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!
I've been blogging now for just over a year and have progressed into the realms of "Influencer" - how very modern (I really dislike that term). I prefer to call it "Sharemonger" with a specific authority on all things good in midlife!
Along this chosen path I've learned many things from my younger peers who've been sharemongering for years. This particular story begins with a plan I had, to make it back to England for the summer by way of collaboration with British Airways. And why not, since British Airways has always been my, and my friends' airline of choice when travelling anywhere, particularly between London and Phoenix AZ!
My young peers think nothing of approaching companies for collaboration opportunities. I on the other hand am not so much at ease with this behavior, and being British, I am naturally reserved! It was then that the idea came to me, and I figured if I write to Prince Harry to request some sort of access to his Wedding, then approaching British Airways would have major significance - they'd have to get me to The Wedding on time!
I was already aware that the happy couple would be inviting up to two and a half thousand members of the public - humble and obedient servants! I was just hoping they hadn't sent out the invitations already!
With no knowledge of the selection criteria and a keen awareness that my humanitarian efforts on the British Isles have been somewhat lacking these past eighteen years, I quickly ruled out the direct approach to request a wedding invitation and settled for a more modest hint of some sort of media access!
It's quite tricky, not only is there a proper way to communicate with members of the Royal Family when speaking or writing to them (phrases like "Hi there", "Hello mate" or "Wassup" are not considered polite), but also the envelope must be addressed correctly - Mr Harry Windsor isn't going to cut it!
Feeling inspired the letter came to fruition. In no time at all I had myself convinced that I could possibly get a one-on-one with Prince Harry or Meghan, or perhaps a celebrity guest. I wondered if the Beckhams would be there, who I would sit next to, and found myself fretting over what I would wear!
Of I went pleased as punch, with letter in hand to the post office. I stood in the queue for several minutes which was more than enough time to contemplate my actions... not good! I was starting to think this was a foolish idea. The counter clerks at my local post office are super friendly, which is why the queue is always so long! But now I was beginning to consider what type of friendly discussion a letter addressed to "His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales" was likely to rouse at the counter, how many people might over-hear this conversation whilst patiently waiting their turn, and would I now be considered a total madwoman in public as opposed to behind the security blanket of photographs on social media! I couldn't stand it, I had to leave the queue!
I opted instead to mail the letter via the automated machine. I'm not very good with machines, I feel the need to read everything on the screen and somehow still miss the obvious and get stuck part way through the process, causing yet another long queue in this great American institution. But it went quite smoothly, obviously the letter was meant to be sent!
I told my husband about the post office dilemma and horrified anticipation of discussing the letter with the clerk, to which he replied, "You should have said... I know it seems weird, but he keeps borrowing money from me and I'm writing to tell him that it has to stop!" Why can't I think of things like that! Ha ha!
Four weeks later, a letter addressed to me with the Queen's cypher - EIIR, and franked from Buckingham Palace arrived in our mail box. The back of the envelope indicated it was from Kensington Palace! OMG... a letter from HRH!
Well, it wasn't a wedding invitation! It was a very well-penned letter explaining why I hadn't been invited, which to be honest was rather exciting nonetheless. So, the pressure was off for a new outfit!
As a loyal British subject, to receive a letter that comes with Prince Harry's "very best wishes" is an honor indeed, one that will be framed and mounted on the wall of Above and Beblonde's office, a perpetual reminder of another mad moment, a dinner party story, and the realization that I'm not yet a pure genius! Oh, and the need to dream up another collaboration idea for British Airways.
Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. This blog comes with my very best wishes for your future happiness together.
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!
Spirits are lifted as spring emerges from hibernation and shows signs of sticking around. Even in Arizona, despite our mild winters and seemingly endless days of sunshine, there is a different feel about the season as warm tendrils of air waft around us and bees are sent into a frenzy over the blooming wild flowers.
What better time of year than spring to bust out some silk in bright vivid colors, especially colors that can be seen from outer space! A silk buttondown shirt is a classic that stands the test of time, you can be sure it will re-appear merged with different outfits year after year which also makes it a good investment!
Midlife pulls many tricks on us - hair growth where we least expect it, and hair loss where we need it most - from our head. Sadly, it effects women as well as men.
Hair, like everything else goes through changes over the course of a lifetime. Shine and volume synonymous with youth gives way to dull, weak and thinner strands. There are however several things we can do to maintain our luscious locks for as long as possible without going the chemical route.
The shirtdress is a timeless classic that can be worn by young and mature women with the same level of effortless chic. It basically takes the form of a long button down shirt, comes in a myriad of fabrics ranging from denim (mostly in the form of chambray) to silk. Like a good shirt, the shirtdress can be utilized for smart and casual occasions but with the added advantage of not having to wear pants! It's a wardrobe staple and the versatility it offers makes styling it fun.
Korean skin care products are fast becoming the most sought after and esteemed beauty treatments in Europe and North America. Saranghae is a 5-step skin care routine that has been developed over 600 years in South Korea using locally derived natural botanical extracts. The name "Saranghae" is Korean for "I love you".
Being British means I take my dogs and horses very seriously! The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is for anyone who takes their horses seriously and that of course includes dogs! Every year it takes place at WestWorld in north Scottsdale and this, the 63rd annual event is running through to Sunday February 25th.
Crane birds are the latest graphic to turn iconic, rather like pineapples and pelicans in seasons past. My crush began last year with a pair of crane bird palazzo pants, and now continues with two recent finds that are so inexpensive they're bound to fly off the racks before you can say "Get the flock out of here!"
As Valentine's Day approaches romance is in the air and spring tickles our senses with the melting of snow, peep shows of sunlight and flowering buds
Only recently did bike-sharing make its debut in Scottsdale AZ, although the program has been active in Phoenix (on a much smaller scale) and elsewhere within the US for several years.
They appeared like magic out of nowhere. Abracadabra... suddenly there were lime green and bright yellow bicycles left randomly on street corners, at bus stops or lined up in neat rows like soldiers.
Bicycles were multiplying across the city faster than you could say "on your bike mate"! We are being invaded by aliens disguised as neon colored bicycles!
We have Balenciaga to thank for the return and subsequent sock booties crush that has emerged this past fall and winter season. That's alright, I for one enjoy crushing on high-end designer styles, especially when they're rapidly made available at a not so high-end designer price!
In case you're unfamiliar with the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auctions, they are the car lover's dream and for those who can afford to bid, and win - perhaps a dream come true!
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