At Home Life: Make memories now and dress for dinner


Over 50 Feeling 40 encourages dressing for dinner during stay at home isolation

Our at -home- life during this pandemic is certainly one of choices. Many of us have been asked to shelter in place and not leave our residences, so how about making some of the experience special…even if you are surviving alone.  Let’s dress for dinner and make it a memorable moment.  I know these are difficult times, but they are times where we can take lemons and make some lemonade in the way of creating memories that bring a smile when we think of them.

Pamela Lutrell sets a pretty table during stay at home for COVID-19

I would guess that the majority of us have nice dinnerware…perhaps even china that sits in a cabinet.  I think this occasion merits eating on the good stuff!  Don’t you?  When my husband saw me set the table, he said, “Well this is nice!” He liked the idea.  Our biggest challenge right now is eating at the same time.  During the traditional go- to -work -week, we often eat at different times M-F. 

But right now, ee cannot go out to a restaurant or for a special occasion because the dining rooms are closed.  But we can make it special in our own dining rooms.  Setting a nice dinner and sitting down with a loved one will…

  1. Take away some coronavirus stress
  2. Help us to recall special moments
  3. Set aside any fears associated with constantly watching the news
  4. Make us take time for a quiet.
  5. And create a memory to look forward to during the day.
  6. Provide the healing laughter we need when we share some funny memories over the meal.

Make sure you turn off the television, turn off the cell phone, and focus on whoever your dinner partner happens to be.  Each day brings larger numbers and more anxiety…treat yourself by turning it off for a time,

Dress for Dinner…and I don’t mean your PJs 

We have already discussed on the blog the importance of dressing for your day especially when working from home, but here is another occasion worth a little additional effort.  It is true to say that it takes as much time to put on a kimono, matching top and a necklace on with my jeans as it would to put on a tee and flip flops. Just nix the workout wear and loungewear for a time every day to sit down for dinner.  Put on something nice…add a little jewelry…and make it a special moment.  I am enjoying having a little time to closet dive and bring back some favorites like this Chico’s reversible kimono.  I am wearing it with Chico’s jeans, a V- neck blue tee from Marshalls, and a necklace I have owned for a long time.  You can’t see my feet but I have on my bronze Cole Haan ballet flats.  I saw one woman online who said she is treating each day as if it is a travel experience and dressing for it!  Whatever helps us get through, but I also want to say whatever helps us get through with a smile and good memories.

Remember to add accessories…this little blue and gold bracelet was a discovery last fall at a Chico’s on a clearance rack…It was $9! Goes great with this outfit.  The other gold bracelet was a gift from Mr. B.

Pamela Lutrell shares accessories for at home style

Each Day Top Chef’s Competition….at home!

Pamela Lutrell cooks whatever she finds at the grocery

When I went to the grocery over the weekend, I had menus in mind for the week now that I am cooking more.  We are not vegetarians…yet…it might go that way, but both of us enjoy eating meat with most meals.  Our Southern cooking mothers would not have had it any other way.  So, I was looking for two different meats and ended up with the last pork roast and hamburger meat.   I kind of feel like I am stuck in one of those cooking competition shows where they have to make something fabulous with whatever ingredients they are handed. It’s a lot of pressure!! This is one of those circumstances that it does no good to fret or complain (it is not the store’s fault that people are taking too much!).  Like I said yesterday:  we must be patient, optimistic, flexible, creative, hopeful, and grateful.

Pamela Lutrell reviews Kraft BBQ sauce

So, the pork roast became pulled port in a crock pot.  I seasoned it with garlic salt and Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb, poured mushrooms and sliced red onion around it, and a bottle of this BBQ sauce over it that was one of the only brands on the shelf.  I have to say…it was delish! My husband was very happy and I would recommend the sauce.

Pamela Lutrell cooks with fresh veggies

I do not purchase many fresh veggies during the week, because in my previously rushed “Before-Virus” life I needed more flexibility to change things up when needed.  So, I usually bought frozen veggies.  On this day in the store, there was not a one frozen vegetable (nope, not one bag).  So, with our pulled pork we had fresh spinach and it was also very good.  I wish I had grabbed a second bag…but we were very good to just buy one of each item.

 I will say flexibility and creativity taste delicious!  My new mantra!

“Life is Short” Quotes

Pamela Lutrell writes of appreciating life now

I do like to remind us that life is really short and goes by so quickly…so here are a couple of quotes that I have in my quote file that apply for today….

Life is too short to wear boring clothes

Life is short, eat dessert

So, what do you think?  Is it possible to take a time like this and make some good memories?

I haven’t made dessert yet, but perhaps that will be a weekend treat! OOOH….something to look forward to!  Something else to look forward to are all of the beautiful fashions coming out for spring and summer ..enjoy the slideshow below…..and remember….


Your hug is currently your smile…keep hugging!

By Pamela Lutrell















  1. I do enjoy pulled pork, so that smoked hickory looks quite interesting. I have never seen it in our stores locally but will keep an eye open for that one to try. What a great idea to dress (table and myself) for a lovely meal. I will try that as well. I have dishes from aunts and others that just sit there looking pretty. If not now, when. When I was getting a few groceries yesterday, I did pick up a couple body butters while there for some pampering. Not going anywhere else for sure, then home quickly. Thanks for all your ideas and inspiration, needed now more than ever.

  2. Pamela, thank you for the great suggestions today. I am going to shop in my closet to see what I can find to find something similar to your beautiful outfit. I enjoy reading your email every single day!

  3. Thank you for being here, Belinda and for your encouraging comment. Have fun shopping that closet!!

  4. Right after Christmas I started using the sterling flatware every day for every meal. It takes hand washing, of course, and egg yolk will tarnish it–but you have silver polish for that. It was a legacy from my aunt and it brightens every meal to us it. I’ve always taken great care and delight in table settings, I think a well-set pretty table enhances any food from pbj to lobster and any and all in between. My daughter won’t want my fine things so I use them and enjoy them. Daily.
    I’ve not started the ‘dress for dinner’ yet since I do the cooking and serving and wouldn’t want to muss something. However, I just got a new top in the mail that I’ve been wanting to wear and just last night thought about wearing it for dinner. Until I really thought about what I was serving and what a mess it could potentially make. So, maybe on salad night I’ll get a little dressier.

  5. Still working so I’m dressed. Candles, flowers and cloth napkins on our table every night, even when it’s warm and we can eat “al fresco.”

  6. I keep trying with the clothes but I don’t have many that fit. I have ordered some things, but then they don’t fit. Because I’m short and busty and chunky kimonos look dumpy on me.
    Your dishes and place mats are beautiful. It is challenging to find food, and that pulled pork looks delicious.

  7. I do the pioneer woman trick on the pulled pork. onions and a bottle of pop in the crock pot. She used Dr. Pepper. then I shred and add Sweet Baby Rays BBQ Sauce…I love that one and KC Masterpiece. I am a BBQ nut.
    Love your outfit and since we missed my birthday dinner out due to quarantine, I may just do this. I have some Filet’s in the freezer I’ve been saving. I am not sure how the hubs feels about it. He is a jeans and polo guy.
    May I ask what your dinnerware pattern is? It is not one I am familiar with it. I love them very much.

  8. Well, we had no choice of sauce! But I do like KC Masterpiece…also, there was no soda except for Cream Soda. We don’t drink soda but it was on the water aisle and we noticed the clean racks! You tend to notice what is left behind and the brands that are left behind. But this one was very good for a spur of the moment dinner. Thanks for sharing your tips for after-virus-cooking! My dinnerware is an antique pattern from England which belonged to my husband’s grandmother. It is my favorite set of dishes. My husbands idea of dressing for dinner is still casual, but nicer than shorts and a tee. Thanks Mari!

  9. Since you are health conscious, but thinking about dessert, look for “desserts for two” online or on Pinterest. I found a recipe last weekend for Southern Chocolate Cobbler for two. Everything it called for was in my pantry or refrigerator, including vanilla ice cream to top it.

  10. You are so right. I feel much better when I am pulled together. Perfume and jewelry are a constant. Dressing for dinner is a great idea. I had an uncle that always ate his dessert first! That makes me smile now.

    You are a welcome bright spot in my day. I’ve been retired for a while so I know routines are important. Thank you for your blog. You look great in any of your kimonos!

  11. Love your post to dress up for dinner. Love your outfit. The colour on you is beautiful. Making memories are so important especially during these unsettling times.
    Be well. 😊

  12. I had to chuckle at your comment about being in a cooking competition with a grab bag, Er basket of random ingredients! I said the same thing last weekend as I unpatched my whatever ingredients.onto the kitchen counters. Let’s be creative! I think the sauces I selected actually saved me.
    As far as dressing for dinner I may pass but will definitely set a pretty table tonight with cloth and crystal. Who knows?

  13. Sounds so good…thanks Marcia. We have no ice cream right now, but I am craving the Kemp’s Frozen Yogurt…love the vanilla!

  14. Thanks Carolyn…so glad you are here. Dessert, first? I think I am in for that!

  15. You too, Cathy! I am certain we can find ways to make good memories now…we just need to look for them.

  16. Setting a pretty table is a great place to start. I didn’t dress that much…just added a pretty top to the jeans! Thanks Paulette!

  17. “I bought that kimono you are wearing after seeing it on you some time ago, but I have not worn it yet. Had planned to wear it with a navy turtleneck during cold weather, but we had so little cold weather in South Georgia that I did not have an occasion to wear it. Now you have inspired me again so I’ll have to get it out! Truthfully, you inspire me many days with your uplifting attitude, and suggestions. We appreciate your daily messages more than you know. Thank you, thank you!

  18. What a wonderful suggestion Pam! Even when we dine alone we should treat ourselves well. I have beautiful china that I got for a wedding gift eons ago and I love to use it! Candles, music, the works! Sure does elevate a mood! Your kimono is beautiful – and huge bonus that it’s reversible! That’s a perfect ‘dressed for dinner’ outfit! You are so right, it takes the same amount of time to put on something nice as it does to put on a tee shirt or sweatshirt. You look so pretty and your table setting is pretty too! Creative cooking – that’s sure the way to go these days. The shelves are not well stocked these days…even though the trucks are still bringing things in. I was thinking the other day, since the grocery stores are still open, if people just went shopping for what they needed for the week (that includes toilet paper – what is that all about???!), we would all have enough. It’s so silly to be hoarding ANYTHING these days. We can still go out to get food and paper products! Pulled pork….yum!!!!

  19. You are so welcome, Celia. Now, go wear that kimono! It is a beautiful garment…I need to wear it reversed sometime.
    Thanks for being here.

  20. A spokesperson for our local grocery said exactly that…if people would just get what they need for one week that it would go back to where it was. So frustrating! I need to try one of the places and days allowing seniors in early…I just don’t think of myself as a senior!

  21. Great thoughts for today. Yesterday I let the gloom take over – today I am washed, dressed, jewelry on, and I have to say today is much better. I am wondering today how you organize your jewelry. Have you done a post on how you store and organize your jewelry? I would imagine it has to be well-organized so that you can easily select what will go well with each outfit?

  22. I have found myself wearing nicer tops at home lately since we are not going out to eat. With the stores struggling to keep things in stock, I have been trying to conserve on things & have realized how many things I waste-everything from paper products to food. I am using cloth napkins now because they can be washed & are prettier. I have also developed a deeper appreciation for the things that my mother, aunt & mother-in-law did that I thought were silly. They were part of the original “recycle, reuse, repurpose” generation.

  23. Pam, I read your blog every morning! I just love your positive attitude and authenticity. Question: I never read a post about your hair, what made you decide to go shorter, the lighter color, etc.

    Did I just miss a post? or did you not write about it? Could you please send me the link, or write about it? Thanks so much!

  24. You look elegant in the kimono Pam. I’ve been making recipes I downloaded after watching a couple episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives last week. My husband and son appreciate the new dishes, and it’s made my daily cooking a little more interesting. One of our recent favorites was Beef Braciole, featured on an episode from Mrs. Robino’s. It’s a pull-apart tender steak and pasta meal, which we had with salad and garlic bread. Another fun one was an applewood smoked bacon wrapped meatloaf, served with mashed potatoes and broccoli. SO delicious! Here in southern Oregon our grocery stores seem to be keeping up with demand, other than down the medicine and vitamin aisle.

  25. Hi Jane, I have mentioned ideas before on the jewelry, but I am still in search of a method I feel comfortable in recommending. I would love to come up with a method where I could see it all easily. I did see a peg board mounted on a wall of an extra bedroom where a women was hanging all of her jewelry and I thought it was a great idea but I do not have an extra wall. I will keep searching and let you know when I discover something I want to tell the world about. I am glad you got dressed today and feel better!

  26. One side effect of this virus may well be that we go back to the basic and learn to appreciate a simpler life. We have been forced to slow down and re-evaluate. Thanks Becky …always a good reminder to recycle, reuse, and repurpose.

  27. Hi Susan,
    Ah…my hair. Over the past 10 years it has brought some of the most lively conversations on this blog. I held fast to it longer than many readers wanted me to. A new hair dresses in the last two years talked with me about the pros of going shorter. It seems that most of my audience and friends really like it. But, I must confess…the jury is still out in my home. My husband wants me to grow it back, and I do miss having a longer length than this. Stay tuned…who know what will happen. I will do a post soon that is just about the journey of my hair!

  28. Thanks for sharing Connie. I think for awhile I have to be flexible and cook with what I find when I get there…but I hope that stops soon. I prefer planning meals with tested recipes. Thanks so much.

  29. Our hair salons were ordered to close yesterday and I had an appointment for tomorrow. “The Shag” may soon become the hair style most of us will be sporting! Or, we may be looking at trimming your own hair videos on Pinterest. Your hubby will get his wish for longer hair without you have to agonize over the decision. 😘

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