2020’s Reality Check Monday: Budget Stretching ideas for beauty and fashion, plus importance of passion

Pamela Lutrell styles looks from her closet on Over 50 Feeling 40

Reality Check Monday…these posts are meant to assist us in navigating our ever-changing 2020 world, because right now, we don’t know if we will see the “normal” we once knew.  Many of us need a little more inspiration for coping through the days as well as ideas of how to stretch our budgets right now.

So, hang on…here we go!



Discontinued Beauty Items on Over 50 Feeling 40


I am happy to be the CEO of my own little business, but so glad I am not a CEO of a major company during 2020.  Many are struggling with ways to keep their businesses alive and keep the customers coming.  This is one of the reasons why we are seeing tons of discontinued products.  Brands must retire what isn’t working and bring forth new ideas quickly in order to motivate buyers.   In the long run, a favorite discontinued product might make us sad, in the present, they are great budget stretchers.

I have shared before that this purple, (Yes, Purple) is my favorite mascara because it enhances my hazel eyes and brings out the green. I was sad to see it marked discontinued recently yet, was able to buy a hand full at $2 each!   My favorite Kerastase hair conditioning treatment was also being discontinued at my salon, and I purchased a new jar at a $20 savings. 

TIP: Pay attention and check your favorites often to see if you can save on them and, also, so you know if they are on the list and you may need an alternative.

H & M fast fashion over 50 feeling 40

While it is sad that some of our favorite retailers are closing locations or going out of business, watch their sales to see if you can benefit from the lower pricing during this time.  H & M is a fast fashion store which expanded out of New York, and now is faced with scaling back.  I know many women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who purchase fashion trends at H & M so they can participate in a trend for less and not feel bad if they only wear it a couple of times.  If you are looking for a specific trend item, you might watch this retailer.  (I have them in the slideshow below).



Chicos Floral Topper on Over 50 Feeling 40

Now that Mr. B Is the overseer of my budget, I am really trying hard to shop my closet.  Recently I saw this topper at Chico’s.  It is beautiful and I would love to own this exact one.

I observed the Chico’s stylists paired a color of top underneath that I had not considered wearing with an old kimono I own which is very similar in style. That is the outfit at the top of the post.  While it is not as lovely as the Chico’s outfit.  I like it! I have paired the older kimono with an Eileen Fisher long tunic tank I already owned in a similar color to their top.

TIP: When you see garments, which are similar to ones you already own, but styled differently, then save the look in a file.  You may be able to use those images as inspiration to do something different.




I think it is just now hitting me that I am not going back to an office building ever again.  For most of my adult life, I have worked more than one job and been on a fast- paced routine.  Suddenly, I can breathe.  My schedule has completely changed from what it was…because there is no longer a need to structure it around what someone else needs me to do.


A friend recently asked me why I continue to work…from home now.  The most obvious answer is that Mr. B and I need to supplement our incomes as long as we possibly can.  We did not come from wealth and there is no golden nest egg out there waiting for us to retire.


However, this work I am now doing is my passion.  It fuels me to write this blog and to think of other ways I can contribute with writing.  I have been writing since I was eleven and it is who I am.  I believe it is important for all of us to know what our passions are and to pursue them during all stages of life.

Allow me to share a story.  When we moved to our neighborhood, almost 20 years ago, we met a joyful servant.  Gerald was literally the “mayor” of our street (as another neighbor refers to him).  He knew everything about everybody and was the man we called when we needed help…of any kind.  He was there immediately.

When my cat cornered a rather large snake in my bedroom years ago, I jumped on top of my bed, and sent my son for Gerald.  He walked in  laughing and said, “Well now, what do we have here!”  As a father figure, he taught my Mr. B many things about home care.

Gerald left our neighborhood last week and passed on from a serious heart condition.  This is a significant loss on our street.  But I know he died a content man.  He was serving neighbors and family up until the day he couldn’t.   This neighborhood was his passion.  Perhaps there is someone here who needed encouragement to reach out to neighbors and foster those relationships.  Please avoid the Next Door App and meet them face to face…everyone loves a home baked cookie or cake.  There are ways to serve and build friendships. 

Headlines for women over 50 on over 50 feeling 40

TIP: Today I want to encourage you to think about what your passions are…the things that make you smile brightly and feel deeply.  Make sure you are pursuing them…now, more than ever before.  Our new reality is a challenge, but it also presents many opportunities.

Thanks for being here…the slideshow today is from the most affordable fashion lines.  Enjoy, and as always…….



Taking Juice Plus+ for seven years on Over 50 Feeling 40

There 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 Juice Plus+ whole food capsules.  Please read my story and information HERE.




Pamela Lutrell and Goli

Another 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!




Chamonix on Over 50 Feeling 40

All natural, plant-cell technology skincare



By Pamela Lutrell


  1. Such a great post Pam! After looking at the topper you saw at Chico’s and what you found in your closet, I actually like the closet one better! I like the different lengths and think yours is more interesting. The other one is beautiful, yes, but you did this for no $$ and I think, came out ahead! It’s a great look, and one that will work as we transition to fall soon. It’s really too bad to see some stores closing and others closing certain locations. It can make it inconvenient if those are places we shopped frequently. And the products that we have come to count on, like your mascara…we just have to be prepared to keep on adjusting. We will find replacements as long as we are resilient, but stocking up while we can is an excellent tip. You got quite a deal on that mascara! I am looking forward to the day when restrictions are lifted, because I keep on believing that the day is coming. I’m trying to focus on the things that haven’t changed, and I’m thankful that I can shop in stores again and do fun things like go out to eat and travel. Your comment about realizing you aren’t going back to an office – while a very strange feeling, it’s also kind of liberating, isn’t it? You are the one making the schedule and deciding what you’ll do. And I love the idea about finding your passion, and the story about Gerald. I’m going to give this one some serious thought, because I’m struggling a little in that area. The things I thought were filling a void were kind of snatched away during all of our current mess, so this requires some purposeful thought!

  2. You are right…it is liberating. But, it has taken awhile for me to feel completely liberated. I guess I have been a slave to my schedule so long that the break up has not been as immediate as I would have expected. But, I am liberated and thoroughly enjoying being my own boss. Thanks so much, Karen…I hope pondering your passions will be a “liberating” experience for you as well.

  3. Thanks for your story about Gerald it is beautiful. By the way I like your outfit much better than the Chico’s one.

  4. The rust color you have on and your kimono colors are very flattering on you.
    I am sorry for your loss. Gerald sounds like he was a wonderful person.

  5. Thank you, Gail! I cannot tell you how old this kimono is…and the rust top makes it feel new!

  6. Actually, I prefer your look in the first picture that you already own. It is very flattering and you can pull out numerous colours for first layer pieces. Just recently I was looking for my navy mascara in the local drugstore and asked the assistant about it. As it turned out they were packing it up, discontinued, so I got a few packages, however they werre not discounted. There are way too many packages of black in numerous forms, but they are discontinuing the only navy one… really? When I read your quote, no matter the age, girls just want to be girls and discuss fashion, beauty etc I thought of a couple of people I know who do not, and thought how sad. It is fun and a great diversion from stress. Love how you keep us diverted. ( actually I may spend too much time on this from time to time, but who cares)

  7. If you love it, Diane…then don’t worry about what others may think. It is more fun to discuss what we love than to sit and be miserable! Thanks for sharing the navy mascara story…I am beginning to see more and more products discontinued and that is why I wanted to call attention to it!

  8. About a year and a half or two years ago, I was asked to be in an online focus group for Chico’s (maybe I was buying too much there. :)). I remember ranking all those spice-colored tanks and tops very highly. I loved that color! They asked literally hundreds of questions and presented lots of products for consideration. I stressed that, regardless of their image, they had quality basics and I would like to see those continue. Apparently others felt the same. It was a lot of fun.

  9. Pam, this is my first posting on your blog. I absolutely love your attitude and down to earth message about adjusting to our new normal. Being a retired bank manager, I seem to spend much of my time helping others in my neighborhood who never really understood budgets, credit scores and basically how to handle money. I love doing it, I feel very satisfied to help someone who never learned the basics of budgeting and preparing for the unexpected. I completely agree that I think your closet jacket is my favorite. I love the unusual lines and beautiful colors. You have made a gorgeous outfit right out of your own clothes. Thank you for the inspiring message about finding our passion. I am trying to find mine and it takes a lot of work and thought!

  10. Rhonda…thank you for commenting and for being here. But mostly thank you for helping your neighbors! Budgeting help is so necessary with many of us completely in the dark as to how handle budgets and finances. You are an angel! So glad to have you with us here.

  11. Wish we had that kind of a”mayor”. When we moved here, we were some of the youngest,now we have graduated, and others are calling us to help when a branch come down,etc. Kind of nice!. Liked you comment about discontinued products.Just when you finally find a product that you really like, it is discontinued. But he suggestion about trying to get a lot at a sale price is good! Thanks.

  12. I’m sorry for your loss. Gerald sounds very much like our neighborhood Mayor and Father figure, Doug. He is a gift beyond measure to us. I also had to laugh picturing your cat and snake scene. My cat years ago brought in quite a large snake and it surprised me coiled up in the middle of my kitchen floor. I was home alone, so covered it with a clear glass mixing bowl. My hero that day was my youngest son, who removed the snake with ease after arriving home from junior high that afternoon.

  13. My youngest son…much older than junior high age…was happy to go get Gerald! He will be missed…thanks for sharing Connie!

  14. Yes, a file of the outfits we love and how to wear them. Mine is a bit disorganized. Not exactly sure how to store the best ones. I was thinking of making them into a scrappy journal type set up, with notes on the side. With scraps of lace, material, buttons. Just to make it special. Any ideas? and how do others save their files? Love your outfit, very had to tell the difference.

  15. Thank you for sharing your story about Gerald. He sounds like a very special person. I’m sure he will be sorely missed in your neighborhood. I am still looking for my passion but will find it some day.

  16. You look amazing in that first photo — I love the way you styled the outfit but I especially love your smile. Thanks for all your great tips, as well as that inspiring story about Gerald.

  17. Hi Marilyn, I keep mine in a file on my computer, but I like the way you are thinking! I love the idea of a file including materials, buttons, lace etc. If you ever streamline this, please share it!

  18. Hi Pam,
    I love your posts, thank you for the happiness and soul- searching it brings. This new normal is so tough on the self employed; my husband and I are both actors and it is silent out there work wise in the Entertainment industry. We are both in the latter 50’s age group and so who knows if we will be “lucky” enough to get work again despite our long track record.We are both reinventing ourselves at the moment living very simply, grateful for our home and each other. Very grateful both adult children are pursing their passions and are both employed. We always told them “to “aim high and fail gloriously”. So explore your creativity and thrive 🙂 Happy week friend!

  19. I would like to keep a file of fashion ideas on my computer but don’t know how to, for example, save a picture from your blog of today and send it to a file. Any thoughts? I have a Dell desk top, an apple phone, and an Apple ipad. I have been taking screen shots and marking those photos with a heart and having this on my phone has been helpful and immediate. But maybe there is a better way to do it. I read your blog daily and really enjoy it.

  20. Hi Mary, I am out and about today, but I will try to send you an email later with some suggestions. I have a MAC and believe it is easier because I can drag and drop but let me see if I can get some suggestions to you.

  21. I like your version much better! I like the kimono but the outfit you put together is unique & looks more interesting visually. As it was created out of pieces you already own & like & that suit you, it can’t help but be a hit.

    I’m enjoying reading about your adaptation to life at home. Don’t be hard on yourself if you have a bad day or wake up at 3AM scared to death. It’s normal. My husband & I planned for early retirement for 5 years before we pulled the trigger: we both loved our jobs & had worked non-stop for almost 4 decades building our careers, he had to sell his company (ethically, making sure his employees were taken care of properly), we had a million decisions to make & loose ends to tie up & thought we were ready. And it STILL took us a ridiculous length of time to get out of the go-go-go mindset & slowly adapt to a whole new way of doing things.

    Your situation is quite different & comes with a lot of stressors our retirement didn’t, but that jarring change from going top speed to no speed overnight is very real. And then there’s what comes next. We had no plans to create new jobs for ourselves & yet we both have (our hobbies — my writing, my husband’s love of repairing & restoring vintage motorcycles — have taken off, my husband’s to the point he’s had to hire help) & that’s taking further adaptation. This will happen for you as your new career adapts & settles & you find your new speed. But you & Mr.B sound more than up for it. These certainly are interesting times!

  22. Thanks for sharing, Janet! It helps to hear other stories. I appreciate you being here.

  23. Thank you for your story about Gerald, and the reminder to pursue our passions now. There is the natural tendency to say, “When the virus is over, I’ll do this or that,” but I try to remind myself that I am promised only this moment, this day. Even now during the COVID restrictions, this day is mine to value just as much as any day in the future.

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