How Your Friends Make It Easy to be Healthy: Boot Camp & More

Five-a-Day, Water Instead of Pop, and Don’t Slip Back

Time for fruits and vegetables

This is a diary of the healthy lifestyle goals that my son, Chris, and I are making together each month.

September was a whirlwind of activity, as we prepared for the premiere of Loserville the Film.  Chris was involved in promotion of the movie that he starred in, and we booked our trips and packed for Hollywood to attend the premiere on September 29th.  Also, at the beginning of the Month, my husband and I traveled to his niece’s wedding.   Chris and I kept to our previous goals, but did not make new goals until October. 

In October, my new goal was to eat five fruits and vegetables a day.  Chris’ goal was to reinforce all of his previous goals because he was slipping back on various things, such as drinking pop and eating burgers and greasy foods.  So he added the goal of drinking water instead of pop. Continue reading “How Your Friends Make It Easy to be Healthy: Boot Camp & More”

Does Professional Advice Guarantee an Organized Closet?

Photo from “8 Steps to Clean Out Your Closet and Reset Your Style”

Well, we’re nearing the end of October, and the weather is just starting to get a little chilly.  It’s about time to pull out your sweaters and warm, cozy clothes and put away the summer-only clothes.  So a little closet clean-up is probably in order.

My closet isn’t like the beautiful, perfect ones you see online; but it’s not messy like the one above, either!  I have always changed over my closet twice a year from winter to spring and then from summer to fall.  I take out the out-of-season clothes and store them; then I move the clothes needed for the coming season into the closet where I can reach them.

I’ve tried many of the little tricks that are advised for closet organization.  Here they are, and here’s what I thought of them:

The organizing trick:  turn the hangers all one way, and then after you wear each piece, turn the hanger the opposite way.  At the end of the season, see which items of clothing  you didn’t wear and get rid of them.

Are you crazy?!  I couldn’t get rid of them.  And this is why:  there were various reasons why some perfectly good and well-loved clothes did not get worn.

First of all, the heating and cooling system at work was leaving the place overheated.  I needed to use my summer wardrobe all year.  That doesn’t mean I will never need my winter clothes again!

Secondly, I got transferred to a different division at work and no longer needed to wear conservative business attire.  That doesn’t mean I will never need my suits and dresses again!

So the final verdict is that rule didn’t work for me.

The beautiful closet:  organize by color.

This made my closet prettier, more like closets look on blogs and websites.  It no longer looked like a hodgepodge of colors and patterns (although it was already divided into categories of tops, skirts, pants, cover-ups, tunics, sweaters, etc.).  However, it wasn’t as easy for me to use as it had been with my habit of rotating the clothes that I wore to the end.  I like variety, and having the things not worn in awhile at the beginning made it much easier for me to create new outfits without repetition.  So final verdict:  organizing by color is pretty but not as user friendly for me.

Personal tip from me:  instead of turning hangers backwards and forwards for what has been worn or not, try choosing your clothes from one end of the closet rod and rotating them to the other end after wearing them.

Hangers:  Replace hangers with higher quality hangers of all one type and one color.

I sure was tired of the wire and plastic store hangers getting tangled up with each other!  I started buying the velvet hangers in black.  Having hangers all the same type and color looks nicer, the slim shape of these hangers fit more on the closet rod, the velvet keeps the clothes from slipping off the hanger, and the curved end keeps from causing bumps in the clothing material.  I like them so much that my thoughtful husband bought me another set as a surprise.  Final verdict:  these are a keeper!

Closet organizing tip:  shelf dividers.

I stack sweaters on the polished wooden shelving that my husband made in the walk-in closet he built.  Every now and then, a stack of sweaters (or more, in a domino effect) slide off the shelf.  What a frustrating mess!  I now plan to buy shelf dividers to keep folded sweaters neat and in place.  I hope it works!

Extra bonus tip from me:  stuff boots to keep their shape.

I use empty paper towel cardboard tubes to put inside my tall boots so that they stand up straight and don’t fall over in the closet.  It works!

What tricks have you tried to get your closet organized?  Do you have the perfect closet?  I’d be interested to know!  Leave a comment below.  I invite you to sign up for e-mails to get my blog posts on fashion and fitness straight to your in-box every Monday.




How to Look Great in the Cold? Layer Up!

Paris street style

It may be 79 degrees the next couple of days, but the temperatures are on their way down as the days get shorter.  The trees know that; they are changing colors with each cooler night and dropping leaves with each gusting breeze.

As fall advances upon us, adding layers of clothing that can be removed upon a whim helps to keep us comfortable.  We can add some warmth while still wearing some of our favorite summer clothes.  We can remove layers if the temps warm up during the day, or even to experiment with the look created that morning.

I love layering because it turns something plain into an interesting creation! Continue reading “How to Look Great in the Cold? Layer Up!”

Free America from Hate: Vote to Defeat Trump

               Orange is………………The New Blacklizza-dilemma-of-conservatives-who-wont-vote-trump-690






My guest writer this week is my beloved husband, Russ Bellant.  He has been researching and writing on topics related to this article for over 40 years.  He has published three books and numerous articles in such publications as the New York Times, the National Catholic Reporter, the Toronto Star, the Texas Observer and the Detroit Metro Times.

Fred Trump Sr. was arrested in 1927 in a fight between 100 New York City police officers and 1,000 Ku Klux Klan members during a Memorial Day parade (New York Times June 1, 1927, p. 16). It was an era of Klan growth when they fought to keep Irish, Poles, Italians from immigrating to the U.S. As was a common practice years ago, the newspaper published his home address as 175-24 Devonshire, Jamaica, Queens, New York City. Fred Trump had built that two story home there two years earlier and ran his real estate business from there. He married in 1936 and began a family.

In 1946 Fred’s 4th child, Donald, was born in Jamaica, Queens. He was raised in Queens in his father’s real estate/ landlord business. Their practice was to rent to whites only. So determined were the Trump’s in upholding their racist practices that one of their tenants, folksinger Woodie Guthrie, wrote a poem in 1950 with lines denouncing “Old Man Trump”  and the “racial hate that he stirred up.”

Continue reading “Free America from Hate: Vote to Defeat Trump”

Take a Break from Skinnies: How to Wear Flares


Mesh slip over tank + flared jeans and pendant

The recent trend toward 70’s styles have inspired a change away from skinnies towards flares.  Since flares have a gypsy/hippie vibe, they go with  pieces like a fringed vest, a chunky belt, a tie-dyed headband and/or boots.  A turtleneck over flares is a classic 70’s look.

Since flare jeans have a relaxed and casual look, they go well with grunge-style clothes, such as a plaid shirt or graphic tee.

To get away from the casual look, opt for a dark shade of flared pants like black, a clean looking white, or even a navy blue in a plain style without rips to get a more classic feel.  Also, instead of denim, you can get flares in fabrics that dress up the look.  Or you can even buy trouser flares. Continue reading “Take a Break from Skinnies: How to Wear Flares”