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A few weeks ago I moved all of my slides and photographs into wicker baskets, and now I can’t find the photo I wanted to share with you. So much for organization… It’s a picture of me on Christmas Eve when I was 22. In the photo I’m barefoot, curled up on a teal-colored, velvet sofa at the George V Hotel in Paris. I was wearing the same black dress I’m wearing in these current photos. I’ll keep looking and if I find it, I’ll post it next time. In the mean time, Christmas reminds me of Santa and gifts. Have you done all of your shopping? 

Here are some affordable gifts that can be under someone’s tree in a matter of days.

I’m amazed I still have this dress! Except for my grey Stetson cowboy hat and my first husband’s blue and white striped dress shirt, it’s the only piece of clothing I have from that period of my life.

This Christmas I’m giving lots of Maggie Louise Confections because I love the story behind them. The founder, Maggie Callahan, was an attorney who decided she’d rather be a chocolatier. After chocolate classes at Le Cordon Bleu, she went into business for herself and began creating delicious, whimsical chocolates that look like martinis, Christmas decorations and lipsticks.

One of my favorite brands is Cuyana. They make beautifully crafted leather goods. I love their pebbled leather travel case set. They’re also great for keeping things organized in your purse. Makeup in one and jewelry in another, and they come in a host of beautiful colors.

If you’re an animal print lover you’ll love these Cheetah Print Earrings. They’re on Etsy and come in either clip-on or pierced and are calf-skin for that authentic animal hide look.

Most of us have switched to digital calendars, but I know a lot of women who use both a digital and a paper datebook or only paper. I love this affordable, JCrew datebook because it comes in leopard and a host of great colors, and the entry areas for each date are large.

Who doesn’t need makeup brushes? This set from Kohl’s includes 15 brushes plus a pewter-colored cosmetic bag. 

And last but not least… This might be something you’d like Santa to bring you! A beautiful, braided leather bracelet with a lobster clasp from Nialaya.

I hope each of you are having a wonderful holiday season. Reach out and hug someone; give them a compliment; call a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while, and tell someone you love them!


  • Taste of France December 14, 2018 at 5:49 am

    That dress is a testament to so much–your excellent taste as a 22-year-old, your ability to maintain your shape over the years, the wisdom of investing in quality that lasts. The most impressive to me is that you still fit in the dress. I could not do that! My weight is just a little more than it used to be, but the thing is that it has changed places!

  • TJ December 14, 2018 at 5:54 am

    Ok wow… still able to fit into the same dress 47 years later!?? Wow wow. And it’s not falling apart. Another wow. Amazeballs! Happy Xmas!!

  • Janice Quinn December 14, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Still wearing a gorgeous lime green Icelandic sweater that was my sweet 16 present. I’ll turn 67 next week.

  • Victoria December 14, 2018 at 8:59 am

    I have no idea what I was wearing when I was 22 but I know whatever it was it wouldn’t fit. Good for you for buying quality and maintaining your figure.

  • Diane December 14, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Timeless and beautiful then… Timeless and beautiful now! Well done, my friend.
    And those chocolates are way beyond intriguing! Going online to see if they ship to Canada!

  • Marika Burton December 14, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Looking just as fabulous as at 22!

  • Beckye December 14, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    What fun gift ideas! Thanks!! And girl, you are still stunningly beautiful! Uh, wearing something I wore at 22 – – Hahahaha!! I was 104 pounds then, and I would be bustin’ at the seams now! Hahahaha! Well done, Brenda! 😀 Merry Christmas, friend! Hope you are enjoying a lovely Christmas season!

  • Naomi S December 14, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    A great example of a classic and versatile “little black dress.” So, I’m guessing you haven’t consumed many of those Maggie Louise Confections recently! Otherwise we wouldn’t be witnessing how beautifully the dress fits you all these years later! I’m thinking back to when I was in my early twenties and I don’t remember exactly what items I was wearing then, and, while I’ve not gained more than ten-fifteen pounds since–I’m nearly seventy-five–I know I couldn’t squeeze into any of them now! Three children will do that to you. Especially as goes the expansion of the mid-section!

    Anyway, congratulations on still being able to show off that lovely dress and figure! And maybe I’ll order a box of those chocolates–why not??

  • Mamavalveeta03 December 15, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    You look so pretty in the black dress! I sure hope you find the photograph and share it with us. 😉

  • Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski December 18, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Your dress is beautiful and so glad you’re still able to fit in it. All my photos are in plastic bins tucked away somewhere. I was never good at organizing them.

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