Lessons I’ve Learned

It seems most of my outings these days are to the grocery store or my parent’s home, which means the front door is often the backdrop for the outfit photos I take with the timer on my camera. So today, I’m sharing some valuable lessons I wish I had learned when I was much younger, including getting dressed to please yourself, even if you are just making a quick trip to the grocery store.

As is usually the case, none of these items are new, so I’ll find the closest current items to share links with you. I may earn a small sales commission at no additional cost to you. JacketSweaterJeansBootsNo-show SocksBagSunglassesLipstick (Girls’ Night)

A Healthy Diet – Your diet is not only what you eat. It is what you watch, listen to, read, and the people you spend time with. So pay attention to what you feed your soul, not just your stomach.

Cooking Tip – Remove pasta from the boiling water about two minutes before it’s done and add it to the sauce to finish cooking. Save the pasta water to thin the sauce if it gets too thick, or add more cheese or breadcrumbs if it becomes too wet.

Makeup Tips – Match your blush to your ear, then match your lipstick to your blush to create harmony. The shape of your eyebrow should mimic the shape of your eye.

Styling Tip – When the button stance (where the button is placed on the jacket, for example) falls below your belly button, it can make your legs short.

Don’t save things for someday. – Open that bottle of wine and enjoy a glass—store fruits and vegetables in crystal bowls. Use and enjoy your belongings. My parents have started to give me “treasures” each time I visit them. Some things have been saved for a special event that never happened for three generations. Those fancy glass bowls, linens, etc., are now being put to use in my home.

Don’t let negativity get to you. – When my choices or work bring criticism, I try to remember that people with a critical spirit tend to be easily insulted and need ego defense. This is because they were often criticized in childhood by parents or others at an age when criticism can be especially painful. So limit the toxic, critical, or negative people in your life.

No matter where you go in the world, there you are. – I can’t run from my insecurities, problems, and fears. But, I’ve finally made peace with myself and my history. I’ve learned that happiness is indeed an inside job. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

“You do you boo.” -The definition from the Urban Dictionary: When a person wants to do something that will cause them to be judged, they do it anyway. My take: Wear what makes you happy. Don’t let other people’s rules or criticism dampen your joy.

My recent outfits are summarized here.

  1. Thank you for your personal examples of “you do you”. When our inner voice is the voice we listen to most often, many of the worries and insecurities that may have had a prominent place in our lives recede (even disappear). Susan, one of the (many) reasons I love your blog are the words that you share. Your pictures help me creatively use what I have while your words creatively connect to my soul. Bless you and Happy Thanksgiving. I’m so grateful for your generosity in spirit and word.

  2. Some very good tips. Thanks for sharing. Something to think about. I wish I knew these and followed them when I was younger!!

  3. Great post! I have learned to filter the negative folks and try not to be influenced by their criticisms; spent too many years doing that. As always you look fabulous. Keep sharing your knowledge and inspirations.
    Warm regards,


  4. I have my fruit in my best glass bowl on the kitchen bench so enjoy it daily. When we downsized recently, we took with us only things we love and will use regularly. Everything else was gradually put on our footpath outside to be taken for free or given to charity. The feeling of lightness is delicious. Thank you for reminding me.

  5. I have a framed poster, mounted on the back of my bathroom door. It says, in part, “Use special china and special underwear for no special reason.” A philosophy I have lived my entire adult life!
    I had to laugh at your parents giving you treasures.
    So glad you are using them and they are part of your daily life!
    We inherited my parent’s estate and it was daunting (they kept a lot of stuff!). But, we quickly decided what to keep and what went forward to others.
    What we kept, has been used & used. My Mom’s cashmere sweaters, kid gloves & fabulous hats, dating back to the 1930s. Fine china & crystal. Irish & French table & bed linens from the 1910s (belonged to my grandmother). And, Christmas ornaments dating back to 1880s. I wear a gold pocket watch from 1893 (purchased new, as a gift to my great aunt on her 18th birthday).
    All get regular/seasonal use.
    Quality materials, well cared for, last and last.
    And, the memories attached to each are oh, so sweet connections to the past.

  6. Merci Susan pour cette belle leçon de vie.
    Je relirai souvent vos conseils, à chaque fois que je serai triste et que je me sentirai seule.

  7. Excellent advice from a wise woman. Thank you for sharing.
    Dressing to suit me is one of the advantages of being my age.
    It was a good exchange.

  8. This is one of the best posts that I have read from you. Your insight is amazing and sorely needed at this point in my life. I hope you continue to bless myself and others with your wisdom. Thank you!

  9. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. You are my favorite blogger–I’ve learned so much from you and as an added bonus feel like I’ve been on a mini-vacation when you share photos from your outings with Mr. Mickey! Blessings to you this holiday season!

  10. Susan, love your insights of your learned lessons. I too spent years saving things to use for a special occasion. Then in a major move and down sizing I realized what a waste that mind set was. I also remember the story of the wife who died and her family discovered the beautiful things they had given her as gifts still unused in the drawers. She too was saving them for a special occasion.
    Always enjoy your wisdom. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Susan, I’ve followed your blog for years now and I always think of it as an oasis — an oasis of calm, beauty, honesty, good sense, warmth, kindness, and unpretentious everyday elegance. Whether you are at home or visiting a nearby scenic area, you inspire me to elevate my everyday experiences. Thank you. Now…when exactly is that book coming out? Yes, I’m still hoping for that!

  12. Well said: wise words.

    Question: wanting to buy a Shapeez bra. I’m only 5’1”.
    Will it be too long? I tried Shapermint and it went below my bottom. Thanks for any help. I love your blog!

  13. I’m working on not saving my best and wearing and using all my lovely things every day. I still have to talk myself into it! Have a wonderful week!

  14. I loved your post today. Wise words indeed. If you surround yourself with beauty it does bring joy. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends.

  15. Beautiful post, thank you. I stopped watching TV several years ago except for the occasional program, usually an old movie. I have noticed that friends who watch the news every day tend to be anxious and depressed. Life is too short to live in fear. Love your blog and your wisdom.

  16. Well-said and thank you for the reminder to enjoy each moment, each day, and especially enjoy ourselves. We can be our own best friends if we allow it.

  17. Loved the wisdom in your blog today, thank you. Years ago, I stopped watching TV except for a good program now and then. Too many friends watch TV news all day and every day and they seem to be anxious and depressed. Life is too short to live in fear and there are other ways to keep informed but not overwhelmed.

  18. My mother had hundreds of items boxed up when she passed. I wondered why I had never seen them. Then it hit me she was saving them. For what I’ll never know. Now they go to my granddaughter and maybe she will either love them or find someone who will. I’m so glad your parents are giving them to you now so you can say thank you and hug them.

  19. I can’t agree more with your blog. Especially the part about using all the crystal, bowls, silver ware (plate), silvery plate pieces ……… every day! These are treasures from my mother in law, mother, and grandmothers. Yes, I don’t want to break them but I want to use them every day. I really like that you shop your closet. You are the best. I hope that you and Mr. Mickey had a blessed Thanksgiving with your families.

  20. Lovely wisdom from a most lovely woman.

    Happy Thanksgiving Susan. I’m always grateful to have your blog to read while I drink a cup of tea with my favorite china 😀

  21. What an excellent post Susan. Every word written spoke to me. Thank you for sharing all of this outstanding advice with us. Please consider doing more posts just like this! So very helpful.

  22. Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving day. Thank you for your insights. You gave us something to think about. My mother did tend to save things. Maybe it was that generation’s way of thinking. I try to use my things daily and think of her when I do.

  23. I love these gems of wisdom! One wonderful thing I’ve found in my 60’s, is strength to let go of some unnecessary baggage. It’s still a process, but I see more clearly now – reading your post encourages me on this journey…thank you.

  24. Susan, as always, your grace and physical beauty are a reflection of the kindness and tranquility of a beautiful soul. I look forward to the gifts you share with us always.

  25. THIS was such a great post…….I especially LOVE the messages of comments that shows your valuations…….keep those coming………..

  26. Thank you Susan. I live in Queensland Australia and enjoy having you show how to put clothes together for the benefit of us all, but today I really enjoyed your advice on dealing with negative people.
    I hope you always enjoy good friends, health and well being

  27. Merry Christmas! I think this is my all-time favorite post of yours. You are always so encouraging and I appreciate that in you.

    Keep on doing you Boo!


  28. I love the advise to use your pretty things every day. Get rid of that big swan someone gave you fifteen years ago and you never liked. Surround yourself with things that are useful or you love. That includes the clutter in your mind. Susan, you are a shining example to me of a woman who knows herself. May we all find that place.

  29. Thank you kindly for the BEST TIPS ever!!
    Everything you said is true! Surround yourself with happy people..
    I do that online with you and your many followers!!
    I like what you said about a healthy diet too. Feed your soul..
    I especially love the Abraham Lincoln quote. Too me, that’s happiness in a nutshell..
    Here’s wishing you and Mr Mickey a another wonderful Holiday Season!

  30. This was a great message. And I like to think I follow most of them. But I have small grandchildren. When my mom went into a nursing home, my sisters had a house clean out. I received an old glass cracker jar, that my mom inherited from her aunt. So that’s put up high on my shelf. My mom always had it on her coffee table. But not until all her grandkids were older. I also received an antique clock that belonged to my great grandmother. It’s wood and it’s very heavy. We live in a manufactured home and I’m afraid if I try to hang it. It could fall down and break. So I told my youngest daughter, who is the most responsible, she can have it to hang in her next home. She’s in a rental now and doesn’t want to hang anything. I believe in passing down. My oldest daughter has seven children three who are under five. And she has a revolving door in her house. It comes in the front and goes out the back. So if she gets anything from me it will have to be indestructible. But I seem to have a good attitude. I don’t worry about anything. I leave that to my husband, because he worries about everything.

  31. Excellent advise Susan…. Funny that it takes us so much of our lifetime to learn and understand these valuable lessons….

  32. Great tips. This is my favorite post I’ve read from you since I started following your blog about 2 years ago. I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and wish you a Merry Christmas & very Happy New Year. Stay well.

  33. I enjoyed your post very much. I’m thankful for the wisdom you’ve learned. Thank you for sharing yourself with so many. Have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends!

  34. Thanks Susan! Well said and good to remember before the end of the year. I’ll start the new year off right and I’ll read your blog again in January.

    Hope you and Mr. Mickey can do the Santa thing this year. I know the kids will enjoy it.

  35. Thank you for sharing your life lessons with everyone. They are helpful and sensible tips to remember and to live by.

  36. Beautiful article AND SO TRUE. As a metastatic breast cancer, I fight everyday to stay on top. At 81, I can still do most things and work 20 hours a week for a construction company, from home. I am home most of the time not because I am too sick, but because I must avoid crowds, viruses and bacterial infections. My husband and I cooked a full Thanksgiving dinner for the two of us, while our family celebrated elsewhere. AND really enjoyed it. You are so right that negativity needs to stay out of or lives and enjoy each day.

  37. Thank you Susan for your thoughts. When we reach a certain time in our life , we finally get what’s important. I have throughly enjoyed reading your posts and your pictures of scenery are breathtaking. Thank you!

  38. I had a nostalgic moment looking at your parents’ crystal bowls. My mother gave me remarkably similar pieces, and I realized I admired her taste, and I found everything useful.

    Your cooking and fashion tips are helpful, as always, and you share much life wisdom. Thank you.

  39. Thank you! What a delightful, caring and carefree life insights. Please keep writing and inspiring.

    You are one of the very best to offer us love and life choices.

    Have a most wonderful Season of Joy and Caring.

    With love,

  40. This is a great post! So great that I reread it 3-4 times.
    Simple presentation with a powerful punch and lots to think about.

    Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving wishes to you and Mr. Mickey.

  41. Susan, Wonderful words of wisdom! Thank you for sharing.
    Wishing you many blessings over the holiday season.
    Best regards,
    Peggy Ann

  42. Hi Susan,

    Great thoughts and ideas, I am aware of most, however it’s so good to have a friendly reminder.

    Unhappy people are usually negative people. I stay away from toxic people.

  43. I love this post and your words of wisdom and encouragement have come at a time when I especially needed them. Thank you Susan.

  44. Thank you for your excellent tips. I will use all the pretty dishes I inherited from my dear parents. Another valuable tip from your past posts is taking a photo of yourself in an outfit. The full length mirror is not an accurate portrait of an outfit.

  45. Happy holiday season, Susan.

    My friend’s recently departed Dad used to say you can be happy or you can be irritated with life. It takes the same amount of effort.

    I always enjoy your posts and wise words. Beth

  46. Thank you so much Susan! I have let go of toxic people in my life. Sometimes it is hard–but it has to be done in order to be happy with oneself!!
    Stay Well

    Marie Letizia-Sheridan

  47. Thanks for your wisdom…
    I have the exact same bowl your lemons are displayed in…it was always in my mother’s China cabinet, now it’s in mine. I use it frequently!

  48. Good morning Susan. Such wise words. Thank you for sharing them with your readers!! Life is precious and too short to pay attention to every negativity around us! Love the crystal balls.

  49. This was one of your best post. Words of wisdom. Cleaned out some cabinets and donated some dishes and moved all the “best” to the front for everyday use. I had heard before what you wrote but seeing it in photos on your cabinet rang lots of bells in my head. Thank you for the push to use it all sooner instead of later. Time moves fast and the years fly by faster.

  50. Magnificas lecciones de vida Susan!!!!!! La felicito por compartirlas!!!!!!!
    Soy una fanática suya, me encanta lo que publica
    Un abrazo a la distancia,


  51. The longer I follow you, the more I see your grace. Thankyou for all your posts, thought and words. You are truly a beautiful and blessed woman!

  52. Thanks for your thoughts and ideas, your blog is one of the few I follow, and I also think don’t save things, life is too short! Have a nice holiday Susan.

  53. I needed your words today.

    I am generally very pragmatic (it is what it is) and optimistic (I feel blessed) but the times were hard on me over Thanksgiving (couldn’t see daughter or grandchildren due to potential exposure at school) and I’ve been feeling a dark cloud hovering.

    Your blog helped me reset.

  54. Love this! Your optimism, speaking of the truth, and living in the happy spirit you have. Every time we spend a moment together I feel the relaxed happy spirit that you exude. Not to mention the poise and class! xo

  55. What a great post. Thanks for the insight and wisdom and I agree wholeheartedly with Suzanne’s comments on your spirit, poise and class!! Happy Holidays lovely lady

  56. Spot on Susan! Love this. Who will use all these dishes if we don’t? Fun to use them in unexpected ways. Great insight on all topics!

  57. Your comments at the end of this post are so sage and should be known in our 20s. Maybe at that age it would have gone out the window, but everyone has been hurt in some way during life and one just hopes to get thru that period and learn from it. All your advice is so sage.

    The red cable knit down the lapels sweater is fabulous. Doesn’t add bulk but still gives that feel of cozy. Keep up your good work so we can all be happy.

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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.