Do you have any tips for looking “nice” during the heat of the summer?
I'm laughing because I suspect Black would argue that I
rarely look "nice" in the sense that I rarely "dress up". Even before the pandemic, unless I had a Red
& Black business meeting or speaking engagement, my normal "look" was that
of super comfy – workout or very casual clothing and minimal makeup. Here in Texas, where the heat and humidity are
oppressive, I'm always looking for tips because the moment you step outside,
you're going to start sweating, your makeup will drip, and your hair will either frizz or wilt (neither's
a good look for me). So, I keep my
skincare simple and summer-friendly – extremely lightweight, tinted facial
moisturizer with a high SPF (so I only need a single product) and waterproof
I've never been very creative when managing my long hair for the summer, but my daughter let me in on a secret when she straightened my hair for me. Unlike my rushed approach, she took an extra 10 minutes to do it in smaller sections, which looked great when my hair was down but, amazingly, even made my ponytail look "finished". Taking a little more time to do it right makes a huge difference as now my hair stands up to the heat and humidity. (Good news is she's always willing to do it for me, bad news is that she goes to college in a few months, so I'll have to learn how to do it myself.)
|When I started racing cars in the mid-1990s, I cut my hair very
short so I could easily style it with some water and hair goo when I removed my
helmet, which makes it perfect for summer. (Plus, I calculated that I could
save over 10 hours/month, or five full days a year, by not dealing with my
In terms of clothing, it is a function of where you are going or where you work (obviously, if you are in the banking industry, you will dress very differently than someone who works for a design or marketing firm). For the last few decades, I have worn the same "uniform" – dark slacks or jeans, white shirt, blazer, and colorful Hermès shawl. In the summer, I select pieces that are light-colored, loose-fitting, and breathable fabrics, but if I had to give one tip, it would be to wear layers since going in and out of air-conditioning can be a challenge, although I see it as a fashion opportunity. In fact, that is how my "signature" shawls started as, regardless of the season, I would always have one with me to handle changes in temperature.
Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
Absolutely! Even though I’m not Irish, although growing
up, many people thought I was because of my
red hair. Regardless, I’ve always looked forward to St. Patrick’s Day
and celebrate it the same way I did growing up in New York – with corned
beef, cabbage, and potatoes
. It was one of my favorite dinners then, and it still is, and my
daughters feel the same way. Neither one
of them will be home this year, but I’ll still be cooking a big pot of it and savoring
the leftovers for days.
Plus, and I’m sure Black will roll her eyes, I “dress up” our 5-foot standing stuffed bear that “lives” in the front hallway in his St. Patrick’s Day outfit. (Throughout the year, the bear’s outfit changes with each “significant” holiday – a family tradition that started when my girls were very young.)
Considering Red loves history, I am surprised
that she did not mention
history behind St. Patrick’s
or that St.
Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was neither Irish nor a Saint.
And, given Red's love of bagels, I
am shocked she did not mention that our local bagel shop would always make green
ones to celebrate the holiday.
How do I celebrate? I have always been a clotheshorse, so it is easy just to wear something green. Growing up, it was not that I was conforming to the tradition of wearing green so leprechauns could not see me; it was because many boys in school looked for any “legitimate” excuse to pinch girls, and I refused to give them that opportunity. Over the years, as I collected Hermes shawls (you can see them in the background in Selfish,Shallow … And Svelte?), I would grab one that had green and call it a day. St. Patrick’s Day.
You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – whether with food and drink (does green beer taste different?), wearing green, thoughts of leprechauns and good luck, or just taking a few minutes to enjoy these Irish quotes.
Can an act of kindness really make a difference?
making me stop and think about this. I
realized that on the days that when I’m out and I’m not feeling totally stressed
or in a rush to do a million and one things, I find myself engaging in a little
more conversation with people or, at the very least, taking that extra moment
to connect. It might be someone that
needs assistance, or merely the opening of a door. Or, I might make eye contact with someone in
the grocery store, and make a passing, but kind, comment. Sometimes they “return” the kindness, but
even if it’s just a smile that gets returned – it makes a difference to both of
So, having said all that, the reality is regardless how busy we may be, it only takes a moment to show a little kindness. And I’m going to try harder, even when I’m super busy or in a cranky mood (most days fall into one of those categories) to share simple acts of kindness. If nothing else, it just might put me in a better mood. And, ideally, it might get passed on.
|I always say, “Red is the nice one.” And, by that I mean she always tries to behave in a pleasant or agreeable way, wanting people to like her (although there are days when she has exhausted her quota of “nice”). But, kindness is different. Kindness is doing something that is helpful to others. It can be contagious, and the benefits and ripple effects can be significant. However, instead of quoting research and statistics, I will share this simple, but powerful, video, “ Change The World With Kindness.”|
P.S. – Need some kindness ideas, click here. Or for some inspiring quotes, click here.
relate. When my husband got fired, Black made me total up all our credit card debt, and I broke
down in tears. The funny thing is that before
she’d help me deal with it, she insisted on giving me a history lesson on credit cards. And
although I love history, initially, I fought her. But I’m so glad she ignored me! To this day, understanding that the origin of
credit cards wasn’t a line of credit but instead a convenience (to be paid in
full every month) has made a huge difference.
But that doesn’t answer your question. I think we all know how easy it is to rack up credit card debt, especially during the holidays. A holiday budget would’ve helped, but now you need a monthly budget to see where you can cut back and apply those “savings” to pay down your credit card bills. Without making this a math class (not my favorite subject), I just memorized that after paying the minimums, I should apply any “extra” money to the credit cards with the highest interest rates (APRs). There’s nothing I can do about the past, but I can start making better decisions today.
I appreciate that “misery loves company,” and recognizing that we all are susceptible to overspending (Nicholas Cage took it to the extreme) helps explain why in the last year, credit card debt has exploded.
I recently read that HBO star Issa Rae admitted that when she was a college student, she ran up lots of credit card debt, to the point it was “crippling” (her word, not mine). It reminded me of how shortly after getting my M.B.A. (in International Finance, so I had no excuse), I got in debt over my head. To the point where although I was making a great salary in a corporate job, I had to take a second job waitressing on weekends to pay down the debt.
Am I suggesting you get a second job? No. I am suggesting you look at the numbers and then decide how best to “attack” them (maybe even consider debt consolidation to lower the overall interest rate you are paying). Some people suggest paying off the lowest balances first, but that is a psychological approach. As Red will tell you, I am pragmatic and prefer to crunch the numbers, and come up with a realistic plan and set myself up for success.