Fashion and Fun after Fifty

Posts Tagged ‘Guest Post’

How to Wear Layers for Unpredictable Fall Weather

Today’s guest post was written by Cathy Habas, and the timing is perfect, especially after my post on Wednesday featuring this Fall Fashion outfit from Chadwicks of Boston.

photo shoot at Glasgow Park

After a sweltering and often uncomfortable summer, fall brings welcome change. But fall can be unpredictable. The days are hot and the nights are cold. An unexpected breeze can bring on quite a chill. And if you live in a mountainous region, the differences in temperature become even more apparent depending on your altitude.

So if you have a long day ahead of you, you might find yourself in need of a warm outfit for the chilly morning and a summery outfit for the heat of the day. Factor in windy conditions, and you’ll need to bundle up even more.

keeping warm with a mug of hot cocoa

Don’t worry! There’s no need to change clothes in the middle of the day. With some smart layering of clothes, being comfortable is as simple as taking off or putting on a jacket. Let’s take a look at some ways to wear layers while still looking professional or trendy this fall.

But first and foremost, don’t forget to check the weather forecast! Take a look at the highs and lows, as well as the wind chill factor.

Start With Leggings and Socks

Choose some medium-weight leggings to keep the chill off your legs. Stay away from sheer tights, which wind will cut through like a knife, and from thermal leggings, which will turn you into a bucket of sweat. (In a pinch, you can always nip to the bathroom and take off your leggings if they are just too much.) Dark colors are always in style in the fall, like black, grey, brown, dark blue, maroon, olive or marigold.

If your toes tend to get cold, wear some socks over your leggings! You can even incorporate them into the outfit by having the sock cuff peek over the edge of your boots.

Add a Dress

The foundation of your layered outfit will be a dress. It’s a good idea to stick with a simple design and to not choose a busy pattern. Each layer of clothing that you add to your outfit will add a new color, texture, pattern and design. Unless all of your other layers are plain and you need some pizazz, keep the dress nice and simple, like a blank canvas. White dresses are perfect for layering, so don’t let that old “no white after Labor Day” saying lead you astray.

Loose-fitting dresses are preferable over body-con dresses so that you can let your body breathe a little when the weather warms up in the middle of the day.

what to wear in the fall

Try to stay away from dresses with cut-outs, little to no back coverage, deep necklines and too much shoulder exposure. It’s not that you’re trying to be overly modest, but rather a cool fall breeze will find every inch of bare skin (yes, even under a jacket!) and chill them to the bone. Take our word for it and leave the beach dresses in the closet.

Something cute and simple like the Ariana Mesh Shift Dress is perfect, but in the end, don’t overthink it. Choose whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident!

Add Something to Cover Your Shoulders and Arms

Some people like to wear long-sleeved shirts under dresses, but I find this to be a little stifling. After all, if you get too warm, you cannot remove the shirt very easily. However, wearing a long-sleeved shirt over your dress works out much better and makes it look like you’re simply wearing a skirt.

But I prefer to choose a jacket, cardigan or sweater for this layer. If you’re quite concerned about the cold, add a vest first for an additional layer of warmth.

Jackets that fall to your waist line are ideal so that the skirt of your dress has plenty of room to poof, twirl and flow. It’s also wise to choose a button-down instead of a pullover, so that you have the option of keeping it open when you feel warm, or buttoning up against the cold.

It’s even better if your jacket or cardigan has pockets! Sometimes wearing gloves is overkill, but that doesn’t mean your hands won’t get cold.


Add a Scarf

Choose your favorite scarf to keep your neck and chest extra warm. Scarves add a wonderful layer of protection on a windy day. Don’t opt for the mega-warm, knitted variety just yet. Silk scarves are okay, but Pashminas are even better. There are dozens of ways to tie them, so they can look like a work of art while also serving a practical purpose.

Final Touches

Consider wearing a beanie or other head-hugging hat, and don’t forget to pick out your favorite boots! Pick out your purse, add a couple chunky rings or earrings, and you’re all set. The scarf and jacket can be removed or added throughout the day as needed, and you should be able to always strike a balance between being too hot or too cold.

Coordinating all of these layers into an outfit that doesn’t look mish-mashed is part of the fun. But don’t be afraid to be bold! So neon green isn’t really a fall color; wear your favorite scarf anyway! Your clothes are an expression of yourself and should instill confidence in you. They are also one of the first things people will notice about you, so stay true to yourself for a great first impression.

Cathy Habas Cathy Habas is a Louisville-based freelance writer specializing in fashion, health and home improvement. She received her degree in English from Indiana University Southeast in 2014. Learn more about Cathy and get in touch with her at

Tips For Reducing Food Waste

Today’s post was written by my guest blogger, Ella Andrews

No matter what kind of monthly rubbish clearance routine you have and regardless of the junk removal you do every week, if you’re not taking care of food waste properly, you are doing a disservice to this planet.

Food waste is a huge issue with millions of tons of food being thrown out every year in homes across the globe. With a few smart tricks and savvy tips, you can utilize leftovers, dispose of food scraps efficiently, recycle and reuse what you already have. Save money, eat better and be eco-friendly by reducing food wastage.


Here are some tips that might help you handle your waste recycling better. Waste disposal is not the answer to everything, sometimes you do need to make an effort and use any method to help the planet.

1. Do your food shopping after meals.

If you shop on a full stomach, chances are you’ll buy less and buy only those items that you need. This is also effective in preventing impulse buying sprees. The fact is, everything seems much more tempting when you have an empty stomach. So you stock up on foods that are either unhealthy or unnecessary as you probably won’t consume them for ages and they’ll gather dust in your pantry.

2. Go for bulk buying.

Bulk buying comes in handy in many ways. You get a steep discount and you save money. Plus you end up with less packaging for your waste disposal system; reducing your carbon footprint too. Just remember to check expiry dates and buy only what you need. fresh fruit from market

3. Recycling food at home by reusing leftovers

Don’t throw away leftovers – there are many delicious recipes that you could whip up in minutes with leftovers from previous meals. You could make smoothies with leftover fruits, sandwiches with fillings and so many other items. Search online for cool ideas.

4. Share your food with everyone.

If you’ve too many apples at home, make smoothies and invite your friends and family over. Or if you like to bake, make apple cobblers or pies and pass them to neighbors and colleagues at work. Everyone will adore you for the scrumptious food and you get rid of the food without wasting it – win-win!

Incorporate these waste recycling tips and see how better your waste clearance will be without all the actual wasting. You merely need to put in a small effort and instead of treating food leftovers like junk collections waiting to be disposed, think of them as something you can still use, even if simply for composting. There is always something you can do – simply think a bit and see what that something is.

Reduce Your Food Wastage with These Handy Tips

Bio: Ella Andrews is dedicated writer and blogger, who has great flair for home improving and home maintenance projects. She is constantly searching for new sources of inspiration. Her present article is focused on reducing food wastage. For more helpful household related tips visit:

guest post disclaimer

8 Healthy Habits You’re Not Doing (But You Need To Be)

8 Healthy Habits You’re Not Doing (But You Need To Be)

By: Darci Maxwell


Jim Rohn said “Take care of your body.  It’s the only place you have to live.”  While we all want to take care of our bodies, we tend to get a little lazy here and there, neglecting do many necessary things to keep us healthy.  We all do it – our lives become hectic and we decide that we don’t have time to do the little things, or we simply forget.  Unfortunately, neglecting these little things takes a toll on our overall health.  Make a change today by finding time to create the eight healthy habits below.

Getting Enough Sleep

We are all culprits of not sleeping enough.  Some people see it as a waste of time, others just can’t seem to find the time to do it.  Research, however, has proven that getting enough sleep will help you be more successful throughout the day.  It sharpens your mind, eases stress, decreases the risk of accident and injury, and increases the chance of developing diseases such as heart disease and cancer. 

To help yourself sleep better, don’t drink alcohol or coffee for four hours before bed. Create a bedtime routine that starts one hour before you want to be in asleep to help you wind down.  Turn off all electronics during this time.  Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, regardless of whether or not you need to.  Exercise more often to help you sleep better at night. 

Flossing Your Teeth

While half of all Americans brush their teeth about once a day, nearly 80% of don’t floss their teeth.  Your toothbrush cannot reach every crack and crevice between your teeth, and if you do not floss, it increases the risk of plaque, gingivitis, and cavities.  If your gums bleed whether you are in a dentist’s chair or just when you floss at home, it is an indicator that you are not properly taking care of your teeth.  You should be brushing and flossing twice per day for optimum dental care. 

8 healthy habits

Drinking Enough Water

How much water do you drink a day?  A cup? Two cups?  It is recommended that you drink ½ oz to 1 oz of water for every pound that you weigh, every day.  So if you weigh 145 lbs, you should drink about 70-145 ounces of water a day. Of course, that range depends on your circumstances.  You need to drink more water if you are exercising or if you are out in the sun than if you are sitting at your desk.  

Fortunately, all of this liquid does not have to come from just drinking water.  You can drink juice, eat soup, or eat a popsicle, just make sure that you avoid alcohol and soda as those can dehydrate you more.  Remember that if you only drink water when you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.  Sip water throughout the day for a healthier life.

drink plenty of water

Washing Your Face

We all know the importance of washing your face, but few people actually do it every night.  During the day, your face collects dirt, dust, bacteria, and more.  Washing your face every night with lukewarm water will remove any buildup that you have accumulated throughout the day. 

Massage a gentle cleanser into your face for thirty seconds to a minute to properly clean the face.  Rinse with water and pat dry.  Rubbing dry can damage your skin and create wrinkles.

Cleaning Under Your Nails

Finger and toe nails are one of the germiest places on our bodies, but we rarely take care of them the way we should.  The black gunk under your fingernails is dirt, lint, keratin debris from your nail, as well as skin cells.  If it is every green, that means that you have bacteria living under your nails.  You need to be extra vigilant in taking care of your nails if you have artificial nails as there are tiny spaces perfect for bacteria growth. 

Put soap in the palm of your hand and scrub your nails clean in a circular motion, using your palm.  If the buildup is particularly bad, you can sweep under them with an orange stick.  Be gentle when cleaning under your nails because you can separate your nail from the nail bed if you are too rough. 

Leaving Your Face Alone

Resting your hands on your face at work, picking your face, or just touching your face is terrible for your skin.  There is a lot of oil and bacteria on your hands, so leave your face alone.  Picking your face will actually make you break out more, break down your collagen, cause scarring, spread bacteria, and make it more difficult for your skin to heal.  Touching your face, like picking your face, also spreads bacteria. Find something else for your non-dominant hand to do while you’re scrolling through your social media feed, like playing with a spinning ring or twiddling a pencil. 


It is recommended that you exercise 30 minutes a day 6 days a week.  However, very few people actually find the time to do so.  Exercising decreases the risk of many diseases, and helps you stay young and healthy.   To help you exercise more often, keep an extra change of workout clothes in your car, buy clothes that you like, follow a fitness guru on social media, and set daily reminders on your phone. 

exercise outdoors

Spending Time Outdoors

Being trapped at a desk during your 9-5 job can make it difficult to see the sunshine, let alone spend time in nature.  Spending time outside can help boost your focus, creativity, improve your mood and self-esteem, increase your Vitamin D levels, as well as heal your body and soul.  The earth has a negative charge, and “plugging in” to the earth (by walking barefoot in the grass or sand) can help rejuvenate your body. 

Take an afternoon walk, eat outside, exercise outside instead of in a gym, or just go sit on your porch for a few minutes.  Even spending five minutes a day outside can change your life.

Partnership Banner

Patricia Dean-Escoto | Guest Post

Hello Friends and Happy Monday!

Today, I have the privilege of presenting to you a guest post written by Patricia Dean-Escoto.  In April, Patricia began a book blog tour to introduce the creation of the “My Breast Cancer Advocate”  app.  

She is also the author of The Top Ten Super Foods for Preventing Breast Cancer and has given us one of her favorite recipes to make a tasty and nutritious, green smoothie using coconut and kale!



Patricia Dean-Escoto is a certified nutrition consultant and breast cancer survivor.  She holds a master’s degree in education and has more than 20 years of experience working in both the field of education and healthcare.  In 2006, after being diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, Patricia returned to school to study nutrition and completed studies at Bauman College for her certification as a nutrition consultant.    

Recently, she hosted a year-long radio show called Pathways to Healing on the Voice America network where she interviewed experts in the field of health and wellness.  Patricia is author of The Top Ten Superfoods for Preventing Breast Cancer‘ and creator of the My Breast Cancer Advocate app which is designed to assist those who are newly diagnosed with or recovering from breast cancer. Her company, Pathways2healing, works exclusively with cancer patients in the area of nutrition and exercise.  She lectures both locally and nationally on the topic of nutrition and cancer prevention.  

The My Breast Cancer Advocate app can be downloaded using these links: 


To learn more about Patricia and her work, please feel free to contact her at via these Social Media Networks:


Making the Case for the Coconut



We have been conditioned to believe that all saturated fats raise our cholesterol. Besides butter, no other saturated fat has been more vilified than the coconut.  For decades, we were discouraged from eating it and told, that it not only contained bad fats, but that, it would make us fat.  All of this was done to promote the sale of the actual villain in our diet – margarine.

However, nothing can be further from the truth. Coconuts, in all of their forms, are one of the most beneficial, microbial and anti-fungal foods we can eat. In addition, several studies have shown that coconuts not only raise good cholesterol (HDL), but they also are instrumental in lowering glucose levels associated with diabetes.

Coconut Oil and your Heart

A study published in the Philippine Journal of Internal Medicine demonstrated that populations such as those found in Polynesia or Sri-Lanka, who consumed coconuts on a regular basis, do not have higher serum cholesterol levels nor do they have a higher incidence of heart disease. This is most likely due to the fact that the saturated fat in coconut oil is completely different from most saturated fats found in foods like animal products.  Most fats in our diet today are made up of long-chained fatty acids, which are stored in the body as fat and in the arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol.

Unlike these types of saturated fats, coconut oil contains a unique form of fat that is composed of medium-chained triglycerides (MCT).   Due to their chemical structure, MCTs, which are smaller, actually pass through cell membranes easily and therefore are easily digested, without using extra enzymes in the process.  As a result, MCTs are sent directly to the liver, where they are immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat in our blood cells.

Coconut Oil and Diabetes

A study conducted at the Sydney Garver Institute of Medical Research discovered that a diet rich in coconut oil protects against insulin resistance.  Additionally, this type of diet avoids accumulation of body fat that is associated with other high-fat diets. Both of these factors are important because obesity and insulin resistance are major factors leading to the development of type2 diabetes. Furthermore, coconut oil is one of the only oils (walnut oil is the other) that retain its molecular structure when heated at high temperatures. All other oils, including olive oil, will break down, thereby releasing toxic chemicals into our foods as they are heated.

Additional Benefits

In addition to promoting heart health, coconut oil has been studied for its beneficial aid in weight loss.  It is thought that the benefits are derived, again, from its composition of MCT.  Because coconut’s medium-chain fats are easily absorbed and used as energy, it actually increases the body’s metabolic rate inducting weight loss.  One such study found that while the consumption of long-chain fatty acid metabolic conversion contributed to a weight loss of 66 calories in participants, MCT consumption translates to 120 calories burned!

Coconuts can be consumed in many forms.  One thing I like to do is to add a handful of coconuts to my morning or after workout shakes.  Additionally, instead of using milk in these shakes, I either use unsweetened coconut milk or coconut water.  You can also use coconut flour as a substitute for baking.  It adds a wonderfully nutty flavor to muffins and biscuits.

Here is my favorite morning smoothie using coconut water.  Enjoy!

green smoothie

Tropical Kale Smoothie:

Serves 2. 274 calories

Baby kale (2-cups),

Pineapple (1-cup fresh),

Orange (1-whole),

Mango (1-cup fresh),

Chia seeds (2-T),),

Unsweetened coconut water (1-cup),

Crushed ice (1-cup).

Add all ingredients in a blender in the order listed.  Blend these and gradually increase the speed to high then continue blending for 30 seconds.



Love/Avon Army of Women | Guest Post

Each year, 19,000 new cases of breast cancer occur among African American women. That’s 19,000 too many.

According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year survival rate of breast cancer for African American women is 77%, compared to white women’s rate of 90%. In addition, African American women are more likely to develop breast cancer at a younger age, and we tend to develop more aggressive tumors, which are harder and more expensive to treat.

Enter Dr. Kathleen Arcaro from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She studies breast cancer by studying breastmilk, which is full of breast cells key in figuring out how breast cancer develops. Over the past ten years she’s worked to improve our understanding of breast cancer risk, and her findings may lead to new screening, prevention, and treatment strategies.

The problem? Black women are underrepresented in the research. As a result, findings that work for white women or women with less aggressive forms of breast cancer, don’t work for the majority of black women grappling with the disease.

To ensure her findings are applicable to women of all races, she has been working to recruit African American women for the Love/Avon Army of Women, a project aiming to recruit one million women to sign up to participate in breast cancer research (if they choose to do so). By signing up, participants will receive an email newsletter with breast cancer research opportunities. Some research is as simple as a questionnaire or a phone interview.

Having African American women well represented in the breast cancer research is key, for her research and many others.’ So Dr. Arcaro hopes black women will sign up for the Army of Women (and be sure to select “breast milk study” as the referral type to help track the impact).

You can learn more about Dr. Arcaro’s work, and see if you or other women you know might qualify for one of her studies, at the website of the UMass Breastmilk Lab, and follow the lab on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest


Join the Cause