How to Look Tasteful (think, Fabulous) After Fifty

In my previous post, I mentioned my book was being promoted by bookSCREAM.  I noted that my book is not ‘erotica’, but tastefully written (particularly since my husband wrote those ‘racy’ scenes.  My friends tell me they will never look at my straight-laced and serious husband the same again).

Thinking of tasteful matters, fashion and health are important lifestyles choices here in the Philadelphia Area, particularly along the Main Line of Philadelphia. Making good choices is an indicator – albeit superficially – of intelligence, wealth, and manners.

Although fashion has relaxed a bit, it’s still important to look good.  As time has ebbed and flowed since giving birth over eleven years’ ago, my body and skin have changed. Fashion and makeup tricks that worked in my forties don’t always transition as well through my early fifties .

So, let’s take a look at today’s fashion DOs and DON’Ts for women over fifty. (Disclaimer:  I am not a medical/science doctor or nutritionist.  These are my and my friends’ opinions of what we have seen and what works.)

When Less is More:

  • Avoid plastic surgery and botox.  Instead, invest in monthly facials.  Anti-aging and anti-wrinkles creams won’t work if your skin isn’t clean.
  • Drop the Bling-Bling-Bling-Bling.  Pick up one great dress/outfit instead and wear only one ‘bling’, like a clutch, or glittering shoes, or one pair of diamond earrings.  Please, just not all three together.
  • Drink less/no alcohol and drink more water.  Alcohol dehydrates your skin. Too much alcohol ages your face.
  • Moisturize your body.  That includes your feet.  Soft skin is sexy.
  • Use sunscreen during outdoor exercising.  Or, better yet, add a hat with a wide brim or visor to protect your skin.

When to Change Beauty and Fashion Directions:

  • Wear what looks good on you, not what everybody else is wearing or what is trending.  I dress in a classical style because I am well-endowed (not by choice).  Certain styles and designer clothes (no matter how much discounted or trendy!) don’t look good on my body type.
  • Ditch the low-rise jeans, even if you own six-pack abs.  Instead, invest in a pair or two of NYDJ (Not Your Daughters Jeans).  They have many styles and colors from which to choose.
  • Wear your ‘best’ jewelry everyday. I do – even to the supermarket.  Why are you saving it?
  • Exercise clothes are not fashion…after Fifty!  Enough said.
  • Wear makeup. Not a lot, but some.  Mascara or lipstick. A little eyeliner.  As women age, our faces take on a masculine edge. Check out Pinterest for makeup idea and instructions.

I am a nobody, other than I was born Ellen Marie. I am not tall, thin, toned, or an athlete. I am average height, getting a little chubby now, and never had a desire to be a female jock. The greatest compliment I can receive – and have received many times – is when someone tells me “You look like you’re somebody”.

If you need help in the fashion department or want to update your look, I suggest you buy Charla Krupp’s book, “How Not To Look Old”.   I met her and had a one-on-one conversation with her when she came to Bloomingdale’s at the King of Prussia Mall in Fall 2008.  Her book still stands the test of time.

Thank you for stopping by.  So, tell me:  what are your suggestions?


My book OF MEN AND MONSTERS (by E M Bahnsen) is featured as one of the top four books to read on  ” bookSCREAM Newsletter ” ( ). The bookSCREAM Newsletter offers free and promotional books.  Follow them on Twitter as well:  @bookSCREAM

Although the book is categorized as erotica, it is NOT erotica.  It is tastefully written.

BOOK SYNOPSIS:  Meet Remy Alden and his slow seduction of Amanda Greene. He believes she is the one for him; his life partner; and the future mother of his children, even though she is currently married to another. The story doesn’t end with the heroine falling in love with the hero. Oh, no! The story continues as we learn about Remy and Amanda’s character and how this affects their relationships between colleagues, friends, spouses, siblings, past lovers, and exes.

Enjoy a story of love, roller coaster emotions, and fascinating and surprising revelations.

Skin in the City – A Unique Boutique … as mentioned in Entangled by E M Bahnsen

“Write what you know”, the experts say.  “Take something from real life and make it part of your story,” the experts say. My mother was born a McConaghy.  Jill is her family nickname. Therefore, I named my main female character Jillian McConaghy.  So, I asked my real-life cousin if I could use her name and business as well in my second book titled “Entangled”. She laughed, but agreed.

On page 290, I wrote:

“Can you spend time with me this weekend? We’ll hang out as if we’re just buddies.”
“I can’t, Graham. I’m going to Colorado this weekend.”
“For what?”
“My cousin Marnie McConaghy and her daughter Jenn Jankowski opened a spa in Denver called Skin in the City. I promised Marnie I would be there for the grand opening.”

Below is the one-year anniversary writeup about her real-life spa.  Congratulations, Marnie and Jenn.

Taking Care of Adult Siblings … where do you draw the boundary lines?

Everyone agrees that taking care of one’s parent(s) is a moral responsibility and duty. What about taking care of your adult siblings? Where do you draw the line in standing back or rushing in?

This past week was the moment in time which I really didn’t want to deal with. My parents live over an hour away in another state. Both of my parents are in the hospital. My father is in CCU in one hospital; my mother was placed in another hospital five miles away from where my father is.

As complex as that seems in time management to visit my parents, I also have to check in on my two disabled sisters. What an emotional roller coaster situation that was. I was met at the door with total emotional dependence from one and complacency from the other.

Let me tell you, I can take charge without direction. I collected my parents’ checkbooks and bills to take to my parents. I ran errands for my parents while they are incapacitated. I completed their laundry and put it away in their closets and drawers.

Since my parents have been in the hospital, neither of my sisters have cleaned up after themselves at home. It took me two days to clean the house. When I returned on the fourth day, someone dropped food on the kitchen floor and left it. I asked why neither of them didn’t clean it up. There wasn’t any answer other than neither of them wasn’t feeling well to clean up.

My older sister is intellectually disabled and has kidney failure which requires her to seek Dialysis treatment three times a week. She needs direction. Tell her what to do, she will get it done. But, she’ll never do it on her own instincts. She also smokes in the house and was told several times not to. It’s not a healthy environment for my parents who require oxygen. But, she won’t listen for reasons I don’t know. She believes that smoking in her room with the door closed doesn’t affect the rest of the house. When I left late one evening to return home, she was smoking in her room again even though I had politely re-explained the issue to her for the millionth time.

My younger sister, however, does nothing…especially when I’m there. I’m sure she’s thinking that if she stays out of my way, I’ll do everything that needs to be done. She’s right. If someone don’t take charge and do the work, nothing gets done. See the vicious circle that we have created?She was once so beautiful, brilliant, witty, and energetic. However, she currently suffers Chronic Illness, obesity, IBS, endometriosis, and the list goes on. She needs to make dietary changes and she won’t. To her, changing her diet means that she is being deprived. She doesn’t seem to understand that changing in order to feel better is winning. So why doesn’t she make the necessary changes?

For these emotionally fragile and sensitive individuals, I came across as high handed and not kind (so says my mother). On the long drive home Thursday evening, I pondered if my two sisters believe that when my parents are gone, their world won’t change… maybe just a change in their location from one state to another. Maybe they believe I’ll simply stand in for my parents and take care of them, driving them around, and giving them extra money to pay for their “wants.”

I love these two sisters as much as I love my brother and other, younger sister. They were my best friends when we were growing up. And, I miss the fun we had together. However…

…History has shown me that resistance to change is so much stronger than the will to change.

Dr Jekyll, Mr. Hide, and a Gray Wolf

I am thirty pages into my third book and I’m ready to throw it away. When I began writing my Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hide/Revenge story, my main male character was becoming Superman. I re-edited. Then, a gray wolf popped in. So, I began rolling with it.

The premise: M. Lucian Powers, Jr. (half Native-American/half Irish-American) has relocated to the Philadelphia/New York area and now is in a financial position to bring down the Littleton family who were involved in his father’s death and the two police officer involved in his mother’s trumped-up drug charges which broke apart his family when they lived outside Indianapolis, Indiana. The gray wolf shows up just as he starts the plotting the takeover of Littleton Cosmetic Company.

My husband suggested I give a bigger role to the wolf. One girlfriend didn’t like that M. Lucian Powers is half Native-American. “Why isn’t he Italian?” she asked. She’s all Italian. “Because Gray Wolf is his Native American name,” I responded. She gave me a scowl. Another girlfriend suggested I make the Gray Wolf an alter-ego, with M. Lucian Powers in a schizo ward at the end of the book. “But, where’s his happily-ever-after with his love interest?” I asked. Because if he doesn’t get his happily-ever-after, then the story line of the love interest changes.

Then, I searched how many books were named “Gray Wolf” or had it in the title to the book. Over 445 pages in alone came up. So, I had to change the name of the book to “Red Wolf”. I hate it! I hate it!

So…. I have decided to heed my husband’s advice. I will develop a relationship between the Wolf and Lucian. I am thirty pages into my third book and I’m ready to re-edit.

What do you think?

Book Review – Desperate Pursuit in Venice by Karynne Summars

***** (Five-Star Review)

What an engaging story! Suspense, champagne, plot twists, great character development, and romance. The otherwise dramatic story is occasionally lightened up by some witty dialogue.

Kataryna’s American company is purchasing an Italian company from two men – one is the owner; the other is the CEO – who are long-time friends. She will become their boss once the merger goes through. The two men are in love with Kataryna. Kataryna is in love with one of them; the other relentlessly pursues her.

The wrong word, the wrong business tone, the wrong misrepresentation of her feelings to her pursuer could cause her to lose the one man she was meant to love and ruin a long-term friendship.

Kataryna’s challenge is keeping all the business balls in the air while enjoying her new-found love and compassionately deflecting the advances of the other’s unwelcome affections.

I highly recommend this book.

New Book Announcement!

Click here for the slide show of the book: Entangled Slide Show

Entangled is now available.

A contemporary story for young adults and those young at heart. Enjoy a story of family drama, sibling rivalry, and new adult love.

Suspense… Mystery… Family drama… Sibling rivalry between half-brothers, and… Romance.

Is it plausible that —in today’s current world — a father can dictate to whom his children will marry?
Is it plausible that —in today’s world — a thirty-year old man would give up passion and the woman he loves to marry another where there is no passion and he does not love in order to succeed his father at his father’s business empire?

Wealthy, Old Man Arthur Bosch, self-made man from the Midwest now residing along the Main Line of Philadelphia, wants to retire. He has seven children, six with four wives, and one from a love affair.

Of the three sons most capable of taking over his company, Graham Parker, illegitimate son, is the logical choice. However, Old Man Bosch wants Graham to marry into a well-established Main Line Family. Graham wants the pretty, young secretary that works for the family company.

If Graham does not marry his long-time girlfriend, he will not succeed his father. Graham’s two half-brothers conspire to get Graham to choose the secretary, leaving room for one of them to succeed their father.

What will Graham do—love or success? Whom will he choose?