Be Your Most Beautiful this Holiday

I love holiday parties!  Not only do we get to spend time with friends that we don’t frequently see, but it is one of the few times during the year that we get to dress at our most festive!  This presents opportunities as well as challenges.0474189808571_247x329

I have previously discussed some comments from an interview about the company holiday party but they bear repeating.  One man shared that a female colleague with whom he had worked on projects and admired greatly for her expertise, wore a particularly seductive dress to the company party.  He stated that he never again saw her in the same light – he always pictured her in that seductive attire.  Yikes!  To think that years of education and expertise can be thrown away in a moment by creating the wrong image.  Although most company parties will now be history, New Years parties are coming and some of the principles are pertinent to any holiday party.   

0474859616659_247x329I looked through several web sites to get a flavor of what is available this year and was delighted to find that most everyone can find a beautiful dress that would be lovely for each body shape and personal style.  I selected several examples from the Saks web site to feature.

This beautiful orange-red lace dress is ideal for an elegant, feminine wearer.  This style would be lovely on most body shapes with the exception of an oval or a triangle with much wider hips than shoulders.  The warm tone of red will be ideal for someone with warm skin tones.  I like the gold evening sandals.

The simple black sheath with lace sleeves and yolk will also be becoming for similar body shapes to the red lace.  This lace sleeve is ideal for ladies who prefer not to show their arms.  This dress would be especially flattering for an inverted triangle, drawing attention up to the face without drawing attention to the shoulders.  It could be accessorized with drop earrings if the hair is pulled back.  The black evening shoes are a good choice with dark hair, otherwise, I would choose gold or even a neutral sandal that relates to the hair color.0422997228807_247x329

The midnight blue is an ideal choice for a triangle whose hips and/or thighs are noticeably wider than the shoulders.  If one wore short hair or had their hair pulled back, a lovely necklace or drop earrings would be a beautiful accent.

I selected this multi print for the creative dresser.  If you like to be a little off the grid and show your unique style, this is an example of one way to pull this off.  To wear a print this bold, you will need a lot of presence and strong coloring.  If you have the presence but soft coloring, choose less color contrast.  You could even choose an unusual color combination.   The key is for you to be the center of attention — not the dress.  These pumps appear more daytime than evening so I would choose evening sandals, following the guidelines previous mentioned.

0437691856768_247x329There are many excellent choices for beautiful, tasteful evening attire that will be perfect for you.  Whether shopping at resale shops, Target or Saks Fifth Avenue, you can look fabulous on your budgetDon’t forget to add the perfect little evening bag to complete your look!

A Heart Overflowing With Thanks

A Heart Overflowing with Thanks

Thanksgiving week.  We have never had a traditional celebration for Thanksgiving so it’s always a bit of a surprise as how we will spend this special day.  This year more than ever.  When daughter, Cyndi, invited us to Nashville, we were looking forward to time with her and her husband.

Monday, after running errands, I burst into the house carrying some fairly heavy things and was greeted with a mild pain across my chest.  This was not that unusual as that same discomfort would sometimes occur while briskly walking uphill.  I have always just slowed down or stopped for a moment and the discomfort disappeared.  This time, I put down my burdens, breathed deeply but the pain did not go away.  I told my husband what was happening and lay down.  He remembered that my doctor had given me nitroglycerin as a precaution before we went to France.  We placed the pill under my tongue and the discomfort subsided but did not disappear.  We called the help nurse at Kaiser who talked us through various steps.  The pain diminished and finally disappeared but it was concerning as it had endured for a several minutes.  Very unusual.  When the nurse was assured that I was okay, she told me to have my husband drive me to Piedmont Hospital.  We dutifully obeyed.  After all, it was almost within walking distance.

At Piedmont, it seemed that everyone else in Atlanta had been told the same thing.  The waiting room was packed to overflowing.  Time dragged on, punctuated by one test, wait, another test, longer wait.   About midnight a fresh doctor arrived and advised me that I should have the heart catheterization procedure, to accurately  identify if there was blockage and to what degree.  He was very persuasive.  Finally, they found me a bed in ER and a couple of tests later, a real bed became available so I was officially admitted to the hospital about 1 AM.    With the holiday, it had been unknown how long I would have to wait for the test but amazingly, I was first on the schedule – 7 AM.    A great joy was the arrival of my son, Todd, who lives in Powder Springs and the surprise of Cyndi’s arrival from Nashville.   Great support for Joe as well.

Going into the catheterization, I was thinking I probably had some blockage and most likely would have a stent.  The test was surreal – I was on the table then suddenly, it was over.  But nothing had been done.  The test showed 80% – 90% blockage on all arteries!  Next step, by-pass surgery.

The next days were a blur or tests, visits from different medical personnel and wonderful, loving care from the excellent nursing staff.   When I think of how rude and hateful much of society has become, this was the antithesis.  Beauty comes in many colors and these care-givers exuded beauty from deep within.  Adorable Katie, whose spontaneous giggle lighted up the room.  Billie Jo, the young grandmother who climbed under a table to get something we needed when the room was too crowded.  You could see her zipping up and down the halls making things happen, yet, always focused on the patient.  Precious Mary, from Kenya, who instilled confidence just by her presence.

At no time did I feel any fear or concern, instead there was such a sense of peace as if being in a cocoon held by angels.  Prayers were felt – deeply.   How I treasure  loving friendships.  My precious family was my rock.  Dear friend Jay Austin was such a support.

Thanksgiving morning the doctor performed four by-passes.  He then hung around the recovery room with my family telling them how well the surgery had gone and that my body is totally healthy – it was just those pesky arteries that I had drawn the short straw in choosing which genes to inherit.

That night, when I was finally taken to my room, I noticed that Cyndi had written on the white-board where the nurses wrote their names and call numbers:

“Greatest Thanksgiving ever.”

Yes, it was.