It seems being married brings on additional symptoms of midlife, in that husbands become less adventurous. Wives on the other hand tend to kick things up a notch during their midlife, am I right?
As was the case this particular Sunday for us three girl friends. A spur of the moment idea, a day trip to Flagstaff for a hike, a brewery tour and a visit to Camp Verde. Granted, my first reaction was "What time are you setting off?", and my second reaction, irrespective of the early start time, a resounding "Yes!"
My husband didn't want to get up early and had a ton of work to do, another wanted to stay home and watch the baseball and the third wanted to take his new car for a spin... yawn! Midlife man symptoms, this is why you need girl friends ladies!
From Scottsdale, Flagstaff is just a two-hour drive along a mostly scenic route across the desert. Climbing in altitude along the way it starts out with the cactus-loving rugged terrain of the low desert and eases up into the lush green conifers and evergreen foliage, of which the ponderosa pines are among the most common. There is also a drop of 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's a great place to escape the summer heat of the Phoenix valley!
In Flagstaff we met Austin, our friend's son who was to be our guide. A young man still far from the symptoms that our midlife husbands display, so he was up for the adventure along with his adorable girlfriend and Luna the dog. I mentioned none of these midlife concerns to his sweetheart, besides, the fact that we three showed up husband-less may have been a red flag!
We hiked the Lockett Meadow on the Inner Basin Trail, about 12 miles north of Flagstaff on US 89. Warning, it's at 8000 ft elevation and the single carriage dirt road up to the trail head is long and winding with no barrier guard. I didn't fare well, intermittent screaming, lots of hyper ventilating made worse by the thin air, and almost on my friends lap much of the way. Nothing like a day out full of exhilarating excitement!
The hike was totally worth the aggravation of getting there. The aspen trees, which I had never seen before, grow abundantly along this trail and in October their leaves turn yellow and it will be a sight to behold.
The hike is steep but not rugged, so if you have good lungs and are reasonably fit, it's not too difficult. Scottsdale and the Phoenix valley is at about 1000 ft above sea level, and this hike starts out at about 8000 ft... just saying!
Next stop, a trip to the Historic Brewing Company in Flagstaff. Some of our other tennis friends were in Flagstaff that day, so we were able to coordinate a beer fest! A first for me, since I didn't drink beer but was easily persuaded after the adventures of the day thus far.
The brewery is in an industrial area on the outskirts of Flagstaff. Our hiking guide happens to work there, so we were rewarded with a tour and a peek into the art of beer making. I think he does this often, if you happen to stop by, tell him I sent you, it'll make up for the earlier screaming in his ear!
Even though this is where they make the beer, they have a bar set up among the fermenting equipment and have 15 of their regular, seasonal and limited release beers on tap as well as a taco themed food truck open Wednesday through Sunday. You can sample any of the beers before you order and it's $5 a pint.
Onward to Camp Verde, about an hour from Flagstaff and an hour from Scottsdale, located in central Arizona, sitting on the bank of the Verde River. This place is lush, green and peaceful, picket fences and horses give it an English country vibe. Camp Verde is the gateway to the Verde Valley wine region with vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms spread across the area, now we're in Karen land! It's also the home of the 104-acre Out of Africa wildlife park.
It was a short visit to say hello to friends. The locusts were busy in the trees singing their sunset songs whilst the neighbor's horses chomped on their supper. The mosquitoes munched at my dusty tired legs and I drank another beer and didn't care. It had been a grand day out!
I recently wrote a blog (linked HERE) about my menopause journey, which thanks to SottoPelle® was a short story!
There was a tremendous response from women suffering the effects of menopause, many of whom have not found a solution or are suffering with ineffective solutions. Thank you to all the ladies who contacted me with questions and to share their stories.
Today, I invite you to come along and experience one of my appointments with SottoPelle®. A commitment I have been making every four months for six years without hesitation, because, it enables me to live my best life, no hormone surges, none of the symptoms of menopause, no side effects, just a normal well-balanced human being. Well, hormonally well balanced that is, ha ha!
Animal prints have long been the back bone of the fashion industry when it comes to pattern, and rightly so, it's instinctive one might say. Caveman was wearing animal prints before he even knew it was fashionable, albeit in the form of real skins and fur! So, it makes sense that animal print has largely dominated the style arena - the foundation was set in history, relegating the reptiles to shoes and handbags. After all, how many snakes would it take to make a loin cloth, or more importantly a dress? With the invention of textile printing and the social lean toward "fashionable faux" this or that, it matters not in this era. Now we can have endless lengths of Boa Constrictor or friendly Python wrapped about our person having materialized from a 100 yard by 54-inch bolt!
I speak not with fork tongue (laugh here), but snakeskin and snake print slithered its way back into popularity several months ago. Big fashion houses such as Gucci, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bottega Veneta and Roberto Cavalli presented python mimicking prints on the Milanese runways in spring, and not just for accessories, but pants, skirts and dresses were hissing out some major statements in both neutral tones as well as bold colors.
The lambskin coat shown here in a beautiful blue and black print by Alice and Olivia is a stunning example of a bold colored snake (linked HERE).
The reptilian prints are holding strong and snaking their way into some of the fall's hottest pieces among an overwhelming surge of animal prints trending in every shape and color. High street stores are embracing the animal prints revival and giving some serious leverage to the snake, with an array of garments as well as accessories. The following display is right as you walk in the door at Zara in Scottsdale!
So how does one wear snake print, without looking like Medusa's offspring?
Let me introduce you to my friend Sunny Leigh Sherman, former fashion designer and one of my favorite style icons whose everyday looks combine high street and high couture pieces to create ensembles that make age look like it stood still about thirty years ago #agelessstyle!
In the picture above, Sunny combines Zara snake print side stripe trousers (linked HERE) with a black blouse and studded sandals. This is how we snake, rattle and roll! If you're a little shy to go all-out reptile, just pick one piece and work it into your outfit! This look is one of my favorites this season.
This is me in my very old snake print pants by Joie! Similar look to Sunny, but much more appropriate terrain, don't you think? Ha ha! I was planning to add side stripes to my pants to modernize them but decided to add black knit cuffs to the ankles instead, they could use the extra length. I tried out the idea with some black tennis wrist bands - it looks super cool (minus the Nike swish)! Will post on Instagram when done! Never discredit a little tweaking to modernize existing pieces.
Here Sunny pairs her snake print pants with the coordinated top also from Zara (linked HERE). This could pass as a jumpsuit. Her funky red sandals add a distraction from the all-over snake print and lend a casual vibe to the outfit, but this would look equally cool with heels and a leather jacket for a night out in the fall! These are great transitional pieces for this time of year offering maximum versatility, either together or as separates.
If you're still coiling at the thought of wearing all-over snake print, then go for an accessory. A snakeskin handbag or shoe has been an elegant classic for decades. Shown above, the printed leather bootie from Zara (linked HERE) is a crowd pleaser, easy to wear with jeans or trousers as well as a midi skirt. Imagine an all-black outfit with these boots, uber cool!
In an article written by Who What Wear in July this year, they predicted that snakeskin boots will be the hottest boot trend in three months. I'm there already, (bought the Zara boots above) ... roll on October!
Here's another snake boot with a lower heel and equally chic print. This one is the Nettie Bootie by Splendid (linked HERE).
Here's an inexpensive way to add some snake print into your wardrobe. This TopShop snake effect cross body bag also comes in red snake effect and a yellow version. (Linked HERE)
Another cute bag from TopShop, somewhat "Chloe-esk", will work well with the tan and amber tones we will also see this fall! (Linked HERE)
Animal prints have been considered a neutral among fashionistas for some time, I think we can safely say that snake prints are a neutral, the new neutral! Not only do they work well with a monochromatic pallet but can be mixed with other animal prints and daring colors alike.
Let me know if you add some snake print to your fall wardrobe, I would love to hear how you incorporate it.
Oh, and Sunny would love to meet you too, you can follow her on Instagram where she is known as @oldfashionguru and posts daily pictures of her outfits along with great style tips.
There are affiliate links in this blog which means I may receive a small percentage of sales made.
If you're looking to ramp up your metabolism, torch a bunch of calories, improve your strength, endurance, and define your muscles, then the Tabata fitness routine may just be the answer to your prayers. Tabata costs nothing and doesn't require you to consume any expensive questionable supplements or concoctions. It's quick, best done in the privacy of your own home, and in my experience it really works.
You may have noticed that this has been the year of the one piece swimsuit. Step aside itsy-bitsy bikini, there is a not-so-new player taking center stage and it's redefining sexy swimwear!
Menopause hit me like a freight train at 50 years old!
It was as though my body had taken on a whole new set of rules that I wasn’t privy to, except to see and feel the miserable effects that resulted. I wanted me back, the version that ran smoothly like a well-oiled engine, not this one that kept back-firing and faltering daily.
There are many jewels to be found in the state of Arizona, but some are well hidden, like the Hermosa Inn tucked away in Paradise Valley. It's the last place you'd expect to find a hotel, situated alongside multi million-dollar resort homes in one of the wealthiest property zip codes in the country. But that's part of the charm, it's not like staying in a hotel, more like house sitting for your affluent relatives with full access to enjoy their spectacular southwestern style home whilst the staff take care of your every need. The only difference is, you pay for the privilege!
The recent frenzy toward the smartwatch in the western world has reached epidemic proportions. Most adults don about their wrist a watch with a blacked-out face or a rubber tube with seemingly no face. We're walking around as though in a science fiction movie under surveillance by this tracking and communication device. The problem is, the average smartwatch is anything but smart! It lacks style and is far from down to earth, looking somewhat sinister by it's dark secrecy and monitoring of our every waking and sleeping moment!
Never fear, there is a hybrid here! Say hello to the Misfit Path, a smartwatch with more style than a rubber wrist tube can only dream about.
Once I left the corporate world of employment many moons ago, I said goodbye to the uniform. It’s not that I’m opposed to uniforms, especially when they come in the form of Firemen or Naval Officers! But having worn a uniform from Infant School to High School, throughout an extensive hotel career and then the corporate world of “wear what you like if it follows these guidelines”, I laid to rest my power suit, pantyhose and ever so prim shoes!
It's been eight weeks since I started using the Trophy Skin MicrodermMD which is an at-home microdermabrasion machine. Here is my complete review with before and after pictures, plus an ingenious experiment to treat the back of my left hand only!
Always on the hunt for the perfect piece that will cross the boundaries of casual to chic with just a change of bottoms or shoes! Here it is, a pretty floral pull over top with delightful balloon tie-sleeves from Anthropologie!
Every now and then I have a moment of madness! One of these days that moment may be considered pure genius, but for now they've mostly been considered worthy dinner party stories! My last moment of madness was just that, with a bonus... a return letter from Kensington Palace!
With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning for your vacation—and for many, that means getting that winter body in summer shape. More often than not, our desire to lose weight and tone up before an upcoming vacation becomes a last-minute sprint. But if you start now, you'll increase your odds of success. Here are a few simple tips for converting to a healthier lifestyle.
The ravages of a well spent youth are reflected in many ways as we leave one era of our lives and begin the next. Lines, wrinkles, blemishes and lack of elasticity appear to a greater or lesser degree depending on the level of "well spent" we're dealing with! It's a natural progression but can still be hard to accept, especially when the vision reflected back at us in the mirror is not representative of how we feel inside - wrinkle free and much the same as we've always felt!
Using tennis as an excuse for a girl's trip to Las Vegas is a sobering thought. What could possibly go wrong? But it's as good an excuse as any given that these six ladies in their midlife have friendship in common because of tennis.
The trip had been in the pipeline for months until one evening at the bar during a happy hour gathering, and far from sober, dates were secured, and flights were booked right there on cell phones. A mere $45 each way from Phoenix to Las Vegas... cheers to Southwest Airlines!
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50