Dress French Chic On A Budget

I have always admired French women and the way they put together clothes. A simple white blouse with black tights or pants, colorful scarf and rich looking bag and she is off to work or to meet her friends at a cafe.  Simple, elegant and understated beauty. 

When I look into my closet, I wonder if I need all the colors. Too many blouses, too many dresses, too many jackets and coats. I know I am not alone. We are a consumer society and I know my buying habits are not unique.  

Every day my mailbox is filled with clothing catalogues enticing me to buy something that will make me look like the young, beautiful models inside.  Facebook is becoming filled with products that tell us we just have to have for our next season. In essence, we are constantly being enticed to buy, buy, buy so that we won’t get left behind in the latest fashion trend.

All this started me thinking about the economy and how much we women spend on clothes we probably will wear a few times and then put to the back of our closet.  This led me to thinking about France, their fashion sense and thrift shops. I wondered if I could go to a local Goodwill and shop French style with thrift and utility in mind. 

I will share with you the results of my quest to dress French Chic on recycled clothing. Come along with my daughter and I to see the results.

Copyright Sandra Hart©2017

All Rights Reserved

I Just Love Hats!

My Mother always wore a hat when she went out of the house. Sometimes she even designed and made her own. Maybe as a child my always seeing her look so beautiful in hats…she has passed on her love of hats to me. 

 The reality is that I grew up in a generation where both women and men wore hats. I even got a new Easter bonnet every year to top off my new outfit. I think that hats were always a part of my dress up life way into the sixties when bouffant hair and French twist hair made it impossible to wear a hat without ruining your hairdo.  

My father used to wear a top hat on formal occasions. (Imagine that!) He wore a smart Fedora or Homburg; 1940s men were nothing without a hat. Popular men’s 1940s hats were the Fedora, Trilby, Homburg. A Chesterfield coat, suit and shoes were always finished off with a hat whenever my father left the house. 

Honestly, I really miss those days of hats, but in spite of the rest of the world and trends, I still wear hats. What can I say, I just love hats!

Copyright Sandra Hart 2017© 

All Rights Reserved 

Our Clothes Are A Mirror Of Who We Are

” She had a womanly instinct that clothes possess an influence more powerful over many than the worth of character or the magic of manners.”   Louisa May Alcott

Our clothes and style are a mirror of who we really are, aren’t they?  When we wake up in the morning what we wear indicates how we feel, where we are going and our attitude about the next twelve hours.  

For men more than women, I think, sometimes dressing becomes routine as soon as their feet hit the floor. They throw on their favorite well-worn jeans, T shirt, slip on flip flops, loafers or old sneakers and are ready to face the world and what is out there waiting for them.

Most women are different animals all together. We plan, organize, accessorize and treat clothes as an extension of who we are. Our clothes don’t actually make us, but we make the clothes our own.  

Copyright Sandra Hart© 2017. All Rights Reserved

The Gift Of Caring

 It was the kind of evening when the wind found every opening in my heavy winter wrappings. There was no escaping the chill that went through my bones as I sat on the deck of the Queen Elizabeth as it sailed down the Hudson River toward the Atlantic and the beginning of our 109 day world cruise.

With my beret pulled down over my ears and scarf wrapped around my neck as high as possible, I leaned against the railing facing the winds watching he magnificent New York City skyline, swimming by so slowly.

Weeks before my friends Lou and Cathy who live in the Village vowed they would add to our send-off by signaling to us from the end of the Christopher Street Pier as we sailed by. 

It seemed a great idea at the time, until our sailing was delayed into the darkness and severe winter weather was moving in. So much for a sendoff, I disappointedly thought. Lou would be working and Cathy would be alone.

As we moved along, suddenly I saw a flicker…a blinking beam of bright light coming from the Christopher Pier. Once, twice, three times. She had come. She had come in the darkness and waited in the cold to wish us a bon voyage as she had promised. Cathy’s life was all about the gift of caring. I will always miss you my dear friend.

Copyright Sandra Hart©2007. From Read Between My Lines: What Was I Thinking.           All Rights Reserved 

Jump In With Both Feet


Image by Owen Buggy

Richard Branson, CEO AND FOUNDER of Virgin Group recently posted in a blog: 
“Dreaming is one of humanity’s greatest gifts. It champions aspiration, spurs innovation, leads to change and propels us forward. In a world without dreams, there would be no adventure, no moon landing, no female CEOs, no civil rights. What a half-lived and tragic existence we would have. We should all dream big, and encourage others to do so, too.”

This perspective has been my mantra since I was a teen creating a ‘dream-memory’ board in my bedroom tacking up pictures of things I wanted to happen in my life. Even then I realized that these life events would not just appear like magic. I knew I would have to work hard toward my goals, but those pictures gave me a structure to my dreams and gave me focus. 

My life has had some valleys that I didn’t ask for, side roads that were big detours and extra high mountains I was forced to climb, but those major dreams I had as a teen in her bedroom, mostly came true in varying degrees.   

I have always encouraged my children to follow their dreams, think out of the box and when everyone tells you it can’t be done – prove them wrong by swimming against the tide and DO IT! 

Those are the dreams that come true! When no one believes in your ideas, you believe in yourself and have the last laugh through your success. Nothing stops one’s dreams in their tracks like the power of fear and needing outside approval. If you don’t really believe in your dreams, they will evaporate in all the hot air around you.

 My having lived almost eight decades, I can assure you that if you still have unrequited dreams, it is never too late to make them come true. Jump in will both feet and make them happen. The last laugh will be yours and the naysayers will be left with, “Gee, I should have done that!” Too bad. Their loss. You beat them to it!

Copyright©Sandra Hart 2017

All Rights Reserved.

Elizabeth’s Story

Each encounter we have in our lives creates the fabric from which we are made. 

Copyright©Sandra Hart

All Rights reserved

It’s Never Too Late

It is never too late to follow your dreams no matter how old you are. We all have different chapters in our lives, going to school, choosing a career, earning a living, raising a family and finally planning and enjoying your retirement years. Maybe life’s early realities pushed your dreams aside, but there is no reason you can’t pick up those dreams now and make them happen. Where there is a will, there is a way. Learn to play an instrument, go back to school. If you want it badly enough, you can make it happen. If I can do it, so can you!

THE SHADOW OF MOTHERHOOD 

As mothers, especially a single mother, as was dealt to me with the death of my husband, we sacrifice, nurture and work selflessly with both the heavy weight of parental responsibility and at the same time struggle to embrace the joys that come from raising humans we love like no other then, now and into eternity. Did I ever dream that when they were ready to leave the nest, it would be so far away? 

Diaspora. How times have changed in just one generation. I often envy those families whose children are able to settle near them. It would be so nice to have family gatherings on the spur of the moment. Sunday dinners around the table with grandchildren and extended family members is but a dream for me. Sometimes that is a hard reality to face. 

Fortunately for them, my children have had to move to where their interesting work took them. Unfortunately for me, they are all a long, long drive, or a winged trip away. It’s doable now, but the older I get I think about when it will not be so easy to hop a flight to be near those that I love so dearly.

I moved away from home when I went to college and never called my parents home mine again. I had dreams of my own that couldn’t be realized there. But, honestly, I never thought of how it must have affected my mother. Until lately. The shoe is on the other foot now for me and It doesn’t feel good at all. Isn’t the saying ‘just walk a mile in my shoes’? I now know how my mother must have felt when both of her children never permanently returned to her warm nest. 

They say a good mother raises her children to be able to fly from the nest and spread their wings. Even though we know that is true and the unbridled happiness for our young is real, our mother-wing feathers are plucked bare, knowing life will never be the same. 

In the end I have comfort in knowing that I have been blessed, that part of the way,  they were to walk with me. 

https://youtu.be/K7hMJ8Xvyf4

Music by Emerson Hart and Tonic©

 Life and thoughts and just about everything under the sun. The only order to it is life itself as lived. Natural chaos! I am married and have three grown children who are interested in breeding horses, flying and creating. My youngest is the lead singer/songwriter of the Grammy nominated band, Tonic, Emerson Hart. So here I am, wanting to read about you and at the same time bringing you along with me to mine. I hope you will find me just as interesting as I do you! Hop aboard.

Find me here:

https://sandrashart.com (blog)

http://sandrahart.net

@screenactor on Poshmark

@sandrashart/ twitter 

@sandrashart on Instagram

https://Pinterest.com/SandraHart

amazon.com for Sandra Hart books
Copyright©Sandra Hart 2017 All rights reserved
Find me here:

Life Over Sixty With Sandra YouTube Channel

https://sandrashart.com (blog)

http://sandrahart.net

@screenactor on Poshmark

@sandrashart/ twitter 

@sandrashart on Instagram

https://Pinterest.com/SandraHart

amazon.com for Sandra Hart books

THE SEA INSIDE OF ME


Along with beach living the natural evolution of things once living in the sea or sandy soil has always fascinated me. I find a visceral beauty in the final stages of nature’s cycle, dried up or cast away by the wind, afterlife uprooted and washed ashore by the angry sea that no longer has use for that which has ceased to exist.  
Nature’s loss has always been my gain. For forty-five years I have walked along the beaches scavenging nature’s junk that to me are works of art. Things of beauty free for the taking.  


I have filled my garden with rusty anchors and  drift wood tumbled and carved into masterpieces by the sea like no other artist could. Rainbows of smooth colored glass shinning like treasure chest jewels in the wet sand, shells of all sizes and shapes, and if I am lucky a starfish will catch my eye and find a final home in my large copper kettle in the center of the coffee table. Poseidon and Neptune look down upon us wearing clay crowns of coral twisted and frozen by death into elegant inertia forms.  


Throughout the years pots have been filled with dried palm fronds and over-ripe pods dropped to the ground to make way for new green growth. This evolution is my artistic supply fulfilling my love for all things related to the sand and sea.


How can I explain it. I guess it is just the sea inside of me.
Copyright Sandra Hart© 2017
Life Over Sixty With Sandra on YouTube 

  

The Burden Of Strength

Today while I was in my car waiting for the light to change, I saw a young woman struggling carrying an enamel bed headboard under one arm and the footboard under the other, sometimes switching it to her shoulders as she walked along the street. Just watching her struggle just for those few minutes moved me and made me think about how hard a woman’s life sometimes can be. When we find ourselves alone, women most often find solutions and we persevere no matter how hard the challenge, or stress on our lives and bodies. 

I remember my grandmother who while raising her 10 children on a daily basis cooked for her entire family as well as the farmhands. As if that wasn’t enough, she made all of the clothes for her children, fed the chickens, planted and tended the vegetable garden, and gathered fresh eggs for morning breakfast. 

She baked and cooked everything from scratch in her kitchen on a coal stove that she had to keep fired.

 She used to scrub the wash on a washboard, stirred a hot cauldron of soapy water to get them clean and ironed the clothes with a heavy sad iron. She needed at least two irons on the go together for an effective system: one in use, and one re-heating. I remember the sound of the sizzle when she sprinkled a few drops of water on it to see if it was hot enough. 

Through it all, my dear grandmother managed to have a smile on her face all day long. No wonder she and many other women of her era died in their fifties and sixties. 

 For too long we woman have a hard time sometimes saying ‘no’ to what is believed to be ‘our jobs’ as over- worked-solution-solving caretakers.  

 Now I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. Our families benefit from who we innately are and can do. I have to be honest with myself, although I am two generations away from my grandmother, I am guilty as charged and I’m not too sure I can ever change. It’s become too much a part of my DNA. 

How about you? Does the shoe fit? 

Copyright©Sandra Hart.    All Rights Reserved

Find me here:

https://sandrashart.com 

(blog)https://sandrahart.net           

@screenactor on Poshmark

sandrashart/ twitter 

sandrashart@Instagram                      

amazon.com for Sandra Hart books