Browsing Tag

Brenda’s Blog

— Style —

BRENDA COFFEE PHOTOGRAPHS BY JENNIFER DENTON
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Kaftans are an easy, comfortable, chic way to dress, and perfect for summer. Some are strictly casual, while others, like the one I’m wearing, could be worn to a dressy event like a wedding. While kaftans can cover a multitude of sins, I work hard at keeping my weight down and staying in shape, so I’m surprised I wear them because they hide my waist and hips.

Beautiful summer kaftans are also a great alternative to our same old casual clothes.

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— Life —

Photographer, Michele Andrews
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Isa Austen is a florist, a model and a painter, and the epitome of cool. She’s sexy and intriguing, a woman who does her own thing and has her own style. As Isa wrote on Instagram, some days she’s “feeling raw, vampy, artistic, exquisite, psychic. These feelings are a gift.” 

Last week, Isa and I talked about aging and being comfortable in our skin.

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— Essentials —

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I don’t know about you, but I haven’t taken a trip or had a real adventure since before Covid, and I find myself dreaming about all the cities and countries I’d like to visit. There was a time when I only sought out places that were exotic, off-the-beaten-path and sometimes dangerous, but I’m older and wiser than I was then. 

And while I still want adventures, I’m thinking of places better suited to the woman I am now.

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— Life —

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If you’re like me, perhaps you’ve kept diaries or journals over the years. There are the daily entry kind and the blank books you might write-in sporadically, or maybe your calendars have doubled as your diary. Mine did. Ten years ago I started keeping digital calendars, and my blogs became my diaries although since then, I’ve become more careful about what I write because they’re online for all to see. To the woman at my church who doesn’t believe “ninety-five percent of what comes out of my mouth,” why don’t I send you home with my diaries? 

As an advance warning: You may wind up sleeping with the lights on.

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— Life —

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After slogging our way through two years of Covid and now inflation, the rise in gas prices, and the brutal war in Ukraine, we need a feel good story that will make us stand up and cheer. Meet my friend, Kimberly Frick, who stepped up and became a kidney donor for her brother. When I called Kim, before I could even get my first sentence out, I was overcome with emotion.

Emotion and hope that there are other people like Kim and her family who are willing to give a piece of themselves to save someone else.

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— Relationships —

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Recently a woman I’ve known most of my life and I were on the phone, talking about things like bunion surgery, life, and how difficult it is to make new friends when we reach a certain age. By the time our children are adults and have lives of their own, many of the friends we made when we were in parent/teacher groups have scattered. Or maybe we’ve gotten a divorce, or our spouse or partner died, and we no longer fit in with our old crowd. Then again, maybe we’re running with the wrong crowd.

My friend, let’s call her Patricia, has given me permission to share a couple of threads from our conversation.

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— Life —

Photos courtesy of Charlotte Moss
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Charlotte Moss is one of the most recognized and respected names in the design world. In addition to writing over eleven books on design, gardens and entertaining, she’s created her own furniture line for Century, carpets for Stark, fabrics, wallpaper, home accessories, art pieces, china for Pickard, jewelry for P E. Guerin, and clothing for IBU Movement. A couple of weeks ago, Charlotte and I sat down to talk about style.

Hers, mine, and how to acquire it.

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— Life —

Self-Portrait, The Wynn Hotel, Las Vegas, 2009
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Early in life I discovered that if I wanted to do something, I shouldn’t sit back and wait for it to magically happen. That’s called daydreaming, and while it’s fun to fantasize, it’s also a good way to wind up with our dreams unfulfilled.

Instead, I learned I needed to “choose it” and then make it happen.

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— Life —

Photograph by Jennifer Denton
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The late fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy said, “Life has different stages. You must realize that in life what you want more and more is simplicity: a simple room, a perfect bed, one nice table, a few objects that you really like, and a good book. 

Givenchy’s comment has me thinking about not just what happens when we downsize after our children leave home, but when we’re forced to downsize even further if we move into an assisted living or memory care facility. 

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— Life —

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In 2006, while at Disney World with her four children, including five-year-old twins, Lee Woodruff got a phone call no spouse wants to receive. Her husband, Bob Woodruff, journalist, and co-anchor of ABC World News Tonight, had been critically injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Shrapnel to the brain. In their 2007, #1 New York Times Bestseller, In An Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing, Lee and Bob write with raw honesty about his injuries and the healing and recovery process for all of them. 

This week I interviewed Lee. Their story is a powerful reminder that families can heal and thrive after life-altering moments.

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