Fashion and Fun after Fifty

Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

My Date with 3 Men

I have been wanting a date with these three men for such a long time and Sunday I finally got a chance. 

my date with three men

Malik came home Friday for Spring Break from Bowie State University, hubby is feeling strong enough and comfortable enough to be around crowds after a long winter of Chemo treatments and Tayair decided to hang out with us as well.

Blake and Malik our oldest son, Tayair


Many thanks to Johnnie Lonon, who you will remember was featured in my “Millennials Making History” blog feature, but in case you missed it, click here to read the post.  Johnnie is an Account Executive for the 76ers and he invited us to a game. 

I know all about the Sixer’s record but going to one of their home games in Philly wasn’t all about the game or even the team, it was getting in some family time with my three men.

Philadelphia 76ers SUV Sixers Scoreboard

As a mother of sons, my heart is always with them even when they leave home and often times it is very difficult to view them as grown or almost grown men…I can still feel their little hands grabbing me around the leg!

Our youngest son at the 76ers game

Life has a way of flying by even when you aren’t having fun and those precious family times become fleeting which is why I try to grab a few when I can.  So not only did I have a date with my hubby and 2 sons on Sunday, but I also got a date with my youngest on Saturday when he and I went shopping at Goodwill, Plato’s Closet and the Dover Mall…despite the fact I had to pay for everything.  

Although he probably wanted to be with his buddies, if you look at his face you will see that he had as much fun as I did yet my heart was much more full!

shopping at Goodwill shopping at Plato's Closet

The date at the Wells Fargo Center was nice, the dinner was alright, $8 slices of pizza and $7 sodas, but the best part was just being with my three men #blessed

8.00 slice of pizza


Wells Fargo Center in Philly

Okay, so how many of you moms of mini men can relate, chime in and leave me a comment.

Political History Made in America and at Home

Question of the week:  Can Political History be made again in America?

I can still remember the excitement of the day when my son and I entered the voting booth at Cedar Lane Elementary School in Middletown, Delaware.  I held his hand as we pulled back the  curtains and together pressed the button to vote for then Senator Barack Obama.  

Political history was being made in America because an African American man was on the ballot; and political history was being made at home because my son had entered the voting booth for the very first time!

President Obama in 2008

Our son, Tayair, who at the time was 16 years old was too young to actually cast a vote or truly understand the significance of being in that booth.  However, for me the pride was immeasurable causing my heart to swell and my eyes to fill with tears.

The United States presidential election was held on Tuesday, November 4, 2008. Democratic Party nominee Senator Barack Obama and running mate Senator Joe Biden defeated Republican Party nominee Senator John McCain and running mate Governor Sarah Palin a wonderful day in American politics. 

President Obama and family

Did you know that President Obama’s total vote amount of 69.5 million votes was the highest amount ever won by a presidential candidate. The total of 131 million votes cast in the election represents over 43% of the total U.S. population, the highest share of any presidential election in U.S. history!

President Obama Votes

In 2012, when President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, a Delaware native, ran for re-election my son was old enough to vote.  It was truly a proud day for me to watch him walk into that booth and on his own press the button to cast a vote for President Barack Obama.

To Tayair and our youngest son Malik, having an African American President in the White House may not seem like a big deal, but in a few short months each of them will have an opportunity to cast a vote for either the first female President or the oldest President of the United States.

voting for President Obama in 2012

It only seems fitting that this summer the DNC convention is being held in Philadelphia, the “City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection” and it’s even more exciting knowing that just up the road on Interstate 95, history will once again be made in our country. 

What our sons take for granted will one day be taught to their own children then perhaps they will understand the monumental significance of it all.  

The historical events in American politics may never seem as exciting to them as it did for us.  And unfortunately, they will never feel the emotions tied to it, however, the excitement of the election in 2008 and then the re-election in 2012 will forever be ingrained in my mind.

voting in 2012

It will be a sad day when President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama leave the White House, but I trust and believe (as well as pray) that their Democratic predecessors will continue to fight for all Americans.

The Obamas in the white house

Despite the obstruction and overt disrespect for the office and that of President Barack Hussein Obama, I know we will look back on these days as some of the greatest times in American history.

President Barack Obama

History in the making

Hillary and Bernie at the debates

Hillary Clinton for America logo

Bernie for President



Boots on the Ground in Philadelphia ~ Women Get Social ~ #WGSPhilly


The military may not want boots on the ground in every battle, but if you want to win in the blogging world you definitely need boots on the ground.

Last weekend at the Doubletree Hotel in Philadelphia there were many boots on the ground thanks to the SITSGirls and their 2014 Bloggy Boot Camp.

Ladies let me be honest with you, if you are serious about turning your blog from a hobby into a business then I highly recommend you make the investment and attend a Bloggy Boot Camp. I don’t care if you have 1 follower or 1 million followers, I guarantee you’ll learn something that will make you a better blogger.

Oh and by the way…the investment is a tax write off!

This post is not going to be a full blown recap of all the weekend activities because you personally need to attend a Boot Camp in order to fully appreciate it.  I will however, provide a brief synopsis on what I took away from each of the presenters and then suggest you find and follow them on their Social Media Networks.

Bloggy Boot Camp 2014

Day 1

I arrived at the hotel around 1:30 Friday afternoon and after retrieving my badge from the Registration table I participated in the @LGUS #MomConfessions photo booth. This was a fun way to break the ice and meet new bloggers as well as reconnect with others.


The first session began a little after 2:00 p.m. with Angela Smith, Danielle Smith and Allison Talamantez, an awesome trio of panelist who answered questions posed to them by SITSGirls founder Tiffany Romero.  We learned more on how to work with brands as well as what they are looking for when partnering with bloggers.

The session was very informative and timely and it gave us an opportunity to hear the information first hand. Angela Smith is the Senior Brand Manager, Home Appliances Division of LGUS.

Bloggy Boot Camp Panelists

Assigned numbers were printed on our name badges and with each break we moved to another table giving us an opportunity to meet even more bloggers.  It was an excellent way to  expand the SITSGirls circle and a chance to exchange more of our business cards, because you know most of us brought more than 100! Bloggy Boot Camp tablemates

It was great meeting fellow BLMGirls including Monet from Curls and Mo and Kemi from Beauty.Style.Growthwe became thick as thieves throughout the weekend!

Monet and I

blm girls

The afternoon program continued with a presentation from Tiffany and Francesca Banducci, on the Art of the Sponsored Post.  My ears perked up during this portion as they spoke about the importance of having a professional and impactful blog.  Tiffany and Francesca discussed first impressions of the  “About Me” page, the use of large images, hashtags, Media Kits, bit links, deadlines, reviews, sponsored posts and why “Content is King“.  Didn’t I tell you this Boot Camp was well worth the investment, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Tiffany and Francesca

After a short break, Courtney Slazinik gave photography tips and techniques emphasizing that your best photo(s) can increase audience viewership or even go viral on the internet.  She definitely has some beautiful photos and because of that, has worked with various agencies and magazines throughout her blogging career.

Working Smarter Not Harder” is the end game and this motivational presentation was tag-teamed by Tiffany and Danielle.

Closing Remarks before the LG Cocktail Reception were given by Angela, then the hors-doeuvres, drinks and laughter began.  It was the perfect ending to Day 1 of the SITSGirls Bloggy Boot Camp.

Angela Smith, Brand Manager #LGUS Tiffany and I foodie fun! taking a break #momconfessions Branding with @LG
  Brand Representation #LGUS Having too much fun with @LG demos

The sponsors of Bloggy Boot Camp were @LGUS and @MirassouWinery and both had display setups with small takeaways.  Angela and Dave each gave informative and entertaining presentations, not only the history of their companies but also of their enthusiasm for working with bloggers.

LG and Mirassou displays

Dave speaking at Mirassou Reception

Day 2

Breakfast began at 8:15 am and our guest speaker was Nell Merlino, President and Founder of Count Me In and creator of “Take Your Daughters To Work”.  If you are old enough to remember the sitcom “Maude”, then you will understand it when I say that Nell is just as determined, strong, outgoing and entertaining as she was.  A wonderful woman who gave an exceptional presentation on making your blog and yourself New, Better and Different.

Nell Merlino


Our next speaker was LC Johnson, of Colored Girls Confidential.  LC talked about various income streams, being audience specific, investing time upfront and constantly driving traffic to your blog.    LC is a highly energetic speaker who kept our attention from the beginning to the end with her true life stories and colloquialisms.

LC Johnson


The only male member in attendance was Hudson Crier, he along with his wife Emily presented the Business of Blogging.  Topics covered were Branding, Research, Finance, Operations and Networks, all very important aspects for any blogger.  Specific emphasis was also placed on analytics and SEO.

Hudson and Emily Crier

Social Media Strategy was presented by Cynthia Wheeler who shared her journey of transforming from being a “mom blogger” into a Social Media Ninja!  Cyn provided tips and techniques on becoming a Social Media Consultant, various pay rates as well as the importance of a good web design.


 Lunch was another opportunity to sit and chat with fellow bloggers, and I used some of the time to pick the brains of a few “experts“…ladies you know who you are!

lunch break

After a delicious meal we literally jumped right back into it, including doing the “Hokey Pokey” led by Angele LaFond of Shoebox Be Gone!  By the time Angele finished her presentation on social media and the tax laws including which blogging expenses were tax deductible, I was literally doing another dance called – “hey, I didn’t know that”, mixed in with a little, “say what!”

Angele Lafond

The afternoon steam rolled with another tag team presentation on Building Traffic Through Amplification using the 5 major social media platforms followed by Freelance Writing and Beyond with Sarah Maizes discussing how to build an online portfolio and credentials; then finally a Power Down session with Tiffany and Danielle who emphasized the importance of not having your blog overtake your life.

Remember to spend time with your family, have regular sex with your husband and always take care of yourself!

Building Traffic Through Amplification

Sarah Maizes

Power Down with Tiffany and Danielle Bloggy Boot Camp was my first conference and not only did I have fun networking with other bloggers but I also left with the motivation and determination to become more focused so that I can turn my blog into a successful business.

Of course the delicious foods and the Wine Tasting Party helped to make it a perfect weekend in the “City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection”


Thanks to the SITSGirls Bloggy Boot Camp I’m now ready to take my blog to the next level and soon you will see some changes and then… I'M A SUNSET RED WINE GAL get ready to watch me in prime time on You Tube as I forge into the wonderful world of vlogging!

wine time

Monet and I Angele Lafond and I LC and Me Nell and I

I am so thankful that I invested in myself and suggest you do the same!

Stay Blessed – No Stress in 2014!


Weekend Wind-Down Party #35 | Back To School

Hello friends and Happy Fri-Yay!

Welcome to the Weekend Wind-Down Link Party #35



I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day Holiday and to all of the parents out there who have kids back in school I know you are doing the HAPPY DANCE!

Back to School Funny Staples Commercial

I am attending my first SITS Bloggy Boot Camp today in Philadelphia, so follow me on Instagram to check out the highlights!


Pure Grace Farms

Pure Grace Farms


The Organized Dream

The Organized Dream

Carrie This Home

Carrie This Home

Feel free to copy and paste this button onto your blog and follow the party on Pinterest as you are also featured there.



link party hosts rules to follow edited

De Divah Deals


Snippets of Inspiration


A Living Sacrifice


 Mustard Seed Mommy


 Moms Who Save 


its a boy balloon

Congratulations to our fellow host Danielle, as she recently gave birth to a health baby boy – Adam Clarke Wells was born on August 27th at 8:45am, weighing 8.8 pounds and was 20.5 inches long!

Have a wonderful weekend – Stay Blessed ~ No Stress in 2014!



Texting Tuesday in the Cold

Hello Friends and Happy Texting Tuesday

I recently read an article about touch screen gloves by The North Face company that allows users to use their Smartphones to text in the cold weather without having to remove them.  Being the frugal fashionista that I am, I doubt if I’ll ever purchase a pair considering the $45 cost and the fact that I really do not need them.  I don’t live in New York City or Philadelphia, my commute is in the car which of course is a no texting while driving zone, so for the short amount of time I do spend outdoors, I think my fingers can handle it.

Texting in the cold

Today’s dress for less outfit is accented by a pink suede jacket from GW Boutique (Goodwill) and faux suede loafers from Wally World (Walmart) that I DIY studded.

DIY Studded Loafers

Pink is obviously one of my favorite colors as evidenced by my OtterBox cell phone shell.

Thrifted Suede Jacket from Goodwill

Slacks and scarf are closet staples and polka dot top is also thrifted from GW Boutique.

Slacks and Scarf - closet staples

Cell Phone Shell from OtterBox

What do you think, would you purchase a pair of the touchscreen gloves or do you already have a pair?

Today I am linking up with Thrifters Anonymous.

Stay Blessed ~ No Stress in 2014!


Thankful Thursday

Hello Friends and Happy Thankful Thursday

Last week I was thankful for the opportunity to have met the beautiful and “blessed with success” owner of Lai Renise Boutique, Nadira Alston.  Lai Renise Boutique is located on the 2nd floor of 11 West Main Street in Middletown.

Nadria and her family relocated from Philadelphia where she started and still operates a successful online boutique with clients from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Delaware.   She moved to Delaware and on the 3rd of May opened Lai Renise which is partially named after her daughter.  

Lai Renise is a high end yet affordable shop for women looking for something special or a one of a kind outfit.  Nadira offers a personal shopping experience and hosts Trunk Shows in which family and friends gather for wonderful evening of shopping and styling.



Thrifting during Thanksgiving Break 040 Nadira had always dreamed of operating a brick and mortar shop and was blessed to have found this location which was previously a dance studio.  The mirrored walls were already in place so she just added the shelving to showcase the beautiful handbags and accessories with brands like Big Buddah Bags, Betsy Johnson, Vieta and Russ Jewelry.

Nadira also runs a full time Ministry and enjoys working with young women in empowerment and positive transformation.  On Saturday from 4:30 to 8:30 she is hosting “Daughter’s of Excellence Annual Dessert Cafe” a fellowship featuring an Open-Mic, Singing, Poetry and Storytelling at 14 West Main Street.  For more information please send an email to

Thrifting during Thanksgiving Break 043 Thrifting during Thanksgiving Break 044 Thrifting during Thanksgiving Break 045 Thrifting during Thanksgiving Break 046 Thrifting during Thanksgiving Break 047

In honor of #ShopSmall Saturday I treated myself to a Big Buddah Handbag – it was a tough decision but I purchased the black one.

Thrifting during Thanksgiving Break 050

Thrifting during Thanksgiving Break 052

 Now it’s your turn – what are you thankful for this week?


Kevin Hart Gives Back

Hello Friends and Happy Saturday

You’ve probably heard that comedian and Philadelphia native Kevin Hart who makes people laugh on stage, in movies and on television in the Real Husbands of Hollywood recently gave back to his school district

kevin hart

Kevin Hart, 34, who grew up in the area near 15th Street and Erie Avenue donated 500 Sony touch-screen laptops to the district and the Parks and Recreation Department.. “Literally seeing the kids putting the computers to use put a smile on my face.”

 “I am what I am today because of Philadelphia. This city made me … All of my education came from this city,” Hart told the students and staff at Hartranft School as Mayor Nutter and city and school officials looked on.

Having been successful in stand-up comedy, movies and reality television, Hart said he wanted to help the city with its education challenges.

“You now have the ability to take these computers and do what nobody else can do, which is learn right now,” Hart told the students in the school’s auditorium. “I want you guys to take advantage of this, man. This is something I’m very, very serious about.”

Two hundred computers were given to 27 recreation centers and 300 were donated to eight schools, including Leeds Middle School, McCloskey, Rhodes and Weir.  

Thank you Kevin for giving back, this is a great lesson from which we all should learn.


Friday Foodie Feature – Lean Pockets

Hello Friends and Happy Fri-Yay!

What happens when it’s Friday night and you don’t feel like cooking, ordering pizza or going out and a bowl of cereal just won’t cut it? In our house when that happens we head straight to the garage and to the freezer.  There is where I try to keep microwavable meals and snacks specifically for those occasions and last Friday night it was Lean Pockets Pretzel Bread Sandwiches.

photo (4)

I am not a big proponent of frozen meals & snacks because of the excessive sodium some of them contain but these Lean Pockets brand sandwiches are only 250 calories with 650 mg of sodium which isn’t a lot compared to others that contain well over 1000 mg of sodium.

The Lean Pockets Sandwiches were filled with Spinach and 3  Cheeses, Fontina, Romano and reduced Fat Mozzarella.  I zapped one in the microwave for 2 minutes 30 seconds in the crisping sleeve then cut it in half.  It didn’t seem like it had a lot of filling and could have had more spinach, but to my surprise it was quite good and hit the spot. The soft pretzel bread encased a flavorful mix of spinach and cheeses that paired well with my glass of Friday night wine!

photo (3) photo (2) photo (1)


Speaking of wine, I want to reintroduce my “play cousin” Cook E doe Face.  She is a down to earth YouTube Vlogger who will have you in stitches as you watch her create some delicious dishes and “knock you on your butt cocktails”.

Cook E de Face is from Philly and I fell in love with her atty-tud (Philly slang) from the very first video I watched.  In today’s world it is so easy to get caught up in the negativity but you know me, I like to keep it light.  Cook E doe Face has me laughing out loud and reminds me of my own New York cousins.  If it were left up to me she would definitely have a show on the Food or OWN Network!

Check out this recipe for Flatline Cocktail.


Have a fantastical day – Smooches!


OOTD – Red White & Polka Dot Blue

Hello friends

I hope you are enjoying the day and all is good in your neighborhood.  I still haven’t decided as to where we will be going to see fireworks.  We will either go to Wilmington and see Macy Gray, or downtown Middletown or maybe just stay home and watch WaWa Welcome America featuring Kevin Hart, The Roots, Ne-Yo, Jill Scott, and others.

  Where do you go to see 4th of July fireworks?

OOTD 7 3 13 003

This is what I wore to work yesterday, how do you like my Red White & (Polka Dot) Blue outfit?

OOTD 7 3 13 004

Top – Ross // Jeans – JCPenney

OOTD 7 3 13 005

Sandals – Ross // Watch – Avon

OOTD 7 3 13 009


Be safe – Smooches!


OOTD – Red White & Polka Dot Blue

Hello friends

I hope you are enjoying the day and all is good in your neighborhood.  I still haven’t decided as to where we will be going to see fireworks.  We will either go to Wilmington and see Macy Gray, or downtown Middletown or maybe just stay home and watch WaWa Welcome America featuring Kevin Hart, The Roots, Ne-Yo, Jill Scott, and others.

  Where do you go to see 4th of July fireworks?

OOTD 7 3 13 003

This is what I wore to work yesterday, how do you like my Red White & (Polka Dot) Blue outfit?

OOTD 7 3 13 004

Top – Ross // Jeans – JCPenney

OOTD 7 3 13 005

Sandals – Ross // Watch – Avon

OOTD 7 3 13 009


Be safe – Smooches!