2020 Reality Check for Women Over 50: Inspiration to look and feel your best during challenging times

Shopping at Nordstrom on over 50 Feeling 40

Good morning, ladies and welcome back to Reality Check where we deal head on with all that is going on in our 2020 world and offer some inspiration and affordable budget options in order to look and feel our best during challenging times. Today, I have mental inspiration plus beauty and fashion budget-friendly ideas!


There were so many of you who confessed last week to struggling with our current situation…whether it be lock downs or the economy.  But it was so great that we could come together and support one another with ideas and encouragement.



Reality Check on Over 50 Feeling 40


Do you remember the Beach Boys song, In My Room?


“There’s a world where I can go and tell my secrets to
In my room, in my room
In this world I lock out all my worries and my fears
In my room, in my room

Do my dreaming and my scheming
Lie awake and pray
Do my crying and my sighing
Laugh at yesterday….”


It reminds me that we all need a happy place where we live…a back porch, a favorite chair, a picture window….kind of our own little sanctuary.

Last week, I posted a picture of storm clouds as an illustration that our current world has been invaded with huge storms.  But, actually, I love storms.  We had some summer storms blow in last week and it was wonderful.  I am one of those rare Texans who gets tired of clear blue skies.  One of these images is from my front porch and one is from a friend of ours who was fishing off the Texas coast.


My happy places (notice it’s plural) definitely include windows where I can watch nature and the skies. Just like the song, these are places where I can dream and pray and experience peace.

Do you have a happy place?  If not, make it a goal to create one for yourself this week…especially if you need to take time daily to unplug from this crazy world.  If you have one, please share with others where it is….





In the last couple of years my favorite foundation has become Bobbi Brown’s serum foundation.  I love how it makes my face look…but it is pricey and I fear is not going to make the new budget…Mr. B is strict!  Then I saw this idea on YouTube and decided to try it….I really like it and I believe gets the same results as the expensive one.  I like to wear foundation for my pictures and special occasions.  

This is Maybelline Fit Me Matt +Poreless Foundation.  I use my little jar and mix the foundation with a drop of my favorite serum, which is Chamonix Genucel Deep Firming Serum with Plant Cell Technology.  I stir them together with a makeup brush and VOILA…it works so well and saves a bunch of money. 

Pamela Lutrell for Chamonix Genucel

I use the serum every morning as a part of my skincare routine, so I did not spend extra just for this foundation idea, and the Maybelline product is WAYYYY less than what I previously was using.  The serum accomplishes two things:  creates a lighter, more natural foundation and tightens the skin.  Right now, if you click on the Chamonix link I provided for you, you can find a special offer!   I love this serum…it has really improved my complexion.  The Maybelline link will take you to Ulta.



Nordstrom Anniversary Sale on Over 50 Feeling 40


Some of you may not believe there is anything in the “budget friendly” realm at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale…but, au contraire…I found some excellent prices on great merchandise.  I had to show you this beautiful cardigan by LEITH.  It is so soft…fits well…and comes in many colors and at the sale it is $39.90!

Of course, my favorite color is this olive green, but there were several different colors on the racks. The Halogen Easy Throw on Cashmere Ruanas are amazingly soft!   Here is the current information:

EARLY ACCESS: 8/4 – 8/18

Nordstrom cardholders have the opportunity to shop the sale during Early Access. The date to start shopping Early Access will be determined by your Nordstrom cardholder status.  Yes, you can get this access by applying for a Nordstrom card HERE.  Start you list now…I have a few early picks for you and will be bringing more….of course, this is the first time new items for fall and winter go on sale and many take advantage…also, many sell out quickly.  I lost out on a couple I really wanted last year by waiting too long.


Please consider using my links to make your purchases.  There are some great prices at this sale so do not assume it is out of your price range until you spend some time looking.

All Shop NordstromAnniversary Sale on Over 50 Feeling 40


Goodwill find on over 50 Feeling 40

Now, the super affordable tip of the week is to thrift shop.  I found this Chico’s top at my Goodwill San Antonio for $4…if I had gone on senior day, it would have been less. Our local Goodwill San Antonio locations are taking every precaution for safe shopping and I wore my mask.  I will have more to show you when the weather cools down…I found some lovely cool weather pieces and I always discover top brands…even designers.

As I promised, I have more affordable options in the slideshow today from sales and from brands known for lower pricing. I hope you will enjoy it and thank you for all of the great feedback on Reality Check Monday…it really helps me to hear from you!

My Reality Check includes a new lifestyle centered around home and my current work- from-home.  It is more casual than my previous professional life.  So, I am going to take you on a journey with me…seeking inspiration looks for my new life.  We will start tomorrow.




Best Buy


Home Depot








Pamela Lutrell for Goli GummiesThere are several ways that I generate income through this blog in order to cover business expenses and give myself much needed income.  Purchases through the slideshow links is one way, ads on the page is one way and a new way is through ordering or re-ordering the GOLI Apple Cider Vinegar gummies through me with my GOLI LINK HERE.  Again, if you are not familiar with the benefits of apple cider vinegar, you should speak with your personal physician.  My husband and I are sold on the benefits and I am proud to represent this product.  I am going to leave this at the bottom of my posts so that when you, friends or family would like to order you can use my link.  Thanks for the support.  This is a great product; as well as, the ones below!



Mr. B and I love our meals from Sun Basket!

Sun Basket on Over 50 Feeling 40


Sun Basket is a delicious, easy, fun home delivery meal plan


My Complexion Loves Chamonix…My esthetician says my complexion is super tight!

Chamonix on Over 50 Feeling 40

All natural, plant-cell technology skincare



By Pamela Lutrell

Disclaimer:  I am provided gift cards to shop Goodwill San Antonio, but the discoveries and the words are my own.


  1. Good morning Pam! Thanks for the foundation tip! I really like the sweater on you. Since fall is approaching I am thinking about jeans. Do you have favorites? Are you buying straight leg or fuller ones? I have been wearing NYDJ or Chicos.

  2. Good morning, Nyla! I prefer straight leg and skinny jeans for me. The fuller legs are not as flattering on my shape. I have jeans I like from Chico’s, JJill, Soft Surroundings, and Foxcroft new denim. I also have a favorite pair of Inc jeans from Macy’s for curvy ladies and I wear that pair often. Have a great day!

  3. That picture of your friend on the boat is stunning with the clouds rolling in like that. Of course it also looks slightly ominous but a beautiful shot. My happy place is most definatly my back yard. After 20 years here, the trees are providing lots of shade and I just love it out there, except for the bugs. In the winter or bad weather I have a little den with a large window and lots of books so that works as well. I like the idea of putting a good serum in the foundation and will have to use that tip. Budget wise, I am trying to rework some of the clothes that are not getting out lately, so really don’t need more right now, but feel a trip to thrift might be fun. Not like the ‘old’ days fun but still….

  4. My thrift trips are fun! Really more fun than most shopping these days. Your happy places sound perfect, Diane.

  5. Mixing foundation with serum is a great idea that I never would have thought of – thank you!
    I’m a “stormy” girl too. Everything feels fresh after a good thunderstorm! The pic of your friend with the boat is amazing!

  6. Thanks for the foundation/serum tip! I recently bought a new foundation that feels too heavy – I’m sure this serum trick will help lighten it up. My happy place is my back yard. Birds, squirrels, chipmunks & cats join me back there so very relaxing. I am fortunate enough to have a sunroom to escape to during storms. I love storms (from inside)!

  7. Love, love, love Goodwill. We have several great stores in Houston! My best finds- Mark Jacobs purse, $30, retail value of $350, and a $500 cashmere sweater for $6.99.

  8. Great finds, Debbie! My best one was a $750 brand new Ralph Lauren jacket with tags still on! It’s so much fun…Isn’t it?

  9. I have four happy places. One is a chair I can see the backyard and beyond from, one is a chair by the fireplace for cold weather, one is in our backyard, and the other is in our trailer when we are traveling. I read the Bible, pray, savor my coffee, appreciate my blessings, and soak up the peace. I enjoy more time in my happy places now that I have been retired for six weeks. It is wonderful and I am grateful!!!

  10. That’s a beautiful cardigan, love the color!! I love storms too. If it’s sunny too many days in a row (doesn’t happen often in NE Ohio!) I start to long for some thunderstorms. The storm pictures are beautiful. I DO have happy places and feel they are certainly necessary. One that has been a constant since I was a teenager is the national park that’s about 10 minutes or less from my house. There is a hillside there that I’ve been going to since I was able to drive myself, and it’s silent except for the sounds of nature. I’m going there today after a drop-off to Goodwill! I have multiples too though, even one in my house that works for three seasons. Definitely necessary. Looking forward to the new journey beginning tomorrow…I’m still getting used to retirement and figuring things out.

  11. At this time we all really need a happy place. I’m catching up on last week’s posts because since apparently a pandemic isn’t enough, we were hit with the tropical storm and had no power for over 2 days. I was already on the brink of losing it and the power failure nearly put me over the edge….a few minor breakdowns on my part! I need to read how others are coping because I’m about to go nuts!!! We have been extremely careful and not really gone anywhere since March. I just want to feel safe going in a store and picking out my own food! My happy place is the deck in the back of my house. We live on a corner so I can see a lot from there. I love to watch the birds, squirrels and bunnies. We are in a suburban area and yet are now getting deer and wild turkeys. Somehow, nature always calms and entertains me. The weather has been so hot this summer that sitting outside is limited to mornings and evenings. But it does help to be outdoors. It is so comforting to know that others are having the same feelings. I look at pictures on social media of people out and about without a care and wonder what’s wrong with me….I feel anxious all the time.
    Thanks for always giving me something so positive every morning to read! It really helps me through the day!

  12. Happy Monday! You look terrific in that green cardigan and I love the photo of the colorful display of the cardigans. I am not a cardholder since I have not lived near a Nordies in 16 years now, so hopefully there will still be some lovely choices left come the 18th when I will for sure be shopping online. I do something similar for foundation. Depending on the season I either mix in some of my Garnier moisture gel with foundation – just a small dab of each in the palm of my hand, or primarily in summer or when traveling to warmer climes I mix in my L’oreal primer with the foundation. That gives me a more matte look without ever really looking made up, and just reads as better and more even skin tone.

  13. Oh, and my Happy Place!!! Well, Happy Place #1 is in my music room, whether playing the piano, giving a lesson, or simply sitting and reading, the space and happiness there brings me great joy. H.P. #2 is definitely an hour away at the Oregon coast. Always scenic and refreshed my spirit.

  14. How fabulous to have a National park 10 minutes away!! I can see where it takes time to figure out these life transitions! Thanks for being here, Karen

  15. It does help to have others to navigate these waters with, Linda…you have handled much. But hang in there…you balcony sounds lovely. I would love to watch bunnies from ours. I also have to only be out there early morning and late evening, but know the time is coming when things will cool off.

  16. Thanks for sharing Connie! Please consider shopping through my links when you are ready! Have a great day!

  17. You are so blessed to be an hour from the coast and to be able to play the piano! My husband’s mother was a pianist and it was great to be able to listen to her often when she was with us. Music can be such a wonderful happy place…even for those of us who do not play an instrument.

  18. My favourite place currently has to be on our (covered) backyard deck as it is a daily ritual for me to feed the colony of squirrels, chipmunks and blue jays that visit without fail regardless of the weather. It is also the perfect spot to storm watch while still keeping safe ‘n dry, to listen to its falling rain and if fortunate enough; observe a glorious rainbow as its finale. -Brenda-

  19. I like to mix foundation colors and textures to get the right feel and look for my skin — not too heavy and not too yellow or too light. If I’m going to be out and about I mix it with my facial suntan lotion; if I’m staying in which is mostly the case now days, I mix it with a few drops of my facial moisturizer. If you bought a foundation that is just not quite right for your skin, you can play around with combinations and see if you can make it usable rather than just throwing it away. Been doing this for years.

  20. I have always said my happy place is The Container Store. I can spend hours looking at all the wonderful organizing & cleaning things. My happy places at home are my spare room where I can read, watch tv or listen to music & my writing desk in my bedroom. It is a small roll top desk where I can read or write in my journal. Thanks for including Land’s End in the slide show. Their items are high quality & last for a long time. They don’t shrink or fade, so the cost per wear is quite low.

  21. You are welcome, Becky…you made me smile. Never thought the Container Store would be a happy place for anyone! I sure they would love to know that! Thanks for being here.

  22. I just bought from Ulta yesterday! Please consider dropping Ulta in more, as I am replacing things like lotion and sunscreen, even though I’m on a no buy for clothes. My ultimate happy place is under an umbrella by our condo pool, which is sadly closed this summer due to covid. We are making do with our balcony that overlooks woods, and yesterday saw 3 spotted fawns! Another happy place is my recliner where I read and make very elaborate beaded jewelry. My final happy place is the internet and you tube. I pick makeup, fashion and travel videos to watch. I’m enjoying the no knead bread recipes from Artisan Bread With Steve …. his recipes work out great in our kitchen and his manner is really soothing :). I’m more anxious than before, but try to focus on my blessings, which are many.

  23. Hi Linda, I will send to you an Ulta link that you can use anytime to place your order. Watch for it in your email. I certainly appreciate this so much. You can use my link any time you are ready to order…it doesn’t need to show up in the post. I am going to check out the artisan Bread site you mentioned…thanks!

  24. I love the cardigan! There are lots of great colours to choose from, but the olive would be my first choice too.

    I adore thrift store shopping! It’s like going on a treasure hunt. I found a fabulous top for just $3 at our local shop last week and featured it on my blog on Friday.

  25. Pam, could you drop the links for Chicos and Talbots? I spend a fortune there. I’m amused by your love of storms. I lived a couple of years in San Antonio in the sixties (go Macarthur) and those Texas storms terrify me more than our California earthquakes as that thunder lasts much longer! My happy place is our BBQ area where we catch a breeze while my husband cooks tri-tip (our type of brisket) and watch the grandkids jumping off our waterfall into the pool. They swim till mid October…

  26. Oh, my gosh, Pamela, you rock that cardigan from Nordstrom’s! What a great casual look for you! So current and confident! Yay you! The olive green color is perfect for you. I am changing up my color palette in my wardrobe and editing it down to be a much smaller wardrobe, being mindful of what I actually wear…I so appreciate the inspiration I get from your blog. Rock on!

  27. A long cardigan is a favorite look of mine too and it looks great on you! My happy places are a chair looking out over my bird feeders while drinking my morning coffee and under my deck umbrella overlooking the lake at sunset. I’m looking forward to your upcoming change of style discussion as that has definitely been me after I retired!

  28. Hi Connie,
    I just sent you an email with the information. Thank you so much for the support!

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