EASY PICKINS

Which books are you must grabs for the summer reading list? What are the five best ways to style a scarf? Where are my spots for pimento cheese in the South? Find my favorite quick tips at Easy Pickins!

7 Favorite Fashion Blogs for Women Over 40

When I need inspiration for writing this blog, I often turn to other bloggers for ideas. Some of my favorite fashion blogs are written for—and by—ladies over 40. Because when I put myself in our customers’ shoes, I realize that growing older doesn’t mean you have to wear boring clothes. With age comes the confidence and sophistication to wear what you want, and there is a huge community of mature women online who are stylish, creative, and daring. Here are some of my favorite fashion and style blogs for women over 40.

40+ Style by Sylvia van de Logt is a fashion and beauty website for women over 40 dedicated to showing you how to look gorgeous and experiment with fashion and style.

 

Style at a Certain Age is a fashion blog by native Midwesterner Beth Djalai, who hopes to encourage women to embrace their own personal style. Her blog includes versatile and affordable preppy classics.

 

Style Crone is a fashion blog for older women by Judith Boyd, a 74-year-old from Denver, CO, who is a true style original with a passion for vintage clothing and charming hats.

 

Fabulous After 40 is a fashion website created by Deborah Boland, a former HGTV producer. Frustrated by a lack of fashion options for women over 40, her goal is to help women in their 40s, 50s, and beyond to look “age-amazing.”

 

Not Dressed as Lamb is a fashion blog by Catherine Summers, a 44-year-old Brit, who hopes to encourage women to ditch antiquated notions of “age appropriate” dressing. The blog covers her personal style, aging issues, health, beauty, and fitness.

 

Not Dead Yet Style is by Patti Gibbons, a 60-something fashion blogger from Florida, who has refused to “recede gracefully” as she grows older. Her personal style is casual but always put-together with a love for jewelry and red lipstick.

 

Over 50 Feeling 40 is a fashion and lifestyle blog by Pam Lutrell, who reinvented herself following her 50th birthday. She transformed herself from frumpy to fabulous, and now is dedicated to inspiring women over 50 to look and feel their best.


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5 Must-Have Nautical Accessories

Fashion trends come and go, but the nautical look is a timeless classic that never goes out of style. Inspired by sailors and the sea, nautical-themed accessories always look chic and elegant. Motifs like stripes, anchors, sailboats, ship wheels, and starfish evoke the magic of the beach and ocean, making nautical accessories the perfect complement to your summer wardrobe.

Nautical Accessories

Here are my five picks for the summer’s “must-have” nautical accessories:

1: Nautical Charm Necklace Set by Viola®

This necklace and earring set features delightful charms of an anchor, life preserver and ship’s wheel, accented with enameling, beads and crystals. Done in crisp navy and white, the necklace and earrings can be worn together as a set or separately. Try wearing the necklace with a t-shirt to dress up a casual ensemble or pairing the earrings with a fresh cotton blouse.

2: Nautical Clip-On Earrings by Renshun Accessories

These tasteful earrings are done in a classic button style and feature an anchor design embellished with enameling and crystals for a hint of sparkle. Comfortable and lightweight, these clip-on earrings are available in navy/goldtone or white/silvertone. Wear with a blouse, like our popular Donnkenny® camp shirt, or a striped dress, like our UltraSofts® Mia Sailor Dress, for a polished look.

3: Sail Away Nautical Charm Bracelet by Good Feelings™

Enameled beads in all-American red, white and blue are combined with silvertone charms of a ship’s wheel, starfish, compass, anchor and sailboat in this whimsical adjustable bracelet. Whether you wear it with shorts and a tee or a breezy lounge dress, it’s the perfect finishing touch to any summer outfit.

4: Reversible Breezy Hat by Sun ‘N’ Sand®

Hats are vital to protecting your skin from sun damage (See Wednesday’s blog post “Sun-Safety Picks”). For skin-safe fun in the sun, this all-cotton reversible hat is a terrific option. A solid color on one side, it reverses to a charming mini anchor print on the other side. It even rolls up for easy packing. Just toss it in your tote or beach bag and take it with you wherever you go.

5: Windham Seasonal Slip-Ons by Grasshoppers®

Ideal for a stroll on the boardwalk, these comfy slip-ons have classic “boat shoe” styling and feature a canvas upper with nautical-inspired stripes. With a memory-foam footbed, padded collar and tongue, and removable Ortholite® sockliner, these casual shoes provide all-day comfort and support. From jeans and pants, to shorts and pedal pushers, to skirts and dresses, you can wear these Grasshoppers® with everything.

 

 


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Sun-Safety Picks

Summer is all about fun. Fun at the beach. Fun on the boardwalk. Fun having an outdoor afternoon with friends. In essence, it is about fun in the sun!  With all of that extra time spent outside, you need to be aware of the extra sun exposure you are getting and take steps to protect your skin during this season.

Sunglasses with hat

The first line of defense in protecting your skin should always be wearing sunscreen. Sun damage builds up over time. It is important to use sunscreen every day, even if it’s cloudy. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation; however, you can also lessen your sun exposure by choosing sun-smart clothing and accessories.

Here are our top three picks for protecting your skin from summer sun:

  • Wear shades. To best protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays, always wear good quality sunglasses when you are outdoors.

Our pick: Simply Noelle Fashion Sunglasses with Case

  • Wear a hat. A wide brim hat (not a baseball cap) is ideal because it protects the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp. Dermatologists report that for every inch of hat brim you wear regularly, you’re reducing your risk of cancer by 10 percent. So a hat with a four-inch brim, worn regularly, could slash your skin cancer risk by 40 percent, according to skin cancer experts.

Our pick: Akira Ribbon with Raffia Trim Hat

  • Cover up. Wear tightly-woven clothing that blocks out light. Try this test: Place your hand between a single layer of the clothing and a light source. If you can see your hand through the fabric, the garment offers little protection.

Our pick: UltraSofts ¾ Sleeve Boatneck Tee

Finally, to best protect your skin from sun damage, remember that these precautions work best when used together to maximize skin protection. Don’t go out in the middle of the day (an excuse for a siesta!) and use cover-ups like elegant wide-brimmed hats, thick shades, long-sleeve shirts, and stylish caftans. By modeling best practices in sun protection for yourself, you’ll also influence your family, helping to ensure they maintain healthy, non-sun damaged skin for life too.

Simply Noelle Sunglasses with Case  UltraSofts 3/4 Sleeve Boatneck Tee in Bright Turqoise


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Vegetable Recipes for the Season

Summer is (almost) here! It’s time to harvest yummy vegetables and serve up delicious food all season long. From tomatoes and squash to beets and greens, I’m sharing a few fun uses for those veggies in your back yard. Simply click on the image for the recipe, and share your favorites in the comment section below.

Happy cooking,

Parker


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Picking Paint | Switching Up your Home Decor

The quickest and most impactful way to change a room? Paint! My husband and I recently moved into our new home where we will welcome baby girl Wilson. Our home was painted beaituflly before we moved in shades of light grey and white (100% my style!)

While I love muted color palettes, sometimes a room needs a bit of bright. I opt for icy shades of mint and blue to complement the rest of our home. My two recent favorite finds include Neon Mint and Cool Elegance – both Valspar colors and easy to match at Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore!

I am also strangely in love with various shades of cream and white. Below are a few options to bring a calming and cheerful look to your home. (Just click on the image to go directly to the paint color).

Picking a paint can certainly pose its challenges. I recommend purchasing a small piece of sheetrock, available at any hardware store, and painting two coats onto the board to best test out the color. Make sure you glance at the walls a few times during the day, as light will change its overall appearance. In addition, remember that – once painted on every wall – it will likely become bolder in color as it reflects off of each corner and space in the room.

What are your favorite home colors? You never know when I’ll be up for a change – so share your go-tos with me in the comment section below.

Happy painting,

Parker


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Easy Picnic Tips for Spring

Across the street from our new home is a beautiful open field that serves as the perfect setting for a spring picnic. Our new baby girl is only a few weeks away from her debut, and I am already dreaming about mid morning, sun-soaked dates with my daughter (with plenty of shade, of course!)

So, let’s start with a few essentials to make certain your afternoon is idyllic: a large quilt (the thicker the better!), hard plastic cups and serving utensils, a roll of paper towels (just in case), bug spray and sunscreen!

Next, and in my opinion…the most important…food! Here are a few quick and easy snacks to pull together for a picnic. (Click on the images to get the full recipe!

What are your favorite items for a picnic? What can’t you go without on a beautiful sunny day? Share your ideas with me in the comment section below.

To the sunny days ahead,
Parker


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Garden Preparations for Spring

My husband and I recently moved and have not had time to plant a thing. At first, I was rather dismayed. I, like many others, assumed it was too late to get started with my garden. However, after researching my options, I learned that the warmth of spring prepares the soil to become an idyllic setting for planting seeds to harvest in late summer. With May around the corner, most regions of the US can stop worrying about impending or unexpected frost and get the most out of the upcoming harvest.

Here is a brief list of some of my favorite fruits and vegetables for a late summer harvest. What are your favorite items to plant and how do you prepare your garden? Share your tips with me in the comment section below.

Happy gardening,
Parker

  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Summer squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Melons
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

 

 


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Favorite Easter Treats

Easter is fast approaching, so I’m filling my kitchen with my favorite ingredients for a plethora of sweet treats. My parents are visiting us for the Easter weekend, so I have prepared for their arrival (and a neighborhood Easter party) by searching out the very best – and simplest – Easter recipes!

Some of my favorite holiday treats include cookie nests made with nutella – also known as my #1 pregnancy craving. If I can find a recipe including both peanut butter and chocolate, I am one happy camper! Lastly, with seasonal berries abundant in the Carolinas, I find fruity desserts a refreshing and colorful addition to my kitchen.

What are some of your favorite treats? Click on the images to read more about each recipe and share your go-to finds with me in the comment section below.

Happy Easter!


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Staying Well in the Winter | Parker’s Health Tips

Tis the season for sniffles, warm blankets, kleenex and hot tea. With changing seasons and shifting weather, our immune systems can tire out trying to keep up the health fight. Today, I am sharing a few favorite recipes on which I rely for health in the winter season.

Essential Oils

There are many essential oils on which I rely during the winter season. My top three include lavender, peppermint and lemon. Lavender offers a calming effect to tired muscles while peppermint energizes the immune system and opens up breathing passageways when battling congestion. Lemon is a natural antibacterial aid to keep the germs at bay and cleanse the areas around you.

Warm Remedy

Lately, my husband has taken to making his cold remedy in large batches – as everyone around us has the sniffles! Combine honey, sliced ginger, and thinly sliced lemon in a mason jar to keep on hand for the season. Add a few spoonfuls to tea or simply blend with hot water – and enjoy!

Hot Soup

There is nothing as calming as a beautiful soup. Try this carrot and ginger recipe for anti-inflammatory support and a soothing option during the winter months. Simply click on the picture for the recipe.

What are your favorite tips and tricks? Share them with me in the comment section below. Stay healthy and happy, my friends!

Warmly,
Parker

 


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Home Accents | Adding Flair Without Breaking the Bank

As the winter months fade to spring, I find myself itching to nest in a brand new way. I’ve been known to change paint colors, move around furniture, and swap a dining room table for another one a neighbor is giving away…just for a smidge of newness in the changing season.

Today, I am sharing a few tips I’ve used in our home. After spending the first several years of our marriage in about 800 square feet, buying our first single family home was a bit daunting. Thankfully, my mother saved all of the furniture from my grandparents’ home, and we used much of it in our new house – of course, mixed in with our furniture from college days…freshly painted to transform the space.

Some of my favorite tricks include changing out the cases on my decorative pillows and adding a new throw atop my white couch. I’ve even gone so far as to sew up different types of fabric for decorative pillows, just so I can have a warm and cozy knit pillow during the winter and a light and airy linen pillow in the summer! (By storing these cases among my extra sheets and towels, I save space and money)! Below are a few photos from our sweet abode – and the tips to go along with them! Share your decorating details with me in the comment section below.

Stay cozy,

Parker

Varied shades of white can be difficult to match, but adding in neutral woods and soft colors ties everything together. I found this dining room table at a small shop in South Carolina. When I saw it – I knew! It was our future family table, and I simply had to snag it. I found a friend to build us a coordinating bench on one side and purchased these bright blue chairs for $100 total. I found the cotton stems at an antique shop and added metal jars purchased for $20 total. I topped off the space with a wooden light pendant found at a clearance sale…and voila. Done!

Consider unique pieces to transform a room, and neutral larger pieces around which to build. Because our downstairs is one large living space, I chose to carry the white and blue tones into our living room. Here, I have added neutral pillows and light throws to our white couches with pops of blue in the antique trunk (a steal at $25!) and the glass end table (another sidewalk find at $15).  If you have a narrow living space as we do, open up the space by having the couches face one another. This also makes for easy entertaining and great play space for little ones.

Make old pieces work with the simple addition of fabric. Our bedroom is our sanctuary. If you haven’t noticed, I adore soft neutral shades with small pops of color. When Thomas and I got married, we had fairly different taste in furniture. Somehow – in this room – it all came together. With natural wood and varied textures in both the bed and curtains, I opted for a solid color rug and coordinating shades of tan and grey before bringing in some color with our throw pillows. While I wish I could take full credit for this space, the vision and execution belongs to one of my best and most talented friends, Whitney Walker of Farrington Lane. Sometimes…you just need a little help to bring it all together!


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parker

I am Parker. My mom, Lynda, is the owner and President of National Wholesale. We are a woman’s apparel company that I’m hoping you know about but if not, you’ll be inspired to learn. We’ve been around since 1952. And the business was started by my entrepreneurial grandfather, “Georgie” with the support of my grandmother, GaGa. I’ve been surrounded by clothing and hosiery since the day I was born. I've also been surrounded by the drive to stay in business, which means connecting with our customers.

So, this is my story.

And in a way, yours too. Welcome.

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