Summer Fling

Over that holiday weekend I had the rare pleasure of a lakeside lunch with my oldest daughter. We happened on Fish Tales at Cedar Creek Marina. We saw swimsuits, coverups, suntan oil and lots of coolers, and, it seemed everyone brings their dog on their excursions on the lake. We both looked at each other and smiled. Summer's finally here!
Jul 16, 2013

And, there are several quintessential beauty must-haves we women need to track down and incorporate into our easy-breezy summer fling.

First things first. Most of the women we saw already had deep and bronzy tans. I have a feeling most were from a bottle or a spray nozzle. And they looked fabulous. I've finally found a self-tanner that doesn't stink. You know what I mean. The smell of self-tanners is not matched anywhere and takes all the pleasure out of the glow. I love Jergan's Natural Glow daily moisturizer. It's great gradual color without the odor.

And those of us who have to deal with a bit of the pesky cellulite, a tan is the best camouflage. Along with the tan, Nivea's Skin Firming Cellulite Serum works wonders.

Not too many things in our lives are commitment-free. If we splurge on a Coach bag, we are going to be wearing it for months. Even when we get a wild hair and change our hair – whether it's a style or color – we are going to live with it for awhile. For those who want to change things up, there's nothing like a manicure. Nail color is one thing a woman can change on a whim and we don't have to answer to anyone! A check at local salons reveals what's hot this summer is pastels on the base of the nail and a lighter color on the tip. It looks classy and cool at the same time; a funky twist to a French manicure.

Because summer means getting out of those skin tight jeans and into something that breathes and doesn't suffocate, the hot theme this summer is gauze. It's light, airy, feels great on the skin and any woman can wear it. I loved the look in the window at Lu Lu's on the square in Lebanon. Inside I found dozens of gauze outfits ranging from capri-length pants to palazzos. There are tanks and jackets too. What's so great about this material is that it can be bohemian, as well as elegant. I learned you just twist up the outfit when it's wet and it dries crinkly and beachy, or you can iron it and it is perfect for an elegant evening on the town. They come in all colors for every skin tone.

I know there's a ton of willowy, statuesque women out and about. I bow to you. But, some of us are vertically challenged and petite. The newest rage is the espadrille. These days many of them have high wedges to give us shorties some advantage and to give tall women even more height. They come in all shades and styles from flats to four-inch heels. The espadrille originated in the Pyrenees in the 14th century and were a peasant's shoe. But this spring and summer they've turned into the "it" shoe. I have three pair. They became popular in the USA in the 1940s when Lauren Bacall's character in the 1948 film "Key Largo" wore ankle-laced espadrilles. They were revived in the 1980s when Miami Vice was all the rage and the character Sonny Crocket wore an espadrille. JC Penny has a great pair in white at $50.

And finally, it's fun to mix up the usual summer pale mouth and shout red. Check out Cover Girl's Hot Passion.

Independence Day celebration

July 3, 2013

The Fourth of July is mostly about celebrating our country's birth while having fun in the sun with family, friends and good food. 

Last week, I had an enormous pleasure breaking bread and sharing Fourth of July traditions with several fabulous Mt. Juliet women at our inaugural Women Like Us luncheon. I asked what was their favorite July 4 memory or tradition. Each had their unique poke from the past that made them smile.

I recall when my daughters were young, and we had an old electric ice cream maker.

I'd put together a peach ice cream recipe and get out a bag of ice and a box of salt. We would put the ice cream maker on the back porch, and it would sputter and spin and leave water everywhere.

Though the big day is Thursday, it's not too late to run out and add to your plans some finds we discovered that will bring pazazz to your July 4 celebration.

Of course we want to pull off a patriotic outfit at our family picnic. While there are plenty of white T-shirts out there with the American flag emblazoned on the front, I think there are more subtle ways to salute our independence.

On the square in Lebanon at Lu Lu's, there's the perfect outfit that has a patriotic flare, and it won't hang in the closet until next July 4. It's a blue and white, very unusually styled striped top, paired with the classiest pair of white shorts I've seen in a long time. The top has a Chevron print.

The shorts are "high heel" style. They are longer and high waisted; an emerging style that is a throwback from the 1950s and 1960s. (Check out the TV show Mad Men to see what I mean.) They are cotton and have a nautical flare with a contrasting pale gray thread.

And, you can rock this outfit the rest of summer. The shirt would look great with a pair of yellow shorts as well. It can be dressed up or down, depending on your accessories.

I loved a pair of espadrilles at Old Navy. They are flats and have Old Glory's colors in a muted, casual tone. They are perfect for a July 4 party, but would go well with any cool summer neutral outfit.

At Crystal Couture in Lebanon there is a must-have scarf. It's got a flag on it with muted colors. An employee said her sister wore it with a denim dress and looked stylish, and it wasn't even July 4. It would look great with a white T-shirt and denim shorts.

For a small get together at the lake Thursday, your beverages of choice need to keep cold. I found a cute cooler at Kroger. It will hold plenty of drinks and has a red, white and blue theme. It will add a little charm to your picnic table.

Check out local Ron Reed's Kickin' Barbecue Sauce. There are three flavors and will go perfectly with whatever you throw on the grill. My favorite is the pepper flavor. It's got a kick, but is toned down enough for those of us who like a subtle sauce. The other flavors are pumped up. You can drop by Houston's Meat and Produce and
pick some up today. Once you've tasted, you'll never go back to any jar you can buy at Publix or Kroger, it's that addicting.

Homemade ice cream is standard, but there's always room for a patriotic-themed dessert. For years, my daughter would top a pound cake with Cool Whip, blueberries and cut strawberries in the shape of a flag. There are tons of fun and easy recipes on the Internet.

To top off this family day, don't forget the Mt. Juliet Fourth of July fireworks show in south Mt. Juliet, near Providence. It rivals Nashville's and is so close and free. I found the best deal for backyard fireworks is the Excalibur package. It has more than 25 shots of amazing fountain-type fireworks. It costs $75, which is not bad for a spectacular, do-it-yourself display.

I hope Woman Like Us find time to make more memories Thursday. Don't forget to fly your American flag.

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