This week’s post is a mixture of things I thought you might enjoy, including a fun summer dress; an easy dessert recipe; and an update about the FABULOUS TRIP FOR WOMEN OVER 50 I’ve invited you to take with me this coming spring.
And because I’m a breast cancer thriver/survivor, I want to share a few words about Olivia Newton-John, the amazing woman so many of us admired.
Olivia Newton-John was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, then again in 2013, and again in 2017. When she was first diagnosed, she went public at a time when people didn’t talk about the “C” word. Olivia Newton-John walked the cancer path for 30 years… Can you imagine? Nine years with Stage 4, metastatic breast cancer. By all accounts, even when she was in great pain, she savored life and was joyfully aware of every bird she saw, every flower that bloomed, and friend she encountered. Other than her family, she was proudest of the state-of-the-art cancer center she built in Australia. She was a mixture of soft and steel, a symbol of hope to everyone with metastatic breast cancer that they, too, could have a longer life.
Olivia Newton-John was 73 when she died. She taught us to live with grace and gratitude, and generosity of spirit, and the world will miss her. ❤️
A FRESH FRUIT GALETTE
I feel bad, segueing from Olivia Newton-John to something so frivolous as a dessert. Please forgive me. Last week I found this recipe in Garden and Gun’s online magazine. It’s a rustic, easy-to-make fresh fruit tart, sometimes called a galette, from Brian Noyes who’s the Culinary Institute of America and L’Academie de Cuisine trained owner of the beloved Red Truck Bakery in Marshall, Virginia. Brian has a new cookbook, The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook: Sweet and Savory Comfort Food from America’s Favorite Rural Bakery. It’s packed with small-town charm and mouthwatering, unfussy comfort recipes like July Heirloom Tomato Pie and Crab Cakes Dabbed with Jalapeño-Cilantro Mayonnaise. Hello! Brian’s cookbook has my name all over it!
Those are not spots on my dress, but the patina of a mirror that’s over 100 years old.
A PERFECT SUMMER DRESS
My new favorite brand of women’s clothing is Jenni Kayne’s, California-inspired, laid-back, but put-together lifestyle brand that includes apparel and home design products. Both focus on design, quality, and living well every day. I’ve purchased her Riviera Slip Dress in both Safari and Black and wear them with a short-sleeved t-shirt underneath. I’m crazy about this dress, and I love the fabric. The dress looks great on those of us who are slender as well as curvier women. I like to wear mine with espadrilles, a Panama hat, and my Julie Vos bracelets. BTY, if you make a Jenni Kayne purchase, I don’t receive a commission. In fact, Jenni Kayne has no clue I exist, but I’ve become her biggest fan!
JOIN ME, A TRIP FOR WOMEN OVER 50 UPDATE
My travel expert friend, Joanne Socha, and I are in the process of putting the finishing touches on our trip to Tuscany this coming spring! Yes, Tuscany, and even if you’ve been there before, this trip will knock your socks off, because it’s more than just a trip. It’s an “Invitation to the Rest of Your Life.” In addition to the amazing… fabulous… jaw-dropping places we’ll stay, the people we’ll meet, and the food, oh the food and the wine… we’re going to explore where we see ourselves in the next chapter of our lives and what’s holding us back from being the woman we want to become. As soon as the contract on our villa (I’ve given you a sneak peek at two of the rooms) is signed, I’ll share the details.
It’s going to be the trip of a lifetime!
Can’t wait to hear more about the trip. It sounds wonderful!
Donna, And I’m excited to share it with you. Right now my head is full of beautiful places to visit and spend the night and the prospect of learning from, and encouraging one another as we think about the next chapter of our lives! This trip could be a game changer for us! I hope you’ll come with us. xoxox, Brenda
I am so very sad about Olivia Newton-John. My dear sister-in-law passed a few weeks ago after miraculously surviving 14 years with breast, bone, and brain cancer. She to was 71. I was diagnosed in February with colon cancer. It is my second time. I had it 23 years ago. Luckily stage 2 was removed successfully. I’m going through chemo as a precaution. You, Olivia, and my sister-in-law are warriors and I am so inspired by all of you. I’m starting a blog series next week on being gaslighted by my primary for 3 years!
Doreen, Fourteen years with metastatic cancer! Wow! This is the first I’ve heard about your diagnosis. You must think of yourself in the same category: Those of us who’ve had cancer and are still here are all warriors!! Not sure I understand your last sentence. If you’re so inclined, would you email me about it? I want to read your blog series. Love, Brenda
I’m in! Hooray!!
YES!!! Beth, I would love to have you join us on this fantasy trip to Tuscany! Hopefully my next blog post will give you lots of details and next steps if you want to come with us! xoxox, Brenda
I just found your blog recently and love it! The slip dress you featured is beautiful but I would need the tee shirt underneath. I have many white tees but could you recommend a really good one to wear under this dress? Short sleeved is what I’m looking for, nice quality, which looks like what you have on in the picture. I never purchase these dresses because I am very thin waist up and need to cover up. Thank you!
Hi Carol, Thanks for leaving me a comment and welcome! I’m delighted you’re enjoying my blog and I hope you’ve read some of Dr. Barbara Bergin’s pieces about why we’re aging the way we are. They’re things people don’t talk about, but we need to know. T-shirts! Good ones are so hard to find now. I remember when I would scoop up several tees at the Gap or Banana Republic for $19 and then $29, but the quality now of most t-shirts is not the same. Most are thin and made of acrilyic fabrics, and you can see every lump and bump underneath. The one I’m wearing in this photo is 100% cotton and is from Annie Bing. Another good one I have is from The Classic T-Shirt Company. They’re shockingly expensive compared to t-shirts we bought in the old days, but if I want to wear t-shirts, I don’t have a choice, because the others look awful. Hope this helps. Thank you, Carol. xoxox, Brenda
You’ve rented the villa in the photos? Wow!!! I need to know more about this place! It looks gorgeous!
Hi Arlo, Isn’t it something? I can’t wait to stay there. I’ve walked the grounds and photographed it from afar when I stayed in a smaller villa on the same property. This place is breathtaking! Hopefully this coming week I can give you the details. I’m glad you’re excited. xoxox, Brenda
I just might be interested in the Tuscany adventure! Please keep in touch!
Hi Marita, That’s great. I think this will be the most exciting trip I’ve ever been on, and that’s saying a lot. Hopefully next week I can share everything with you. xoxox, Brenda
The passing of beloved Olivia Newton-John was so heartbreaking to me and to all her loved ones and fans. I have followed her since her Grease days. I so admire her on every level. So glad you acknowledged her. I have so much respect for all women including YOU that have faced breast cancer and all cancers.
Your trip with Joanne Socha to Tuscany this Spring sounds very special. It’s so nice you are putting together a trip of s life time together. It sounds really very special. Good for you ladies.
I will close with my thoughts are with all that are struggling with chronic health issues.
Thank you, Katherine. Olivia Newton-John was a special woman, and I know there are many of us who mourn her death. As you pointed out, there are lots of people, struggling with chronic health issues. It’s not easy to make it from one day to the next when we’re in pain, not feeling well or worried about our health, and it takes a mental and emotional toll on us as well. I hope you’re not one of these people. Yes, Joanne and I are excited about the trip and in some ways, we’re thinking “If not now, then when?” Time passes so quickly, and sometimes we just have to do something special for ourselves and not wait for “someday.” Be well. xoxox, Brenda
The world truly has lost a beautiful soul the passing of Olivia Newton-John. She was such a light in this world and will be greatly missed. Your trip to Tuscany sounds beyond amazing! Looking forward to hearing more about it!