Happy Thanksgiving (B/O)




I’m thankful for so many things in my life. Although I love fashion and enjoy boosting the economy with my purchases, when it comes down to it–what’s important in life is your health and your loved ones…in that order. I’m thankful for my husband Tim, my “kids” and my friends who continue to enrich my life every day.

This print is by James Nelson (the artist). He does amazing renderings of seasonal prints and fashion.

Ladies Who are Elegant


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I’m not a big fan of Angelina Jolie but, I have to admit, that girl knows how to wear clothing.

Accidental Tourist Jolie

I don’t think it matters what she wears–she carries it off with a simple elegance. I loved almost everything she wore in the Accidental Tourist. I can watch that movie over and over–just for her clothing.

Accidental Tourist Jolie 2


The same can be said of Rene Russo in The Thomas Crown Affair. I loved everything she wore.


When I try to define why I think these women look so elegant, I think it comes down to the confidence they exude. They don’t care if you like what they are wearing. These women are confident in their own skin and it shows.

That’s one of the things I like about getting older. I no longer fixate about what people think of me. I’m happy in my skin…it’s taken me years to get to this point. That’s not something you can airbrush.

Cruise Tip #5: Your Dining Options


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[ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS: Rotterdam VI's La Fontaine dining room, cruising to New York.] *** []

When you book your cruise, you request your main dining room seating option, either online or through a travel agent. While other dining options are available (extra surcharge, buffet, or fast food stands), think of this dining room as your main base of operations for dinners.

While they go by various names, depending upon the cruise line, they fall into two of following categories:

  • Freestyle or Flex: This dining option is a newer option that has become very popular in the past 5 years. Essentially, it means that you don’t have a set time–you show up after the dining room opens, and before a set time (usually between 5:30 and 8:30).  It’s a first come, first serve, type of table where you line up at the door for the next available table (that isn’t already reserved by the other category). You don’t choose your table but you can request to be seated alone, or with others. Some cruise lines devote part of the dining room to this dining option as it has become very popular.

The pros of this option are that you have the freedom to decide when to eat dinner each day, you can try out different tables, and sit with different people (or mix it up by sitting by yourselves) each night.

The cons are that you may have to wait in line as you wait for the next available table (this can take up to 45 minutes, depending upon how busy the dining room is), and you don’t get to form a relationship with your wait staff, so you run the risk of having average service. Also, if you have special nutritional needs, you must communicate this every night.

  • Set Dining Times: Still an old tradition, you are assigned a table at one of two set times (you can request to sit by yourself, or join a larger table of others). The typical times are at 6:30 and  8:30 pm (these times vary slightly, depending upon the cruise line). You return to the same table every night.

The pros of this option are that your table is always waiting for you, your wait staff gets to know you and anticipates your needs–providing you with top-notch service, you don’t have to stand in line, and you can plan your activities around a set time for your meal. When you are on vacation, it is one less thing you need to think about each night.

The cons are that you need to book your slot early, as this type of dining fills up fast. The time is not flexible (although you can sometimes move to the other slot). Your table appears on your travel card when you go through the boarding process. If you don’t like your tablemates, you can request a different table for future nights–but you may not get it, depending upon how full the dining room is at that time.

Tip: When we book using the Set Dining Times option, we go to the dining room when we board the ship to see which table we’ve been assigned to. If we don’t like the positioning of the table, we see the host before the first meal–before others who are less savvy have a chance to request a new table. This usually ensures that we don’t get a table beside a buscart, or in a high-traffic alley.


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