Let's Be Real

The past five days have been rough for me. My youngest son and I came down with a dreadful stomach flu. Though he recovered much more quickly than I, we found ourselves feeling both physically and emotionally drained. Each of us missed out on events that we were looking forward to attending. He, a chalk art competition with his church youth group, and I, a reporting gig that would have taken me to a reception to preview the costumes and meet the designers that were nominated for the up and coming Emmy awards. As you could probably imagine, both of us were feeling pretty darn miserable.

Since you last saw me, I was feeling fantastic and was wearing a flowing ethereal dress in my post called Angelic. Shortly after that photo shoot the flu symptoms hit. Today is my first day out and about. My husband took off from work so that we could spend some family time together. The entire family is going on a short drive and then venturing into Pasadena for lunch. Lunch...hmmm. I haven't eaten much food lately. I better take it slow. With family fun instore and the temperatures at the 100 degree mark, I have decided to keep my attire simple and fun. Let's be real, after being sick, who wants to prance about in heels and a lot of fuss. Not I!

Today's Look - Shorts: Loft, Top: Loft (Similar), Sandals: Zara (old), Bag is very old from Ann Taylor, Belt: Calvin Klein via TJ Maxx



My husband is now sitting over my shoulder prodding me to hurry along. So, I must go, the family is waiting. Enjoy your day ladies{wink}

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Photographs by Freddy



My oldest son is quite an accomplished musician for such a tender age. He is 16 and has already received numerous awards and accolades from the music community. His instrument of choice is the alto saxophone, but he also plays the soprano and tenor sax, the clarinet, and is training on flute and keyboard. He adores big band jazz and classical pieces. For the past 3 years he has sat in our areas county honor orchestra for students. Each year we are invited to attend this marvelous performance which features music that challenges the skills of these young musicians. One year in particular, a year in which I will never forget, the orchestra played a song called Angels in the Architecture by Frank Ticheli. It was one of the most intriguing songs I have ever heard. It was hauntingly beautiful. At the conclusion of the performance, you could hear a pin drop, and then suddenly, one-by-one, we, the audience rose to our feet and presented the students with a thunderous applaud. I literally had tears streaming down my cheeks. I couldn't believe that my young son had contributed to this amazing musical masterpiece. I invite you to play the song while you scroll through this post. You'll get a real feel for my vision. Please hear the entire song. It will leave you speechless. Enjoy!


As I think back on that glorious night, I thought it would be nice to dedicate a fashion post to Ticheli's Angels in the Architecture. To represent the Angels, I'm wearing a dramatic, billowy, white, strapless dress made of pleated polyester from White House/Black Market via eBay. To serve as the architecture, I'm wearing my structured Via Spiga lace-up shoeties. My white clutch is Juicy Couture via eBay and can play the part of both the angelic and structured side of this ensemble.

Can you see the little Dragon Fly?

(Tweet This) - Inspiration can come from a variety of sources - the great outdoors, architecture, a beautiful song. Embrace life and you'll become sparked with creativity.

Angels in the Architecture
Did you enjoy the music while viewing the photos? Wasn't it beautiful? I could imagine angels soaring through an amazing old structure; some having fun frolicking through the air while others wreak havoc by scaring the occupants. At parts, the song was angelic with church bells ringing and the beautiful operatic voice, and at times, the music was simply haunting and tense. I loved it. I hope you understood my interpretation of Angels in the Architecture. Which angel would you be...the gentle, fluttery kind, or the one that scurries about and taunts?{wink}

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Photographs by Freddy


When Love Isn't Reciprocated

I've been somewhat quiet lately in Bloggerville....cyberspace...whatever you want to call it. I have been wrestling with something for days now. I have finally made the decision to rid myself of this ongoing presence by writing about it. The perfect way to get something off my chest. Earlier this week I posted a Berlin Fashion Week runway show onto the 40+ Fashion Bloggers Community on Google+. The share then sparked a conversation between myself and a fellow blogger, Charlotte Issyvoo of Sublime Mercies. The fashion show was the fall 2014/15 collection for the designer-Umasan. I shared the video as a pat-on-the-back to the designer for featuring older women as models. The fashion show will be at the end of this post. Here is the conversation:


The Conversation
Charlotte: Nice racial and gender mix too. But skinny, of course

Me: Yep. Always skinny.

Charlotte: They always say that clothes simply look better on skinny women. I just don't agree. Where are the hips? Where's the waist? Where are the breasts? In short, where is the womanly woman? And, if your clothes truly look better on women so thin as to be unhealthy... change the clothes, not the woman!!!

Me:  That is only the opinion of the gate keepers of fashion. Really, no one else. It is easier for pattern makers and designers to cut clothing with virtually no shape rather than trying to form them to fit more precise measurements that must accommodate breast, hips, etc. So, they stick with the shapeless figure to sell the clothes to the industry. However, when items hit the stores, they have been made to fit multiple sizes.

Charlotte: True, but the designs aren't often made to accommodate curves. And, one quickly hits "plus size" when one is not very big, and has trouble finding clothes. It's a very messed up industry. I like what we style bloggers are doing: wresting control away from the industry and defining beauty in our own ways.

Me: Yes we are. It is refreshing
After ending the online discussion, I didn't think too much about it again. But then late that night, as I lay awake in bed, the conversation crept into my mind again. If you'll notice, my initial response was to defend the fashion industry (see hi-lited area), but as time ticked away in my sleepless bed, I seriously wrestled with the whole age, size, race discrepancy issue. I found myself wondering about my beloved fashion industry...Why aren't more seasoned women represented? Why is size 00 the standard for the runway? Why isn't there more racial diversity featured in glossies and fashion shows? I know, I know...This conversation has been had before. So yes, I'm beating a dead horse.

As I woke the next morning, my angst pushed me to delve deeper into the entire issue of age, size and race. I logged onto several of the popular fashion portals, and sure enough, what was presented before me, time and time again, was the very same type of young woman. Somewhat of a cookie-cutter mold. It's not that I haven't noticed this separation from fashion and reality before. I have. But typically, as I scour the fashion news, I'm least likely to notice the models, so that I can zoom in on the fashions. Is having that "zoom in" ability a quality we should all have so that we don't find ourselves getting overly annoyed. Or, perhaps, what is being advertised is much more than just the clothing. What is being sold? What are they trying to tell us? Am I, someone who is African-American, has a 5'2" petite frame, and is 40-something not an acceptable form of what is fashionable, or yet desirable? Am I not loved by this industry?

As I type this message to you, I think about the 30 plus years I have spent in a passionate love affair with the fashion industry. I have monetarily supported, rallied and spoke highly of my great love without hesitation or reservation. But now, as I gaze at my own image in the mirror and reflect on this discussion,  I have to ask myself...Was my love affair one-sided? What do you do when love isn't reciprocated?

Friends, I would love to read your thoughts on this serious subject. Should we be overly judgmental of the fashion industry for not showing us love by representing what reality looks like? Or, should we embrace that "zoom in" ability so that we don't get our hearts broken{wink}

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Doesn't it seem like it was ages ago when Pantone made their big color of the year announcement? Like many, I was excited to see what the color would be. Unfortunately, I wasn't thrilled with the selection...Radiant Orchid. You see, I'm not a purpley kind of girl. It's not that I don't like to see others in the hue, but for myself, I choose to avoid it. Perhaps it stems from wearing too much of it during my high school years. I wore some shade of purple to just about every single occasion...homecoming, prom - you name it. Now, I must admit, I don't have a single item in my closet in that shade or hue.Though I wasn't enthusiastic about Radiant Orchid, I was delighted to see some of the other colors represented, in particular Placid Blue, Hemlock and Freesia. I adore these three colors because they're reminiscent of nature - Placid Blue as the sky and sea, Hemlock as foliage, and Freesia as the warm sunshine. Oh sunshine, how I adore thee. I long for your warm and tender kiss.

Because of my great affinity for nature, especially the sun, I thought it would be perfect to dedicate today's outfit to my great love. In addition, with Haute Couture Fashion Week coming to a close, I also thought it would be meaningful to wear a garment that was custom made just for me. I had a huge bolt of freesia colored fabric laying around so I enlisted the help of my sister to create another delicious, full skirt. This time I opted for wider pleats and tea-length (see another skirt Steffyne made HERE). Even though tea-length skirts are a current trend, in my book, they are a classic. I always have a selection of longer, fuller skirts and dresses in my wardrobe. They work so beautifully with riding boots, heels or flats. In other words, the length is very versatile. With the crystal blue skies above, and the ever-present California sun kissing my cheeks, Fred and I headed out to a location that's befitting to today's theme. Enjoy!

Today's Look - Skirt: Custom made by my sister, Steffyne, Bustier: Loft, Scarf on wrist: vintage, Lace clutch: vintage, Embroidered pumps: Isaac via eBay


I pondered how I would close this post, as I stand perched on top of the words - Above and Beyond. Could it be in reference to our great, big, beautiful sun? Or, could it be for my sister who lovingly went above and beyond the call of duty to create such a lovely skirt for her sister? Perhaps it isn't for me to decide, but for my readers to determine - What is ABOVE AND BEYOND in your life?{wink}

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Link Up:
Visible Monday
Photographs by Freddy



"One day I decided that I was beautiful, and so I carried out my life as if I was a beautiful girl. I wear colors that I really like, I wear makeup that makes me feel pretty, and it really helps. It doesn't have anything to do with how the world perceives you. What matters is what you see."
Gabourey Sidibe

Top: Tibi New York via eBay, Petite Curvy Ankle Zip Jeans: Loft, Bag: Kate Spade (old), Gladiator Sandals: Enzo Angiolini (old), Visor: Old (Options HERE)

"Gardening is how I relax. It's another form of creating
and playing with colors."
Oscar de la Renta 

"Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world.
Constantly color your picture gray, 
and your picture will always be bleak.
Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor,
and your picture begins to lighten up."
Allen Klein

"When I think of colors, I believe this is how God demonstrates to us the myriad of possibilities that life has to offer. 
In order to experience these great opportunities, you must be willing to play and create and have an open mind."
Glenda Harrison {wink}

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Photographs by Fred



A little over a week ago I published a post called a VERY Little White Dress. In the post I shared how I have a favorite white dress that doesn't require much thought. It's easy to wear...I just put it on and go. I was so surprised by the flattering comments I received about my legs! One person, bless her heart, even said, "You gotz legz!" Hence the title. I loved the way she phrased her comment. This person has such an amazing vocabulary and I would love to play Scrabble with her (except I'm sure she would win. Right Jan?).

Notice how I'm trying to hold the dress closed on the left side. I am quite modest.

Since I received various comments about my legz, I thought I'd share a bit about my overall workout routine. And, I hate referring to it as a routine, which sounds boring and redundant. I enjoy exercise and considerate it a far-cry from boring. I not only workout for the physical benefits, but it also makes me feel good about myself emotionally. There is such a psychological connection between the mind, body and soul. Because of these great benefits, I begin my days, at least 5 times per week, with exercise.

Before I share anything, please note:
*Do not substitute what I'm saying for the advice of your physician. This is what I do personally and is what works for my fitness level. 
Always consult with your doctor before beginning any fitness routine.

Glenda's Fitness Routine:
Recently I enrolled in a 30 day-1 hour high impact aerobics and bootcamp through my city. However, I do not go everyday. Instead, I attend every other day.

On days when I don't attend the boot camp. I alternate with area focused weight training and calisthenics. One day I focus on my upper torso, and on another day the lower torso. Currently the calisthenic of choice is a fitness program called Barre, which is a workout done on a fitness bar and mainly targets the legs and bum.

On the 5th day I stretch, and indulge in a more meditative workout which focuses on my breathing, relaxation and the mind. For this type of workout I thoroughly enjoy Pilates because it not only focuses on breathing, but it also targets the core and legs.

Glenda's Basic Workout Schedule:
 (sometimes changes depending on my day)
Monday: Bootcamp
Tuesday: Weight Training and Calisthenics (Upper Body)
Wednesday: Bootcamp
Thursday: Weight Training and Calisthenics (Lower Body)
Friday: Day off
Saturday: Stretching (1/2 hour to 45 min.)
Sunday: Day off

Here is one of the workouts I do in the comforts of my own home. And it's on Youtube!
Even though I have days off, that may not necessarily be the case. Often times my family will spend the day swimming or cycling at the beach. The only fitness goal I'm trying to reach is to stay healthy. I'm not trying to be a certain size...though I do enjoy the size I am. I'm not trying to be ripped or buff...though I do enjoy being toned. Living a healthy lifestyle is a commitment I made to myself years ago, and I believe it's a great choice to make, especially when life can be so extremely stressful. While some make time for this, that or the other thing, I make sure to fit in my me time - a good workout.

For those who gave such flattering comments on my legz (you know who you are) - {wink}

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Photographs by Fred


Au Naturale

I have been away from the blog so that my husband and I could celebrate our 22 year anniversary. It felt good to disconnect and just concentrate on one another. We spent our special day, the 4th of July, relaxing at the Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa. We spent hours enjoying paradise with steel drums serenading us against the backdrop of palm trees that kissed the sky. Afterwards we had dinner reservations at the fabulous Catal restaurant, a delightful Mediterranean steakhouse which had spectacular views of the Disneyland fireworks show. It was a warm night, and we both felt relaxed after spending the day at the spa. It was such a lovely and romantic day. You can see snapshots from our day on Instagram. Enjoy!


Summers can be daunting in California with temperatures often hovering well above the 100 degree mark. Though we're fortunate to have dry heat rather than the humidity (most of the time), it can still be quite stifling. On days when the gauge reads 98 degrees in the shade, what does one wear when the need to dress for success is still required? For myself, the key is to go au naturale.

Get your minds out of the gutter (smile). Let's be real, I'm not suggesting that I prance around in my birthday suit. Not me...the person who is too shy to have cleavage exposed. I'm talking about wearing fabrics that are kind to us during unbearable temperatures. You know...cotton, linen, silk, etc, etc. I find that when I wear breathable fabrics, I too can breath a sigh of relief.

For today, I chose a look that's effortless and easy to wear - a thin, wispy cotton top that I purchased last year and is now a few sizes too big. I love the top even more so because it fits loosely against my silhouette. I'm also sporting a linen skirt - also from a few years back, and silk-tie-up sandals that I got ages ago. During our heated, Are You Shackled discussion, the idea of women over 40 wearing midriff tops was mentioned. Today I'm bucking the system. Yes, there is a hint of tummy showing, as I decided to leave the bottom buttons undone. Like I stated in the now famous post - women of a certain age can still rock certain looks...we just have to make subtle tweaks (click to tweet). Leaving the buttons undone gives a wink of confidence, and boy does the coolness feel good against my skin when the breeze catches my top.

Today's Look - Blouse: Loft, Skirt: Cynthia Rowley via TJ Maxx, Sandals by Marc Fisher, Clutch is vintage, Sunnies: Loft

 "G" Monogram pendent from Swell Caroline, Long chain with pendents by Monet (old)

I love how my "G" pendent playfully hangs by my bare midriff.

This outfit can take you to work (with the top buttoned), an early dinner, dancing...you name it, and while remaining somewhat cooler.  Tell me friends...when the temperatures rise, what types of clothing are you most comfortable wearing, or do you go au naturale{wink}

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Photographs by Fred