Tips and Tricks

Another winter storm is coming, so I will be entertaining Mr. Mickey with light snacks and a glass of wine this evening. Staying at home is often the best option these days, so I’ve learned to make some life adjustments.

I get dressed for the day, even if I may indeed be staying at home all day. However, I am dressed if I need to help my parents or go grocery shopping. No one has to wait for me to get dressed before I can show up.

All I need to do is grab gloves, a scarf, and my coat, and I’m on my way. That little crossbody camera bag has become my most dependable everyday accessory. Never leave your handbag in your shopping cart. They can disappear in an instant, as I almost learned first hand this week.

Nothing is new, so similar items are in the following links. ShirtSweaterJeansLoafersScarfCoatGlovesBag. Shopping links may allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

The animal print loafers are very comfortable, but they are never as easy to style as solid neutrals. As a result, the look always feels too busy, but the white shirt, gray sweater, and black straight-leg jeans may be the best combo yet.


I’ve been doing Yoga with Adriene here every morning this month, as I mentioned earlier. I can’t always do the poses very well, but I keep showing up with a positive attitude. It has become a ritual I look forward to.

If you have large pores, try occasionally using a baking soda and warm water paste as a gentle exfoliant. My skin feels smooth but not dry afterward. (Caution: Medical aestheticians tell me this is not good advice.)

A very beneficial thing I discovered this month is Cod Liver Oil. If you’ve had long-term digestive issues after gall bladder surgery, one teaspoon per day may solve your problems too. Read about all the other benefits here. If you have arrhythmia Atrial Fibrillation and take Eliquis or any other anti-coagulant, you should NOT take Cod Liver Oil or any fish oil supplement without consulting your doctor.

Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments and for being part of this community. I love hearing from you!

119 Comments
  1. I’ve been working from home and your tip about getting dressed first thing is awesome. I feel better and am ready for anything that comes my way. Thank you, Susan.

  2. Susan, Thank you as always for your informative post. I will definitely try your baking powder and warm water paste suggestion. I take a yoga class twice a week , but I look forward to trying Adrienne’s videos.

  3. Cod liver oil! That brought back memories. We used to take it as kids and hated it, along with the goats milk we had to drink. But I attribute both of them to my basic good health.

  4. I’m also a firm believer in being “ready to go” as soon as possible each day. Plans can change in the blink of the eye!

  5. I loved your Top Ten 2021 Posts and read every one twice! Your best tip ever is to use BeautyCounter Brightening Facial Oil and Countertime Tetrapertide Supreme Cream. I have suffered with dry skin in the winter months and using those two products daily has been a game changer. I can really tell a difference in my neckline area. Thank you!

  6. Susan, thank you for all the time and hard work to create this wonderful blog for all of your followers to enjoy. I too, am a new retiree. After 40 years of government work, it has been a challenge to find the best wardrobe to suit my changed lifestyle. Thanks to your advice, I am slowly gaining ground on a well established closet to take me into the next phase of my life. I do wonder if you truly know how much you have helped so many women. I’m looking forward to a book! Please consider writing one. Stay cozy and warm this weekend. Enjoy the snow.

  7. Happy New Year! You mentioned you can’t always to the poses. At 70 I can’t either so I found chair yoga on YouTube. It’s a great alternative.

  8. You look stunning in the white shirt and grey pullover. I look forward to your posts—lessons in class and simplicity. You have helped me streamline my looks.

    Thanks for all you do for this community.

    Talk about a tease—what happened with your purse? As Paul Harvey would say, we need “ the rest of the story!”

    1. A woman with no groceries or basket started walking toward me in an otherwise empty aisle as she kept watching me. When she approached, still watching what I was doing, I apologized for blocking her way and left the area. She turned and left the store, mumbling to herself. I am thankful that I have good peripheral vision and am always aware of my surroundings, but I was foolish to leave my bag in the cart even though it was right beside me.

  9. I rarely comment here but do want you to know how much I enjoy all of your tips. But I have a tip I would like to share here. You have mentioned you have taken up yoga. I was also enjoying yoga a while back, but about a year ago I discovered “eccentrics” by Miranda Esmond-White. Her exercises are not strenuous at all and they make your body feel so good when you’re done. She works your body to help with mobility, flexibility, and balance. She even works your fingers and toes. She comes on my local Middle Tennessee PBS station, but she also has DVD’s and books, but I enjoy free. Most of the time I dvr her program so I can work out at any time. I am 68 years old and plan on being as mobile and flexible as I possibly can be. You can find out more at http://www.classicalstretch.com.

  10. Bonjour Susan,
    Quand je vous entends parler de yoga, cela me motive pour m’y mettre moi aussi, selon mes possibilités et à mon rythme car je suis handicapée.
    Merci pour tous vos bons conseils mode.
    Evelyne

  11. Hello Susan and Fellow Followers,
    I agree with you regarding getting dressed and ready for the world each day. I’ve listened to a few YouTube talks and one was by the Navy Admiral McCraven( I hope that is his name correctly) and he advises to make our beds first thing in the morning before we leave the bedroom. I started doing it a few years ago and what a difference to have a neatly made bed first thing in the day and it’s only about a two minute job. Another YouTube video suggested to do as you do Susan, get showered, dressed, groomed etc, each day early. I aim for around 9:30ish since I’m retired. Also, another thing I try to do as suggested in the video is to make sure the kitchen sink, counters, etc. is straightened and clean at night so it doesn’t feel oppressive walking into the kitchen with cleaning jobs hitting me in the face first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to walk into a clean kitchen space to start a new day.. A great suggestion.

    Thank you for sharing your style, suggestions, etc., with us and creating an online community.
    Be well all!

  12. Do tell us about the “handbag left in the shopping cart” incident!!!! I only use a backpack style bag – small sized – I have the same brand in 8 different colors! But I always know where my contents are, & where my bag is. I see women leaving their handbags open in shopping carts so often. Good warning!!

  13. I have started to build up a wardrobe according to your advice, it really works! I also follow Adriene in her 30 days yoga challenge, it’ s perfect even though I can’t do all the movements. My body feels supple and light. (I am 68 years old and living in Sweden)
    Thank you for everything you share with us!

  14. I smiled when I saw Evelyne’s comment “en Francais” (a language I studied in high school and college MANY years ago) and so I challenged myself to translate it. She says “Hi Susan. When I hear you speak of yoga it motivates me to do it, according to my own abilities and time, because I am handicapped. Thank you for all the fashion advice.” We all need to challenge our brains so “Merci, Evelyne!”

  15. Hello Susan. Your blog is one of the few I still look forward to reading even though I live in the U.K and many of the items you show are not available here. I love the picture of you in your grey coat and wonder if you would show us how you tied your scarf?with thanks. Margaret

    1. Thank you, Margaret. I honestly don’t remember how I tied that scarf. Nonchalant would be the word to describe how I wear scarves. I think I wrapped it around my neck with the ends in the back, brought them back around to the front, and then tucked them into the front. Here is a video to show the technique I described.

  16. You have enticed me to try Yoga with Adrienne. I was doing it with a group of ladies at our local library, but they were much more advanced than I. My flexibility has become dreadful. Do you have any particular videos of hers that you recommend?

    And I agree, dressing daily with hair done and a bit of makeup sets the tone for the day. A friend calls it, “putting on your armor.”

    1. Please start at the beginning of her 30-day challenge. Then, do as much as you comfortably can each day. Be gentle with yourself. I’m glad I can try these moves in private until I get a bit more flexible.

  17. Susan, I recently had gall bladder surgery( October 2021). I still have digestive issues. How will cod liver oil help? I found this to be an interesting.

    1. I had mine removed twelve years ago and have had chronic diarrhea since then. However, within three days of starting the practice of having a teaspoon of Cod Liver Oil daily, my issue was resolved. The article here shares even more benefits.

  18. You look terrific! The basic outfit you have chosen for today has become my winter uniform. I love the simplicity. Add some accessories and you can be ready to go anywhere. Several women mentioned Miranda. I love Miranda’s Classical Stretch! My husband and I do them daily. It takes awhile to not feel awkward. We are working through Aging Backwards and have noticed many improvements in the way we move and feel. After years of walking five miles a day and lifting weights we realized we had a decrease in flexibility and had very tight glutes and hamstrings. We still walk, but are lifting light weights and only for arms. Enjoy a lovely evening with Mr. Mickey and stay safe!

  19. Oh I love that gray sweater, white shirt and black jeans combo! Gorgeous on you in an effortless way. I have all these pieces in my closet- will try this exact look during our cold front.

    And your habit of always getting dressed, even if you don’t plan to go out, is spot on. I’ve been caught before, sudden semi-emergencies or folks dropping off something- and it’s not a good feeling to either answer the door in sweatpants and bedhead or to race around throwing on clothes to get out quickly. Plus- I just feel better when I walk by the mirror! I think those small confidence boosts are important as we age.

  20. Susan. it was a treat to find this post today, so soon after your previous post.

    An early commenter mentioned “baking powder and water” in reference to your homegrown face treatment. May I point out that you specified BAKING SODA, not baking powder. Read the label! There’s a big difference.

    Thank you for all your recommendations and examples of real style and elegance, so different from passing fashion.

  21. I don’t comment often, but I follow your blog religiously. I am 75 and retired. I try to work out daily at least 5 days per week. Moving and staying flexible ore so important. I appreciate all your fashion suggestions. Enjoy your weekend.

  22. Shirt, sweater and pants is a basic formula for me and I also get dressed for my day when I get up in the morning. It’s a habit I had when I worked and continue through retirement. I haven’t had cod liver oil since I was a child (not a fond memory) so maybe I need to revisit the benefits. A tip if you need/want to put your handbag in a cart is to secure the child restraint belt through the strap(s). Stay warm and safe if Izzzy dumps a lot of snow on you!

  23. Such a classic……..and classy……..outfit Susan! You continue to inspire!
    I have been a cross-body purse fan for years. I know they don’t look as chic and polished as a handbag but the convenience outweighs that for me.

  24. Susan you always look lovely and “put together “ no matter the events or time of day. You and Mr. Mickey have a lovely evening. I think most of the country is just trying to stay warm.

  25. Give us the link or information on the purse/ camera bag. It looks great for travel and would hold more than the one I have now.

  26. Hello Susan ~ I too enjoy your posts and all the wonderful tips. So very grateful that you continue to share with your community of followers. Truly appreciate you!

  27. Hi Susan, I love this look, but I have a difficult time wearing a shirt under a sweater. It just looks & feels bulky. How do you pull it off to look so sleek?

    Thank you

  28. You look so trim and fit! Love everything you’ve shown us today.

    You and Mr. Mickey enjoy your evening!

  29. Susan, you look fabulous! I love the Gray, White and Black with loafers!
    I too dress every day whether I am leaving the house or not. I just feel good and prepared for anything that way.
    I am glad to know I am not the only one who feels it important to do this for oneself.
    Have a pleasant and romantic evening with Mr. M and watch the snow fall.
    Happy New Year,

  30. I have taken Fish Oil tablets for some time now and have found them to be very beneficial with my digestion and joints. Is Cod Liver Oil a better or more pure form than Fish Oil ? I too had my gall bladder out and with a combination of probiotics and Fish Oil tablets I’m able to keep my system (mostly) trouble free. I so appreciate all the information you share with us Susan. Please don’t stop.

  31. Thank you Susan, for all of your lovely and affordable suggestions. I always look forward to your fashion advice and appreciate the fact that you encourage us to be stunning at this new retirement phase of our lives.

  32. I was brought up on cod liver oil and have continued to take it all my life but now take one capsule with food at breakfast.Also important to have one day free so as not to get a build up in the body I am 80 and no one ever thinks I am my age.Also take one B12 have reasonable health and try to have a positive attitude to life.Every day is a bonus and I thank God each morning for another day.Love your elegant understated style.As my mum would have said a real lady.

  33. Hi Susan. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple years. I always enjoy your posts. I’m struggling with that extra 15 lbs I can’t seem to loose. I remember a while back you talked about changes you made in order to loose weight and how much it improved your health. I hope you’ll consider doing another post sharing your experience. I’m wondering, did you make small changes gradually over time, or did you take on a full program/plan all at once? How did you keep your motivation up?

    1. The most helpful change for me was to stop overeating. Three meals a day and snacks are not necessary or healthy. Our digestive systems never have time to heal when we are constantly eating. Also, as we get older and become less active, we must improve the quality of our food and eat less often. I avoid all fast food and never eat processed foods. I rarely have an evening meal and try to fast for at least sixteen hours between lunch and breakfast the following day.

      Feeling energetic and healthy are all the motivation I need to continue clean and careful eating.

  34. Hi Susan. Thanks to you, I have a pretty good handle on my winter capsule wardrobe. I am considering investing in a silk blouse. Is it worth it to add to my capsule? Long sleeve for winter? Basic color? Button down? Thank you for your advise and help. Any favorite brands?

    1. I bought a couple of silk blouses and camisoles from LilySilk.com and I am pleased with them. I don’t wear them with casual looks, but they elevate a business or going out to dinner look. I bought a navy one and a winter white blouse since I always get neutral colors in my investment pieces.

  35. Susan,
    Your solid pieces with the animal print shoes look great. I’m hesitant to wear print shoes that are so popular and fun. Thanks for showing that they work with the solids so nicely.
    Your evening plans sound perfect for a stormy night.
    Thanks for your wonderful and very helpful posts.

  36. I love this look. A blouse under a sweater is classic and I like how you still dolled up with pretty earrings. But, the shoes , however cute, still aren’t perfect . Eileen Fisher Naomi flats perhaps ?

  37. Thank you for all the great tips! You look lovely and are inspiring me to upgrade my at home look as I would not want to leave home dressed in my extremely casual style even if the house was on fire lol.

  38. Hi Susan….
    Hope you had a cozy evening , with Mr.Mickey. We are still waiting for the storm, in Northern Georgia.
    You always look so classy, I have learned a lot from your tips. I just love Adriene, everyday I take her classes, such a day of Sunshine, she makes it much easier to get on the mat, every day. Stay warm this weekend.

  39. Love this casual combination. I would love to wear a oxford shirt under my v neck sweater,but it always feels bulky and combersom. Any suggestions?

    1. I tuck very thin white shirts into my underwear and jeans as neatly as possible. Of course, it helps to wear a relaxed-fit sweater. You can also layer a tank over the shirt and then put the sweater over the top for extra warmth. I have one sleeveless collared white shirt that I treasure. It is perfect for layering.

  40. Hi Susan,i am 5’3 193lbs. at what length should me sweaters and jackets be
    Stay warm hoping to hear from you
    S

  41. Like you, I always feel better if I’m dressed for the day even if there’s nothing on my agenda. When I first began working from home, I resorted to yoga pants and t-shirts. That soon gave way to a general lack of motivation and other bad habits. Greeting each new day in better form has made all the difference.

  42. “Best combo yet” is right! You look great! Is your white shirt long sleeve? I always felt bunched up under my sweater! My mother used to cut the sleeves off. She even got to the point where she would make “dickies” out of some of her shirts to wear under a v-neck sweater! She was resourceful.

    1. I tuck very thin white shirts into my underwear and jeans as neatly as possible. Of course, it helps to wear a relaxed-fit sweater. You can also layer a tank over the shirt and then put the sweater over the top for extra warmth. I have one sleeveless collared white shirt that I treasure. It is perfect for layering.

  43. Thank you for your wonderful tips, please never stop blogging as I really look forward to reading them. Your snack and meal pics are lovely.
    Like you I get outside each day for a walk and fresh air and will continue to do so regardless of how cold it gets up here in Canada. Only the ice will stop me, then I’ll use the treadmill. I do a bit of Jane Fonda yoga but will now try out the one you mentioned. Regards to you and Mr Mickey.

  44. Susan I always look forward to your posts. I love the classic style of your clothes, which is my favorite style as well. I have learned much from your posts about using what I already have. I especially enjoy the posts about yours and Mr. Mickey’s adventures!

    Jo Lee

  45. Thank you, Susan…I love reading your insights! I’ve been following Adriene for 5-6 years and always try to complete her 30 days of yoga in January. I am 74 and can’t do everything, but I do what I can. This year one of my goals is to continue her yoga practices at least 5 days a week….it makes such a difference in how I move and feel at this ripe old age! Thanks to you, I also have a new goal…getting dressed and ready for the day…, everyday,

  46. Hello Susan – would you be kind enough to share the mixture quantities for the baking soda paste exfoliant, please?
    Your outfit looks so comfortable yet smart, I love the mix – thank you

    1. Use a teaspoon of baking soda in one hand and use your other wet hand to pat the baking soda into a paste that you can gently massage onto damp skin, avoiding the eye area. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

  47. Loved you outfit today. Always ready to go is important. as is always ready to answer the door. It is amazing how some people answer the door. And I am not talking about a beautiful lounging gown either.
    The purse in the shopping cart …,I actually left mine in the top of a grocery cart, started to leave the parking lot when I realized, that in my haste, something was missing. (I live in a not quite rural town, and I am sure that is what saved me) I circled around, and so thankful, there was my cart and purse with the rest of the carts, I am so much more careful now.

  48. Thank you for always posting interesting and relevant post Susan. I greatly appreciate your expertise and always love your articles! Have a great weekend!

  49. I just love your classic, polished look. I also learned to hang my tops inside out so the shoulder bumps don’t show . Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us

    Oh… I also live the Sheec no show socks! They really don’t slide down in your shoe

  50. I enjoy your column. I’ve been doing joga with Adrienne, I started with her Gentle yoga for Seniors, she’s great!

  51. Hi Susan
    You have another great post. I’m ordering if you can comment on the sizing and fit of some of your clothing suggestions. The Everlane shirt for example. Is it true to size? A closer cut or boxy? Sometimes the sites don’t give a lot of information.
    Thanks for posting. I look forward to your ideas!
    Another Susan

  52. Do you take liquid cod liver oil or in pill form? Curious if you’ve tried both and prefer one over the other.

    Thank you!

  53. Would love to hear about what snacks you made. I am similar to you. Love eating at home, but not a fan of making big dinners.

    Blessings!

  54. Wow, one of your best outfits! Great looking shoes add to the outfit. Good tips too. My mother always gave us cod liver oil as children and I still take it.

  55. Love your style! Love your comments! Thanks for encouraging conservative styles without feeling “old!”

  56. Susan, I have read your posts for a couple of years now. This is the first time I have ever commented on any of your posts. I love this look with the gray sweater, white shirt and black pants make you look so classy. Carry on with posting these great ideas. I always look forward to your posts.

  57. Thank you for these posts! You have helped me to realize that I have several staple pieces in my present wardrobe and that I need not buy too much to maintain a fashionable and attractive look. I love the grey sweater over the white shirt – lovely on you. I need to find good, well-made white shirts. One of my goals for 2022!

  58. In my seventies now, skin care is important to moisture and try to get the winkles to go away. I still swear by Olay Regenerist and Covergirl & Olay makeup. Covergirl clean mascara is great to every day and on the golf course. Talbots classics are still my favorites but Chico’s is my backup. A great white shirt is a must. Love your style. Keep up the blog. I love it!

  59. Yes, getting ready for each day – whatever it brings – is such great advice! Love your varied tips … thanks!!

  60. This outfit is so similar to my everyday look. I have a pair of lace-up suede walkers that are in a neutral khaki with small touches of animal print on the sides and a bit on the top of the toe box; just enough pattern for interest, but easy to style with blue and white jeans as well as with dressier pants. Bought in Austria a couple of years ago.
    Have always worn a small cross-body zip closed bag whenever and wherever. It never comes off, whether grocery shopping, at the ballet or seated in a restaurant. I was lucky enough to travel through Europe & the UK as a university student and was taught to wear my bag that way to hopefully avoid theft or pick pockets-it worked!
    Keep posting your helpful and enjoyable blogs, Susan. Greetings from amid a roaring Canadian blizzard!

  61. I appreciate your perspective and insight. You don’t just focus on fashions for us to purchase. You offer information that enhances the quality of life while being lovely along the way.

  62. I so wish I saw you blog years ago, But I am very grateful I get everything now.
    I have always dressed older than I am, also never knew how to put accessories together, But now I do,
    I love everything I watch from you, and have learned so much. I have keep all your outfits on my laptop in a file. Now, when I am going out, I look at your outfits and go from there.
    It is so amazing how a open sweater cardigan, or scarf can make a sharp looking outfit, The thing is, I have most of the cloths you have, But I never put them together the right way. Now, I have fun getting dressed, It’s exciting, because I know what ever I put on, It’s going to look nice, regardless if it’s jeans or slacks.
    I now have fun, putting my outfit together, and I feel good, knowing that I look nice, I hold my head up a little higher, and have a nice smile of my face, with confidence
    I thank you so very much for everything you put on your blog. Now when I shop, it’s normally for a cardigan and scarf.
    I love your capsule ward rob, makes vacations liter on the suitcase, as well as the tips and tricks, and make over, I love everything you put out. Please continue.
    Thank you for making getting dressed on a daily basic fun, instead of boring. I so appreciate you, and your blog.
    Your favorite student.

    Susan Sennett

  63. I am a medical aesthetician with over 20 yrs experience and want to let you know that baking soda is much too alkaline for use on the skin. The ph of the skin is 4.5-5.5 and baking soda has a ph of 8.3. The skin has a natural acid mantle that helps to protect your skin. We use baking soda and water solutions to neutralize highly acidic peels! Your skincare advice is erroneous. Consult professionals and don’t automatically believe what you read online.

    1. Thank you for sharing your professional opinion. I’ll be more careful with the information I share. This tip was from my personal experience. I didn’t read about it online, but now we know.

  64. I so enjoy reading your blog and have learned so much from you! I tried your recommendation of the baking soda paste as an exfoliant for skin this morning and it was great! My skin felt cleaner, smoother, but not dry at all! Thank you for helping me and others!

  65. Susan,
    I too have been doing yoga with Adrienne 3 times a week for a few years and I love it.
    She is the best.. Thank you for the advice on dressing. It has helped me many times.
    When I get up in the morning the first thing I do is take my shower, makeup and get
    dressed for the day. It makes my day go much better even if I am staying home.

    Kathy

  66. I just turned 66, and am having difficulty identifying my “style”. You are so helpful and your advice is amazing. Thank you!

  67. Just a note…your outfit is beautiful and when it comes to clothing and putting together an outfit you excel.

    However, regarding the Cod Liver Oil. It would be good to mention that anyone who has the arrythmia Atrial Fibrillation and takes Eliquis, or any other anti-coagulant should NOT take Cod Liver Oil or any fish oil supplement. At least, not without consulting their doctor. Doing so increases the risk of bleeding. And anyone on blood pressure medication should do the same, as Cod Liver Oil can lower the blood pressure to dangerous levels. As with anything, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”. It’s best to check with your doctor when adding any supplements to your diet when you take any kind of medication.

  68. Didn’t read all the comments so this may already be said. But I just learned about strapping your purse in to the cart using the “seat belt “ strap used for babies in the cart.I don’t like to have to keep my purse on me while shopping so this little hack works great.

  69. Susan, I have to let you know I copied your gray sweater, white button down and black jeans outfit. All items I had in my closet. The only item I didn’t have was the loafers but substituted with my black ankle boots. I got so many compliments on this outfit. Thanks for your tips

  70. I love your posts and style. I love the ease of your wardrobe and I have always loved the classics, so your style resonates with me. It makes so much sense and simplifies my wardrobe. I’ve wanted a classic white shirt for a long time (had them over the years) and just bought the llbean one you recommended. Thank you for all your posts. Please keep them coming! I look forward to reading them and studying the pictures. Also fun to see your adventures!

  71. I have been making my own facial scrub out of sugar, coconut oil and drops of essential oil for years. It removes blackheads on your nose. It’s very invigorating and leaves my skin smooth and soft.

  72. I want to Thank you for answering a question about what is appropriate to wear for a wedding. I wore a black pair of pants, and I was stumped to what blouse to wear. The day we were ready to go the the state of where the wedding was a bright pink cashmere sweater blouse arrived at the house. I had totally forgot that I had ordered it. I wore it at the wedding.
    THANK YOU, I had so many ladies tell me how lovely I looked and the hot pink was so beautiful..
    I would never of thought to wear this combo.
    Sincerely,

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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