanks for your interesting blog.

  201. Loving your website and info about clothing, colors, and style. I will be working on my closet as I love your info!

  202. I absolutely love your blog. I also think the earrings are beautiful and I would love to be able to wear them.

  203. I love your sight and the outfits you put together. I wonder if you have some advice for an overweight 69 year old. I am walking and trying to get the weight off but until I do I need to find clothes that will look good on me. Everyone tells me I don’t look my age and just recently while out with my 49 year old son the man helping us in a hardware store said I looked more like my son’s sister instead of his Mother. Great for me but not so great for my son.

    1. Good for you, Norma! One simple tip to look taller and more slender is to wear the same or similar color top, pants, and shoes. Add color and texture with accessories.

  204. Wonderful blog! Thank you for all the inspiration you give thousands of people.
    I would like to submit my name to win the earrings, they are beautiful!
    Patricia Hornbeck

  205. Hello it is so nice to see your post today. It brings back a lot of thoughts going through my head after the new year. I’m 65 and wanting to change the way I dress so love your post about your clothes . You are right you have to give yourself at less 27 days if not more to changes bad habits to good. I was a farm girl who moved to the city a life time ago, was very glad to experience difficult times on the farm it made me more determined to succeed in the city and not give up. Sorry your hands are unable to keep up your hobby of jewelry making, your jewelry is beautifully, but glad you are focusing more on clothes, I need all the help I can get. LOL. I know it is fun for you by the way you express yourself. Well with that all said I will let you go. Thanks again for all your hard work on the post, I look forward to reading them and seeing what you have to wear.

  206. Thank You for the advice regarding hobbies and habits Susan. I appreciate your presentations: full of good taste and good manners. Also, I admire your efforts towards success and your willingness to share with us your experience with fashion, travel and eating, and strive for a better life . Happy New Year!

  207. What an inspiring story you have to tell. Thanks for sharing it with us! The earrings are beautiful and a tribute to your talent. I would love to be the owner of these ( especially since blue is my favorite color.)
    Sharon Street

  208. I first found your site today and have benefited already. I especially appreciate your buying suggestions and the comparisons you’ve made between outfits. The devil is always in the details!

  209. Happy New Year Susan,

    Thank you for the advice you give on fashion. I too, have paired down my wardrobe and buy only the classic.

    Love earrings. What a wonderful hobby!

  210. What a wonderful and lovely article to begin this New Year 2020 with, Susan. Your articles throughout this and the past years have been an inspiration to me of those habits needing change and now with including this article of developing hobbies to incorporate into our life. As we continually grow within our ever-changing selves, thank you for your insight, honesty and sharing of your own personal experiences to remind us all in a very eloquent and straightforward way we are all human. As women with the daily pressures of life at whatever our age, it happens that we can take a few steps back but to reflect and strive to move forward with our health, wellness and fashion and accept certain changes. We grow and learn at different times. Your blog with those suggestions continues to be an inspiration as I continue to evolve to be the best that I can be at any age. Happy New Year and many wishes for continued good health, happiness, and successful blogging for myself and all of to enjoy!

  211. Your jewelry is every bit as wonderful as the brands you now endorse on your blog! The earrings you designed and created are lovely!

  212. Susan,

    Love your newest blog…your back story and how you came to your “new” life. Always interesting to see where life takes us, no matter what the age. Your earrings are gorgeous. I have dabbled in making jewelry, too. But have put in on the back burner for the last few years. I did more necklaces back then.

    We went to North Carolina for the first time back in July and absolutely loved it. Visited the Biltmore and went to Blowing Rock and a few other places. Almost made to Johnson City, TN. Next time!!! your area looks beautiful.

    Keep up the good work. always enjoy your fashions and try to emulate what I can that fits my lifestyle here in the Texas Hill Coutry. Thanks again, Mary Jane

  213. Thank you for the inspiration, Susan! I find myself wanting to make healthier choices, but old habits die hard. Reading your blog and info from other sources I’ve found, along with inspiration from friends who are working on fitness goals of their own, is helping my own determination. What we “feed” our minds is so important! Happy and blessed New Year to you!

  214. Those earrings are so beautiful! I would love to own them! I’ve been doing some soul searching about my life, my goals and myself in this new year. I enjoyed what you offered regarding hobbies and habits. Thank you!

  215. Your vintage looking earrings would be treasured here. The colour of the beads enhances your fine work. Ohhhhh, I would love to wear them. Thank you for sharing your fine work!!

  216. The picture of your sister and father is precious! I agree with your, determination and commitment are the foundations to success.

  217. Thank you Susan for another uplifting post. You are truly an inspiration. I love your fashion, beauty & nutrition tips for living a better life over 60.
    Happy new year to you & Mr. Mickey.
    PS. Cute earrings .

  218. Love the earrings. I’ve always been interested in jewelry making but didn’t think I could be that creative. Now retired I’m going to give it my best. Wish me luck.

  219. I am so glad you found blogging. I really enjoy reading your blog. The earrings are beautiful and classic. I’m sure I would wear them for many years. I currently have a pair of earrings that I received for my birthday over 20 years ago that have a black stone with silver and I wear them at least once a week.

  220. You’re amazing! It takes a lot of patience to work thru adversities out of your control to achieve your own goals! You are a great example to ladies who see no hope for a better future!

    PS beautiful earrings!

  221. Your blogs always offer “food for thought” and I really appreciate this approach. And, I think the key to living a happy and healthier life is to, as you say above, never stop learning. Since retiring, I take courses at university, attend lecture series on a variety of topics and challenge myself with painting and drawing classes at local art schools. My husband & I always sign up for lectures when we do our snowbird bit in Florida for 2 months.
    Thank you for sharing the photo (such pretty little girls) and a bit about your early life. I grew up in a rural area but not on a farm. So, I spent a lot of time across the road at my grandparents farm helping in the barn and in the kitchen preparing food for the hired men.
    You are so talented as proven by these exquisite earrings!

  222. Thank you for sharing a precious family photo memory. I am sure if you and I had been little girls in the same town we would have been good friends.

  223. I love the earrings that you made! I would love to come see your jewelry. I think i might be interested in the long necklace. I’ m sorry I’ve been out of touch. I had hip replacement in August and had some problems. I had to have it done over the 29th of October. I am just now walking without a walker or a cane. If you could call or text me I would appreciate it.

  224. This is such an inspiring post- and at just the right time. I’m trying to get my art business off the ground and it’ll only happen with a change in habits. Thanks for this and for sharing some of your journey.

  225. Such an encouraging and sensible post. I admire you and your discipline. I’m striving to meet my goals and be a better version of me in 2020! Thank you :>

  226. Thank you for your wonderful advice and kind, good nature! I know I can trust your advice, because I’ve been following you for years and I’ve made some purchases from Covered Perfectly that have helped me look better without berating myself for the condition I find myself in currently. Food is my next project. Thank you. Love the earrings. You’re such an inspiration.

  227. Dear Susan…you are such an inspiration to me.. I faithfully follow your blog and try, as much as possible, to almost copy your choices of fashion. It gives me more confidence as I go to the shops knowing what style to purchase. For example, I went with a friend to purchase black, pointed toe, block heel shoes and she was impressed that I was determined to purchase that style only and if I couldn’t find it to somehow make do with what I had until I found them. It made shopping so much easier. In the store, out of the store!!

    Thank you again for sharing your life with us. I will soon be 78 years old and healthy and enjoy my days even the challenging ones.

  228. Susan, after reading your blog for so many years, it was such a pleasure to see a childhood photo! You’ve truly been beautiful all your life, and I really enjoy your sane voice and calm tone.

  229. Hi Susan,

    The posted pierced earrings are lovely! Keeping my fingers crossed!!! Thank you for offering your giveaways. Lots of fun!

    Most importantly, thank you for your “Hobbies and Habits!” I am very inspired by your life’s journey.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences . . . they mean a lot to me . . .

    Happy New Year!
    Julie Johnston

  230. I love ready your blog and thanks to you have be making strides in revamping my wardrobe. Your earrings are absolutely beautiful, such wonderful talent.

  231. Love reading about your family history and past hobbies and working with jewelry making. You have such a eye for design. Keep it up!

  232. Hi Susan, I really enjoy your blog. You inspire me to take better care of myself and my appearance.

  233. Hi Susan,

    I’ve been following your blog for about 9 months. I enjoy it very much and have implemented several of your suggestions. I was surprised to find out that you had owned and operated your own jewelry making business. Congratulations. I always admire woman who take control of their lives and follow their dreams.

    I would love to win the earrings you made! It would be such an honor to wear them, because you made them!

    Best Wishes,

    Sophie McDougal (TX)

  234. Love reading your blog — you make style seem effortless, and grounded in good values and common sense! Those earrings are beautiful.

  235. Susan-What an inspiring and informative post! Reading your blog has been instructive over the past years and this one is too, and uplifting for the new year. My back straightened as I read!
    I started editing my wardrobe mindfully a few years ago. Before that I didn’t hold on to older items, but flung them away as soon as I saw something “better.” Many mistakes were made! I’ve learned to edit gently now, keeping what is currently useful, and a small selection of special items that are older but precious. As long as I fit into them, which is a motivator to stay away from carb ( my nemesis).
    Thank you for all your encouragement. Happy New Year.

  236. Susan, I love your blog, you are an inspiration to me. I’m a youthful 68 years old, follow a few different bloggers it you are by far my favourite.
    I tell myself I’m not getting older, I’m getting better and I truly believe that! The earrings are lovely!

  237. Now that I am retired, I tend to do what I like to call a habit. Getting together with friends and sharing recipes. The earring you made are amazing. Love to see more of your designs from years past if you have photos.

  238. I’d love to win these beautiful earrings ! January is such a long dark depressing month for me, it would be nice to have something lovely to wear.

  239. Susan, I really enjoy your site and your classic fashion sense. I have a similar turn-around story to yours after being met with a surprise divorce while mom to three small children. I built a professional career, the years have passed and now I’m nearing retirement but the new habits and lifestyle I created 25 years ago is slipping due to a chronic illness. Your fashion advice has given me direction in making fashion choices wisely for the new chapters ahead. I appreciate the recent advice about shoe shape on flats that I had never realized before – it’s time to review the closet and clear out the losers! Keep doing what you do and know you have many fans, Patti

  240. Though I’m older than you, I’ve recently begun following your posts which I always learn from and enjoy. Like you, I prefer tailored, classic clothes. I’ve never wanted to dress trendy, but neither do I want to look like my grandmother. Your styles create that classy, timeless look. And now I’m amazed at the jewelry you created! Thank you.

  241. I read your blog often as I find it lovely and so uplifting. . I read it often to my husband as he grew up in the Elizabethton area and as a boy he knew some Streets who lived there also. We thoroughly enjoy the pictures you post as we are familiar with many of the places. It makes us homesick and can’t wait to make a trip back there soon! Thank you for all you do!

  242. I have been following you for several years and really enjoy all your posts. Thank You for helping us age fashtionably well!

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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.