Elegant women find a way to bless others in difficult times

Bed Bath Beyond Giving Plate on Over 50 Feeling 40

Today, for our focus on Cultivating Everyday Elegance, I want to assure you that elegant women find ways to bless others during difficult times.

We do not need to completely shutdown due to the pandemic, but perhaps return to some traditional ways of communicating and reaching out to others.

SILVER LINING: Now, we have the time to spend returning to old traditions and think of ways to reach out to others we have not seen from the safety and comfort of home.

Christmas Cards on Over 50 Feeling 40

I want to take you back to one of my favorite books, The Essentials of Fabulous (Because whatever doesn’t work here anymore) by Ellen Lubin-Sherman. 

I really believe her word “fabulous” could be exchanged for the word “elegant.”   Ellen encourages us to remember the power of handwritten notes.

“Guess what? The good ole days are still here, especially for the fabulous types who want to leave nothing to chance (especially their reputation for making the extra effort to delight someone with their appreciation.)”

She discusses how handwritten notes create a “wow” factor,  “There’s something so deliciously old fashioned and gracious about seeing someone’s handwriting on an envelope and knowing that they took an extra step to express their feelings.”

Hand written notes for 2020 on over 50 feeling 40


With this in mind, the upcoming holiday season is a perfect time to return to handwritten cards for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanakkuh, and New Year’s. 

In fact, I picked up a new box of lovely Christmas Cards at Goodwill San Antonio this past week…it is a great time to return to traditions with personal touches. 

Elegant Hand written cards on over 50 feeling 40

I am sharing this encouragement now, so you can plan ahead for holiday blessings.  We all have people we have not seen in a long time because of the pandemic and we can practice everyday elegance and reach out.

Another way to reach out is with a Giving Plate like I am showing in the first picture.  A Giving Plate is way you bless a neighbor with baked goodies and it encourages them to turn around and share the love with others.  

Here is a slideshow of only Giving Plates…so many pretty ones on the market….I bought the one above at Bed Bath & Beyond and will fill it with my pumpkin bread!


Pamela Lutrell with autumn floral decor on over 50 feeling 40

And don’t forget …you can always send flowers if someone you know needs encouragement.  Remember the ease and beauty of Teleflora!



Southern Living Christmas at Dillards

Don’t forget the Recipe Contest…some of these entries look so, so good.  More is needed in the Hot Cocoa Division…so make sure you send in your best for both…I think you will really like the gift basket prize!

Neighbor Quote on Over 50 Feeling 40

A great thought to remember as we plan our gift giving, card writing, and baking.  

Do any of you still take time for hand written notes?  Will anyone be writing holiday cards this year?  Please share…..Black Friday links and shopping below….and always


Huge Sales on Over 50 Feeling 40


Nordstrom Black Friday

Kohls Black Friday

Nordstrom Rack Black Friday Deals

Macy’s Black Friday Deals

Walmart Black Friday  

Target Black Friday

Home Depot Black Friday Deals

Lowe’s Black Friday Deals

Best Buy Black Friday Deals

Sephora Holiday Sales Event

Rack Room Shoes Black Friday

Williams-Sonoma Black Friday



Eileen Fisher









Rack Room Shoes

J Crew Factory

Eloquii (for Plus Size)

NEST Fragrances

Art of Tea


World Market





Anthropologie Home

Crabtree & Evelyn

Artfully Walls


Bed Bath & Beyond

Pottery Barn

West Elm

By Pamela Lutrell



  1. The idea of the giving plate is beautiful (as are the plates!) Such a simple, yet meaningful way to bless others. Since I paint, I have typically hand-painted my Christmas cards each year. It’s something I enjoy (creative process), and I should be started by now but have been pretty busy elsewhere for a few months, so I’m not sure if that will be accomplished this year. I’m trying to not heap guilt feelings on myself and give myself grace if this year is different. Baking is a huge part of the Christmas season for me too, and I’m way behind on that this year, so again, grace is needed! I do love the plates and do gift the goodies!

  2. I have often shut myself down with high expectations, Karen. Your card painting sounds so lovely…perhaps you just do a few or even one or two and not try to tackle the whole this year.
    It is the thought that counts. Don’t let expectations rob your holiday joy. Grace is always a good answer,

  3. I do send Christmas cards each year and this will be no different, perhaps even a few more. I love to get actual mail and keep many of the cards I get with written notes. I have already got the cards and am updating the list to get a good start. I have never heard of a giving plate, but my mother was always delivering cakes and cookies to many of the older and less afluent in our church and town, so the giving part has always been a part of my life. She did that right up until she was in an assisted living home. Sending flowers is a great way to let people know they are not alone.

  4. Sounds like you have been given a legacy of kindness, Diane. I love the ways you keep it going forward. Thanks for sharing.

  5. In my late twenties, I made a New Year’s resolution to send at least one handwritten note or letter to someone every day. I turn 67 in December & I have kept the spirit of this resolution all these years. If I miss a day or two, I send a stack of envelopes into the post box when I next write to people. I keep an abundance of paper, envelopes, cards, pens & stamps on hand. This New Year’s resolution gives me much more than I give to others. The habit of sitting down & reflecting on life as I write gives me a strong sense of gratitude.

  6. I LOVE THIS, Judy! Thanks for sharing…I am so impressed with your perseverance to keep it going.

  7. I have been quarantined alone since the beginning. I dug out a card collection from before email times. I send two cards a month to fourteen friends. I include poems, jokes, a sudoku torn from a puzzle book, a special tea bag. In my Christmas card I am including a stamped postcard for my friends to send a message to someone else. I agree with Judy that I have received much more than I have given. My friends respond with texts, emails, calls, FaceTimes, and even a few cards of their own.

  8. Thanks so much for sharing this! It is a truth that when we bless others we then get blessings in return!

  9. I stopped sending Christmas cards years ago, but since picking up the paper crafting hobby, I make all my cards now and really enjoy sending Christmas cards again. Some years they’re simple and some years they’re more elaborate. They are beautiful either way.

  10. I am so impressed that you do that! and a little jealous…but I might give it a try!

  11. Lots of food for thought today. I grow flowers and leave surprise bouquets on doorsteps in my neighborhood. Neighbors don’t really know each other anymore. Don’t know how some people get along with all the political signs in yards.

  12. I love the flowers on the doorsteps! We have a pretty politically diverse neighborhood, but we just smile and reach out to one another. We no longer put signs in the yard, but I am making a purposeful decision to send Giving plates the ways of people who I know believe differently from me. It just takes some grace and understanding to go forward.

  13. I still send Christmas cards & birthday cards & include a handwritten line or two in them. My church does what we call “Ingathering” the Sunday before Thanksgiving. It includes donating food, clothes for children of all ages & toys. I have begun purchasing items for that. It is a joy to be able to share with others.

  14. My mother taught me that notes are easy if you follow the rule of 3.
    It should be written within 3 days of an event.
    It really only takes 3 minutes.
    It only needs to be 3 lines.

  15. Thank you, Pam, and to those who left so many inspiring replies. Because of you all, I wrote out a list of family and friends to send cards. Since I paint with watercolor, I will create simple cards, using The Rule of 3. Decided this week to start baking pumpkin bread loaves to freeze until delivery. I’m not usually so proactive for the holidays, Pam, so I thank you for this wonderful blog post. I’ve learned a great deal from you this year, especially about elegance. You have only enhanced my life!

  16. Mindy, thank you so much. I needed encouragement today and your comment came just at the right time. Blessings!

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