Premier Designs & Park Lane

All that Glitters is not Gold

I know that the intended purpose of “all that glitters is not gold” refers to things aren’t always as they might seem and as long as we’re talking jewelry I really don’t mind. In an earlier post I mentioned that I prefer fashion jewelry to the real thing as a matter of personal preference. Also I’m not quite sure when it happened but I’ve converted from gold to silver jewelry finishes.

Botannical Floral Necklace
Premier Designs Botannical

Last Sunday I promised to show some more of my Premier Designs pieces and today I picked one of my favorite necklaces called Botanical. Botanical is an Antiqued Matte Silver Plated Necklace 16 inches long with a 4 inch extender. The necklace has 5 flowers and 1 leaf, each ranging in size from 1 inch to 2 inches. Two of the flowers and the 1 leaf are sort of an open weave design and all of them are highly tactile, each providing a different feel from the petals on the flowers to the little nubs on the leaf. This is a statement necklace that I earned last year from hosting one of two jewelry shows and while I was initially hesitant in selecting it I can say that it was a very good choice. The reason I was hesitant in buying the Botanical was I thought it’d be too bulky and while it sounds rather big (and I suppose it is) it’s not heavy and it will draw compliments. Also, if what my jewelry consultant said is true, it gives the illusion of making me appear 10 pounds less and I need all the help I can get in this area. This really is an illusion because chunky jewelry draws the eyes of onlookers to your neck/face thereby, in my situation, lessening the attention to problem hip areas.

Shells & Pearl Necklace
Shellicious Necklace & Earrings

My second choice for today is a necklace and earring set that I bought from Park Lane Jewelry. The fish-hook style 2 inch long Shellicious Pierced Earrings and 16.5 inch with 3 inch extender necklace are “inspired by the tropics, this unique necklace is a stunning cascade of faux pearls and genuine seashells anchored to ornate silver filigree beads. The mother-of-pearl finish shimmers and reflects a rainbow of color. A four-strand ivory string cord fastens the necklace to your neckline. A cluster of lustrous pearls and silvery gray and taupe shells fashion Shellicious earrings.” Like the Premier Designs Botanical necklace, the Shellicious necklace and earrings are highly tactile and since the seashells and faux pearls dangle they offer the extra benefit of sound when they move with my body movement. The picture I took of these pieces can’t do justice to how they really look when wearing them.

The jewelry I talked about today I can see myself wearing until I either a) break or lose them or b) the finish wears off the Botanical (which can happen if not properly cared for). As I said from the outset I am not concerned with real silver and knowing this, since fashion jewelry can have the tendency to tarnish over time, I still feel I get my money’s worth from the pieces I’ve bought.

The good news is after checking sites like Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue I found that statement necklaces are trending in 2014. From links on Elle I found some nice necklaces at www.target.com and www.buckle.com which incorporate color, so if you tend to prefer neutrals you can easily give your wardrobe an extra boost with a colorful necklace, bracelet and earrings. Add a complimentary handbag and you’re all set.

Remember, be true to yourself!

“Classic, to me, is something that’s timeless, enduring. The things that never go out of style. Polo, the kinds of clothes I design are the kinds of things I believe in, the kinds of things that last forever. I love things that stay.” ~ Ralph Lauren

Singing Shoe Love Songs

Top 10 Reasons to Love ShoesMollie

When I think about the love of shoes Imelda Marcos immediately springs to mind. Though I cannot and would not want to be compared to her I can sorta kinda understand her compulsion. So with the arrival of the New Year; I think it’s important to reflect on my love of shoes. When I was pondering this post I thought about two of my creatively crazy-smart friends (Jami and Marcel) and how one day in the office, they were singing songs that sounded oddly familiar but with a twist. Then the light bulb went off (it was more likely they explained to me) that they had a compelling discussion on changing love songs into lunch songs. It may sound silly but when we started singing “What the World Needs Now is Lunch Sweet Lunch” it was hilarious. Here we were adult professionals, behaving like children at recess singing all the “lunch” songs we could conjure up. So to make a long story short, when I was walking my ADHDD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Dog) Mollie, I thought “hmmm I wonder what love song titles would look like if I made them into shoe song titles?” So I compiled the following list in reverse chronological order my top 10 favorite love/shoe song titles*:

Number 10: Wings – Silly Shoe Songs

Number 9: Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Shoes

Number 8: Mariah Carey – Vision of Shoes

Number 7: Sara Bareilles – Shoe Song

Number 6: Taylor Swift – Shoe Story

Number 5: Anita Baker – Sweet Shoes

Number 4: Diana Ross – Shoe Hangover

Number 3: Whitney Houston – Greatest Shoes of All

Number 2: Huey Lewis & the News – The Power of Shoes

Number 1: Diana Ross & Lionel Richie – Endless Shoes

I’d like to thank Jami Marlowe and Marcel Walker (love you both) for the inspiration in the development of this list. To think that your compelling discussion would enable me to figure out the depth of my love for shoes, well, it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

No Pain No Gain

I like shoes so much that there was a time my feet endured great discomfort in the name of style. Heels have always been my preference and while there may have been a time or two that my feet were hurting you wouldn’t know it because I had to maintain my walk of confidence. By the way, I do not recommend going to such lengths just to be fashionable or whatever reason you may evoke. Like anything else, our feet are unique to each of us and as such we need to be aware of shoes to meet our specific needs. I’ve found with vision impairment I had to rethink the logic of shoes that may pose a safety hazard such as stilettos or other footwear that doesn’t make much sense. I still like heels but now I opt for kitten heels, embellished flats or other appealing shoes that pose little risk. Though I may not appear as tall as I did in my high heels I still feel confident and stylish wearing my current choices.

It took me some time to get to a place where I felt comfortable without heels but about 2 or 3 years ago I finally donated them but I kept one pair that I just can’t live without. Pictured are my Tahari Oxford 4” heels in black from which that I cannot loosen my grip and alternatively a Enzo Angiolini leopard print trimmed in red/orange flat.

Tahari 4" Black Oxford Heels
Tahari Oxford
Enzo Angiolini Flat
Enzo Angiolini Flat

Over the next couple of weeks I will talk about my findings on the different types of feet and footwear most fitting for the specific type of foot. While on the discussion of feet/footwear after all this is Shoe Lovin’ Saturdays, I’ll be sure to pass along the current trends for 2014. For those of you in the northeastern part of the US it may seem bleak right now but before you know it spring will be here so now’s the time to start strategizing head to toe attire.

Remember, be true to yourself!

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

*Please note that the artists referenced did not produce the shoe titles mentioned in this post.

Women on the Move: Angela Winfield

…and I wanted to be a lawyer but I’d never seen anybody out there, practicing law that looked like me a blind, black woman. 

full_body_shot_Angela Winfield
Angela Winfield with her guide dog.

When I think of the word fierce, words such as bold, intense, fiery, passionate, and, powerful come to mind. So it shouldn’t be a surprise when profiling blind/vision impaired women who fit this description I would choose those, who against all odds, prove that no matter life’s obstacles they face it with an enviable tenaciousness.

As a part of life’s circumstances we all face trials and situations that can bring us to our knees or cause us to want to throw in the towel. Navigating a sighted world with blindness/vision impairment can be very challenging for many people but there are many who do this on a day-to-day basis with a grace and dignity that is nothing but inspirational. Angela Winfield is one of these women who not only has achieved success for herself but she then does what all of us should do and that is, she gives back.

I help people get what they want out of life. I help them achieve success and experience happiness both personally and professionally. If you’re feeling stuck, unsatisfied or unfulfilled in your job or inability to find a job, I’m your gal. I’m a certified professional coach, motivational speaker, author and attorney.

I urge you to visit Angela’s website at www.myblindfaith.com where you can hear her say in her own words how we can take steps to live a life we “absolutely love living.” Angela, who’s been featured in the Wall Street Journal, a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Positive, voted a Super Lawyers’ Rising Star, and recognized as a Zeta Phi Beta Woman of Courage is a fellow peer advisor on www.visionaware.org. On VisionAware Angela shares with us the Four Master Keys to achieving what we want out of life.

I’ve done it for myself and, now, it’s time for me to show others how to do it too. That’s why I started Blind Faith Enterprises LLC. I believe to get what you want out of life you have to move from self-consciousness to self-awareness. Regarding being and feeling beautiful, I believe the same holds true there. It comes from the inside out and then from the outside in.

Bold Blind Beauty makes me think of women like Angela who is not only making a difference in her life but she is giving back by helping others make a positive change in their own lives. Kudos to Angela Winfield one fierce woman!

“When I dare to be powerful– to use my strength in the service of my vision then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” ~Audre Lorde

Style is for Everyone

Oh to be Young Again

I love the honesty of children their innocence is so pure and I believe they can teach us so much if we only let them. In losing the untainted innocence of childhood I think we lose that part of ourselves that accepts people at face value. The most recent two examples of this I can remember, is when a little girl approached me and asked me an innocent question and when my son, Devon, taught me and my co-workers a lesson I’ll never forget.

I just finished a day at the office, took the elevator to the first floor and upon entering the lobby of the building I worked at, a little girl approached me and asked why I use a white cane. I could have been irritated or indignant by her question (I think her mom was panic-stricken as she tried to explain when I interrupted and told her daughter that) “I can’t see very well and the cane helps me to get around.” We talked for a little while longer and it was such an enjoyable conversation cut short by the arrival of my paratransit service.

Out of the Mouth of Babes

The other incident was a number of years ago when I took Devon to work with me. An auditor was scheduled to come to the office but we didn’t know he was wheelchair bound. So while we were trying to figure out how we should behave, my son, unbeknownst to us went into the conference room and struck up a conversation with the auditor and served him a beverage. To say that I was embarrassed by my behavior is an understatement. It took this child to show us adults that this man in the wheelchair was no different than we were. It was one of the most proud and humbling experiences I can remember. Proud because my son could see past this man’s disability and humbling because it took a child to teach me that a person is so much more than their disability.

Don’t Believe the Hype

Wouldn’t it be great if the advertising industry encompassed everyone? I’d love to see commercials, print and virtual ads with people using mobility devices and speaking to hidden disabilities as well. Oh well, until that time comes we can still use our creativity to find deals even if they aren’t geared specifically to us and that includes those of us over 50.

Sweater & Skirt
Images from Forever 21

Take Forever 21 for example, while it appears to be targeted to younger women (they do have a plus sizes too), this retailer has some nice stuff at very reasonable prices. I was able to pull together an outfit for under $50.00 consisting of a blue shag sweater and a charcoal layered knit skirt. I would probably were my black/grey booties with a black handbag, long necklace, earrings and bracelets. Pictured right, at $22.80, is the Groovy Moves Shag Sweater, and the $17.80 Posh Layered Knit Skirt. The sweater is a lightweight eyelash knit with a round neckline, long Raglan sleeves and ribbed trim. The partially lined lightweight skirt features a layered front, banded waist, high-low hem and finished trim.

I wasn’t able to find jewelry at Forever 21 that appealed to me and again, what appeals to me may not necessarily appeal to you. However just like I was able to find a sweater, skirt and a few other items I would wear, I venture to say that you too could find something you like.

Be true to yourself!

“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.”
~ Sophia Loren