2020 Vision: A Look Ahead

St. Regis cafe on Ile St. Louis in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

While I don’t usually put a lot of emotional stock in “A New Year,” I’ll admit this year feels a little different, and I’m (mostly) excited about it. Some big (good) personal changes are slated for this Spring. (Details to come.) We have lots of travel planned this year. I’m feeling more focused and committed to a healthier lifestyle. I have bunches of ideas for the blog. (And I’m going to be asking for your input on what you’d be interested in seeing/reading).


It’s taken me a while to get my style footing again after making the decision to add more color to my wardrobe. Judging from some comments and my blog stats, I’ve lost some readers because of it. I included this favorite quote in yesterday’s Instagram post:

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.

— Judy Garland

If there’s anything I’ve learned from blogging, it’s that you can’t please everyone. Not even close. As someone who was taught from an early age to be a people pleaser above all else, it’s been hard to let go of, especially in the context of this blog. But becoming a “first-rate version” of myself means connecting with what feels authentic, and moving through the process even when it’s uncomfortable.

And because this process has been and continues to be so transformative, I’ve made the decision to get color & style training to be able to work with clients one-on-one. I want to be able to help people feel more confident and better express themselves with style in a more comprehensive way. No, I’m not giving up blogging! I’m just hoping to add another dimension to it.


View of the Glass House at Kew Gardens with orange Chihuly sculpture in front. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

As I mentioned above, there’s a lot of travel on my calendar! In March, we’ll be going to Puerto Vallarta for a week to meet up with BIL and SIL who’ll be there on their boat. It’s been many, many years since I’ve been to a warm weather beach destination. (Am already mentally compiling my packing list…)

Not long after we return from Mexico, le Monsieur and I will be taking a road trip to Las Vegas for a few days to celebrate our 25th anniversary!

Then, in April I’ll be visiting London and Paris on my own for a few days. Mostly to catch up with some blogger friends, but also to do a little blog research.

And sometime next Autumn, we’ll be headed to Northern Italy for truffle season. Le Monsieur has always wanted to go out truffle hunting in the woods, plus we’d like to see more of Italy.

There may be a few shorter jaunts between Spring and Fall…we’re batting a few things around.


Colorful umbrella installation over Le Village Royal passage in Paris. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’m really committed to improving my fitness, as well as getting my cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure numbers back down. I lapsed a little bit on the plant-based eating over the holidays; had a few eggs and some fish here and there. No meat, though. I figure if I eat plant-based 80% of the time, it’s doable and still much better for me than more meat-based eating.

I’ve continued with my weekly Pilates session, and have added one or two Iyengar yoga classes per week. Plus, I’m doing some of the poses/exercises at home in between.

I’m also trying to build in more walking to my daily routines. We have two grocery stores within walking distance, so I’ve invested in a “Nonna cart” 😂 to be able to do more of our food shopping on foot.

I’d Like To Hear From You…

Assuming you’re still reading along at this point, I’d love to know what topics or areas of interest you’d like to see more of in 2020. What are your goals and aspirations for the year?

Stay in touch.

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  1. Jen
    January 3, 2020 / 6:13 pm

    I am so sorry that I am posting this so late. We have a virus here and all else seems to get left behind.
    About your change of direction with color, I have found the whole process so interesting. It has been several years since I have worked with color and am enjoying doing so again. Thanks for the encouragement!
    Your travels are always fun to see and read about. I look forward to learning more about the places and people you visit in the next months.

  2. Eileen
    January 3, 2020 / 8:01 pm

    P.S. because of your travels, I found better travel options. Because of your Red Leopard experience I have had my colors done, and am on my path. Because of you, I am watching quality shows. Because of you, my life is enhanced. Because of you, I will learn more and more … keep it up, it’s wonderful!

  3. January 4, 2020 / 9:21 am

    Well…. that is exciting news: you becoming a stylist. Kudos on you. I have thought about it butI think I haven’t what it takes.
    I am interested in your poses/exercises. Is that to get a better posture? Or to pose better when doing a photo shoot?
    That nonna cart is hilarious. Why not cycle to the shops? I have bags on either side of my rear tire to hold the groceries: also a nonna look haha.
    Lots of traveling for you: wonderful.

    • Susan Blakey
      January 4, 2020 / 9:26 am

      Don’t feel safe cycling on the roads here. Most LA drivers don’t know how to look for/deal with bicyclists.

      The yoga is to improve balance, strength and flexibility. It also calms the mind. But I’m still enough of a newbie that I only do the simplest ones at home.

    • Susan
      January 5, 2020 / 4:21 am

      I am with Susan about cycling, the traffic makes me nervous and although I used to love riding a bike, our compulsory bike helmet laws turned me off. On a more practical note, my dozen eggs are quite safe in my nonna trolley, but I doubt they would survive a bike ride home. In Oz, we call it a nonna (Italian for grandma) trolley, because older Italian (and Greek) women would walk to the local market/shops with them, but they are becoming very popular with all age groups now and I have people stopping me askingme where I bought mine (Aldi) – maybe they will be the new fashion accessory for 2020?

  4. Katie
    January 5, 2020 / 1:06 pm

    Amy Chaplin’s cookbooks “At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen” and “Whole Food Cooking Every Day” have delicious ways to increase plant-based cooking at home (while our kids still say, “nope!”, my carnivore husband loves everything we make from them!)
    So glad you are discovering more colors and looks to enhance your lovely self. Thanks for creating this wonderful blog and sharing your perspective!

  5. Mary
    January 5, 2020 / 4:16 pm

    I will continue to be a loyal follower even though I do not generally comment. I especially love your travel blogs and all the fashion blogs.

  6. Louise Hall
    January 6, 2020 / 3:12 pm

    Judy Garland was spot on!
    Congratulations on moving forward with your color and style journey, you will be fabulous. I had mine done 12 years ago by House of Colour in the UK (right before I moved to the US for a big job) and it helped me so much to be ME! For all those 12 years I dreamed about having my own House of Colour business in the US and I was able to accomplish that last year when I left my corporate job and moved lock, stock and barrel to San Diego. A huge life change, but so wonderful.
    I’m glad that you don’t have to wait that long and that there are more of us that are able to give this wonderful life skill to other women out there 🙂
    I’m an Autumn Classic Ingenue, so have different colors and style to yourself, but I still find your blog interesting and thoughtful and I wouldn’t stop reading it because we are not the same. Keep it up!

  7. Susan D.
    January 8, 2020 / 12:18 am

    Susan, I’ve been reading your blog for quite a few years now and seldom miss a post. I just want to say that I think the Red Leopard consultants gave you wonderful advice. Your new colors, while hard for you to find, as so worth it! You look absolutely stunning in them. So–please—keep going on that color journey. It is fun to follow even if my colors might be different.

    I also enjoy your travel posts and look forward to seeing where you go in 2020.

  8. Angela s
    January 9, 2020 / 12:07 am

    Susan – go girl! forget the negative people who don’t agree with your new direction. Utter stuff and nonsense. I think the new scheme suits you fine – although I liked your previous look too.

    Forget the “nay sayers” they like you, should move on!
    life is about learning and developing and moving on to something else – sensible people know this.

    Don’t let the b——s get you down – I’m a kiwi and we tend to tell it like it is. We all only live once … everyone needs to move on into the future.

  9. Wendelah
    January 30, 2020 / 9:37 am

    Okay. Let me say it again: I love your new colors. Sure, they’re not “my colors,” nor am I an Audrey Hepburn type. So what? You look terrific.

    Reading about your life is still fun and inspiring. That’s what’s always been important to me, not copying your look.

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