Planning Ahead

I will likely not spend any time on a beach this winter, so I’m making alternate plans to stay mentally and physically fit. Winter is always a challenge for me since walking, hiking, and being outdoors makes me happy. However, cold weather is not on my list of favorite things, so I’m implementing plans now to make the most of the time and keep my spirits up.

I drove around town until finding a shady spot to take a couple of photos of this casual running errands look.

The hectic day was spent ordering a new pair of eyeglasses, shopping to restock the pantry and linen closet, signing up for a new gym membership, and taking donations to a charity shop. The start of a new season is a good time to edit the items that no longer serve us. When I put a jacket on and take it off three times to wear something else in one week, I know it will never work, so out it goes.

When I purchase a new garment, bag, or shoes, I intend to wear them at least thirty times, so items that don’t work out haunt me. Therefore, it is better to free my mind and my closet of those pieces.

The casual look for this busy day included dark wash jeans and a white shirt with a cognac bag and shoes. Pearl earrings are always perfect for the daytime. Similar if not, identical items are in the links. ShirtJeansLoafersBagEarrings. The very old silver link bracelet is similar to the one here. (Use the code SAS10 for $10 off any one item at Beauty in Stone Jewelry.) My no-show socks are here.

The new eyeglasses frames shown above are here. They won’t be ready for a couple of weeks, but it will be fun to have a more dramatic option.

Mr. Mickey gave me a Fitbit (found here) for my birthday, and his is daughter, Regina, gave me the most excellent running shoes. The Brooks Ghost 14 Running Shoes are here.

My Medicare supplemental insurance includes a free gym membership, which means I need a few workout clothes. I found a tunic that hides the middle area but allows for freedom of movement, and I’ll wear it over leggings. I already have long sleeve tees and sweatshirts to layer over and under the tunic. When the weather isn’t agreeable, I can walk a few miles on the track, use machines or free weights or shoot hoops in the gym.

The tunic tank top is here. The workout leggings are here.

I have enjoyed learning to make a few basic Italian-style dishes, but I returned to one of my old favorites this week. My mom gave me the green beans, so I prepared a lunch of black rice, baked wild-caught salmon with capers, and cherry tomatoes topped with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. I have almost all meals at home now, so I attempt to have various healthy options in my pantry and fridge. It took too many years to learn that what, how much, and when I eat plays a significant part in my mental and physical wellness.

A twice daily skincare regimen is imperative in winter. Part of making my skin more comfortable in cold weather includes adding facial oil into my routine. So I make sure I have a couple of bottles of my favorite on hand for the winter months. The oil is here and I share my full skincare routine here.

I blog to share all the valuable lessons I wish I had learned much earlier in life. The timer on my Sony Alpha a5100 camera (here) and a tripod (here) allowed me to take these photos. Randomly published posts no longer include collaborations or sponsored products. However, referral shopping links may allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

  1. Good morning! Did you have trouble picking your glasses with your mask on? With a new prescription in hand, I tried but got so frustrated not being able to really see how I looked in the frames that I quit. Enjoy your weekend!

    1. I had tried them on earlier in the summer while things were more open, so I knew which style I wanted. Also, LensCrafters allows you to return your eyewear for a full refund or replace them within 30 days of the dispense date.

  2. Buongiorno Susan, oggi siamo quasi gemelle, anch’io indosso camicia bianca, jeans e mocassini, ed ho pranzato con salmone al vapore e pomodoro dal nostro orto(sono ancora in montagna, ma rientro a Bologna due giorni a settimana per essere presente al centro tumori, dove svolgo volontariato. Che bello leggere e vedere foto delle mie splendide e favorite Signore su internet. Buon fine settimana.

  3. Thank you for all this inspiration, Susan! Like you, I find winter to be a very challenging season. I also want to be prepared, as you’ve shown us in this post. Life is busy but I’m going to try to follow your example!

  4. I love my Brooks! On the advice of my PT (bad knees), I went to a running store that sells shoes and they assessed my gait looking at me walking without shoes, and the wear on my old sneakers. They recommended a certain style of sneaker to help my eversion that has great support where it is needed. I wear them most of the day and used to wear them when I worked in the hospital when I was on my feet all day. Best ever!

  5. Hi Susan
    I just wanted to thank you so much for your comment about the free gym membership with your health insurance. I just checked mine and I get it too. Have just been to the YMCA near us and have signed up. I need it for the opposite reason from you. Living in Florida, its just toooo hot to walk outside for any length of time.
    Thank you

  6. I hope that you enjoyed your birthday Susan, I’m not sure exactly when it was. Are you hoping to continue to be active? I love your style.

  7. I also recently purchased my first pair of Brooks running shoes (Brooks Glycerin 19). The most conformable I’ve ever owned. I was professionally fitted and it turned out I needed a whole size larger than my regular shoes.

  8. Dear Susan.
    Just wanted you to know that I have followed you for years now and redone my look inspired by your advice. That has encouraged me to lose 25 lbs and I am now at my 20-year-old weight (now 69). I have written to you before but was absent for a few months as I lost my husband to a sudden massive heart attack a year ago. It was terribly difficult but I have made it through, thanks to a wonderful family, amazing friends, and the advice and guidance you have given me through all these years. We have never met in person but I feel I have a friend in you. Thanks…

    1. My dear, Anne.
      I am very sorry for your loss. Your comment deeply touched me; thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your life. I very much hope that we get the chance to meet in person someday.

  9. I guess many of us are feeling It is time to make some adjustments to our lifestyles. Since my gym closed, I’ve begun working out at home. I would encourage everyone to check out Miranda Esmonde-White’s DVD “Aging Backwards” for a full body workout. I can’t believe what a difference her movements have made in the way I feel. She also is on our public broadcasting station. That is an inexpensive way to try her type of exercise program. It is so refreshing to work with a program that is not “feel the burn”.
    I guess it is time to weed out the closet too! I laughed when you wrote about trying the jacket multiple times and finally realizing it just doesn’t work anymore. Good advice to send it on and not have it haunt you in the closet! I know I have several items hanging around that need to go.
    Have a wonderful start to Fall Susan!

  10. If you are referring to the Silver Sneakers program they now offer live online classes. I love setting my iPad on my kitchen island and exercising without going anywhere. They have over 70 live classes each week so there is something for everyone. I did enjoy going to Silver Sneaker classes at the gym prior to covid but the home option makes sense at this time.

  11. I am more and more drawn to simple things like a white shirt with jeans. I’m going through my closet and removing things that no longer fit my lifestyle of a minimalist way of thinking. The Same with food. Three or four fresh things on a plate like green beans, cherry tomatoes, grapes and a deviled egg is fine for my dinner. I do add a piece of Greek pita bread on occasion. .simple living. You can’t beat it.

  12. Jeans and a white shirt is a perfect casual look.
    Nice new eyeglasses frames ,very special color.
    Very grateful for your written experience about food :
    “It took too many years to learn that what, how much, and when I eat plays a significant part in my mental and physical wellness.”

  13. Always admire your positive attitude. Appreciate your blog and love your fashion. Now is a good time to go to my closet to donate too. Thanks for keeping me going ! I so appreciate your help! Love your new eyeglasses!

  14. I too discovered the essentrics workout by Miranda Esmond-White and absolutely love it. The workouts are only 22 minutes long and make your body feel so good. The workout is great for anyone with joint problems or to even prevent them which is what I’m looking for. Also on posture. I just can’t say enough about her workouts.

  15. Good morning Susan. Always looking forward to reading your post. So informative and real. Thank you! Have a great weekend!

  16. Susan, I enjoy your posts so much! You always look wonderful and I admire your style. Would you be willing to share your recipe for salmon? I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it. Thanks so much!

    1. I baked the small fillet and toppings at 375 degrees F in a preheated oven for eleven minutes on a shallow baking pan coated with good olive oil. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, add a couple of garlic cloves, and top with capers, salt, pepper, oregano. As soon as you remove the fish from the oven, add whatever shredded aged cheese you have. I cook with what I have on hand and rarely follow recipes, however, there are some really good ones here.

  17. You look beautiful. I love the classic look of your clothing and accessories. Always look forward to reading your blog post.

  18. I have just completed a fascinating online course with FutureLearn: Food and Mood – Improving Mental Health through Diet and Nutrition. It’s easy to follow and makes so much sense…..and it’s free!

  19. Susan I can not wear a shirt buttoned up and I like the look. My hip to chest ratio does not allow me to button up a shirt, unless I buy a shirt that fits the hips and then the bust does not have a good fit. What do I do?

  20. I love the slim fit jeans you wear from Talbots. I do find the price to be a little steep for my budget.
    Could you recommend another brand that you’ve tried that also works?

  21. I have been dreading winter approaching. The thought of it has really been affecting me. Then, here comes your wonderful, uplifting, encouraging message! Thank you so much. Your suggestions have helped me get my mind back on “track”.

  22. Thank you for sharing the Orca Bay recipe page–I know I will try several! I love to eat simply and it is nice to have new ideas to enhance the basics!

  23. Sadly, in our local gyms, 99% of the members ignore the indoor mask mandates. Thus, we have not used our memberships since Jan. 2020.
    But, we live on a huge property in the country so, hiking hills & walking trails have kept us fit, along with weights & yoga at home. We eat a low-carb/no-processed lifestyle which is nutritious & varied.
    Diet, as you mention frequently, is so important, with portion control being such a problem, particularly in the US. The wonderful chef, Burt Wolf, said, “There are no bad foods, just inappropriate amounts.”
    Big cheers to everyone that works on their health, in whatever way they can!

  24. Great ideas as usual and thank you for sharing your experiences in shopping and overall living…you are very inspirational

  25. Susan I love your fashion style. I live alone and so many times, rather than cook, I will just snack or eat unhealthy items. It would be so great if you could possibly show what you eat in a week to stay slim and keep your weight down. I believe you only eat two meals per day. If you could, show what you eat per day and how to prepare each meal for the week. I know that is asking a lot of you, but I am really struggling and need help and guidance.

    1. Hi Shelby. I also live alone, so I make sure I don’t buy snacks or processed foods. The less you eat salty or sweet snacks, the less you will crave them. Mostly I eat vegetables, leafy greens, mushrooms, rice, potatoes, or pasta with good olive oil, fresh herbs, spices, and a bit of real unsalted butter. If I eat breakfast, it is usually old-fashioned rolled oats with pecans, walnuts, and blueberries. I drink lots of filtered water each day and typically don’t eat any food after 3 pm.

  26. I always looks forward to, so many interesting things to apply to myself. Do you have children that live nearby, I don’t remember you mentioning them.

  27. Love the new eyeglasses, Susan! I would love to see how you re-stocked your linen closet. May we have a peek?

    Thanks for all you do to educate us about style!

  28. Susan, thank you for another inspiring blog. I too am doing my grief work with my husband passing after a brief illness June 1st. I am thankful for our 30 wonderful years we shared and miss him greatly. I am not looking forward to the time change and it being dark by 5:30, along with our long, hard winters. However I have been focusing on eating more vegetables (thanks to you), watching my posture and trying to work in more exercise. I will be 65 in December and also am looking forward to the Silver Sneakers program. I had attened our YMCA regularly before covid hit, but haven’t since then. I hope to return in December. Thanks for encouraging us and all the effort you put forth in creating these posts.

  29. Always enjoy your posts. Your simple, classic style is so timeless.
    Thank you for always sharing such good ideas and lovely pictures of of your outings.
    As you begin enjoying your new gym membership, be sure to try one of the yoga classes.
    I absolutely love it. It helps balance, builds bone density, and muscle strength and is so calming.
    Do give it a try. You may want to take classes from different instructors.
    I have learned something a little different from each of my instructors which has been so helpful.
    Please go take a class. You will be hooked!

  30. Can you please share with me , info on the eyewear you have on in the picture ? Where I can look for them , brand , style, size ? Not the new one but the ones you are wearing in the photo . Thank you , your style and Grace and such an inspiration . I miss you on Facebook .

  31. This is Janice and l saw an article you published several weeks ago. Two items got my attention: hairstyles and choosing the right bra. l am at the ripe old age of 63. Methinks, ‘This is an attractive lady who obviously knows her stuff and I’d love to chat with her. My own face/figure challenges qualify my valuable input and l would value yours as well. Thank you, Susan!

  32. As an avid walker, I have worn
    Brooks Ghosts for years. I was thrilled to find out my step daughter loves them as much as I do and they last daily wearing and lots of steps for several years. Good luck with them!


  33. Hello Susan,

    Happy Belated Birthday!

    The Farmer’s Almanac says it’s going to be a very cold winter but even so, I love cold weather as long as it’s sunny or snowy. The positive side to cold weather is that we burn more calories with little to no extra effort as long as we aren’t over indulging on trail mix. I also enjoy cold weather because it’s really the only time of year that I can enjoy a bug-free outdoors!

    During the winter months I visit the shore of the Northern Neck of VA and other small towns on the Chesapeake Bay. The bay is gorgeous during the winter months and there aren’t tourists everywhere. I just love the slow pace and peaceful charm of small towns in the wintertime. I am planning a trip to Onancock VA- a beautiful artsy town.

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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.