Beyond Words

Words, Wit and Wisdom for Today's Style and Decision Makers

Aging Gracefully May 16, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 9:35 pm

Thirty years ago today I became a mother when our beautiful baby girl Kristen was born. She has been the joy of my life and my best friend. Today, she is 30. THIRTY! I still can’t believe it. Especially because I feel 40-ish so how can that be? It be. And it be-ed yesterday, as it was my birthday. Yep, Mother’s Day, my birthday, and our daughter’s birthday all in a row. Kristen was almost the best birthday present ever but opted to wait until the middle of the night to be born and have her own birth date. She’s been pretty decisive ever since.



But let’s get back to me; something I’m not crazy about as I hate attention and prefer being in the background. The worker bee. The details person. The observer not the observed. But yesterday it was my day and I woke up feeling very peaceful and very grateful. Truth be told I turned 63. It’s weird to even write or say out loud as like I said, I feel more like 43 than 63. How can it be that I’m actually closer to 80 than I am to 40?! I joke that my age group is now the crazy aunts and uncles at weddings and the age we once thought was so old. It’s also the age I forever thought my grandma was even up until the day she passed…waaaay past 63! It’s all relative though, right?



I’ve learned a lot in those 60+ years and I’m reminded of that annually as I reflect on being a mom, my own mother, another birthday, and the birth of my pride a joy a day later. It’s a lot to take in in three short days but it’s also cathartic.


One thing I know for sure is that prayer matters and prayer works. Maybe not all the time…and trust me I have a list…but we just never know. I know my mom’s undying prayers to this day have saved me many times and I’m forever grateful for them. I pay them forward by praying for my own daughter and many, many others. As actor Mark Walburg says, I stay “prayed up.”



I’ve also learned the art of simplicity. Life can be so hectic and we yet add to the craziness and chaos by adding more. And more. And even more. And yet, the wisest of wise have always valued simplicity, including Albert Einstein as noted above and Socrates who was quoted as saying “the richest man is not he who has the most but he who needs the least.” Salud Socrates and Amen Albert. As I’ve gotten older, I’m learning to adopt this mantra and strip away everything (and everyone!) who is not essential and/or meaningless.


I’ve also learned to say no. No to things and people I don’t want, need, or vice-versa. No to commitments and possessions that are unwanted or unnecessary. The more you say no, the more you have time and space for the things you truly long to say yes to. Just because someone else is doing something, going somewhere, or buying something doesn’t mean you need to. Yeah, you might could but pause on if you should. Savor what and who you really enjoy and you’ll find life a bit more fulfilling.



Speaking of filling; I seem to be filling out. Not in a bad way and not in an unhealthy way, but just what I’m guessing is normal for a woman of my age. I’m not stressed or obsessed about it though. I will continue with my exercise routine that fulfills me and try to eat healthy but don’t deprive myself of foods I love if even just occasionally. I’ll also continue my skincare routine that includes several but not a bucket-full of products and an amazing aesthetician who I swear has hands of an angel. What I don’t plan to do is get any kind of “enhancements” to my face other than my regular facials. I know there’s so much out there and I know many of you get them; they are just not for me and I beg you to stop when others see you and think “boy, she’s had a lot of work done” rather than “she is so pretty and natural.” Age gracefully my friends and embrace it.


As of today, one thing I won’t “let go” is my hair. I’m not sure if I’d be totally gray if I stopped coloring it, but I have a lot of roots that seem to be getting more and more pronounced. Someday yes, I’ll go gray and probably very short and sassy but for now my “natural” hair color will remain brown. Shhhhh!


That’s really what counts, right? I also think Diane von Furstenberg’s quote of “aging is an acquisition not a loss” is brilliant and I will strive to accept and appreciate my new acquisition and consider it a win.



Royal Crown May 6, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 6:59 pm

Nobody does it like the Brits. Pomp. Circumstance. Royalty. Coronations. Early this morning they did it all for King Charles III’s official coronation and by “early” I mean really early…4 a.m. my time. And yes, I was up and watched it all. IYKYK I’m a huge royal watcher and I watched with one eye open and a somewhat broken heart as it should have been Diana being crowned Queen and not Camilla.



As you might imagine, I wasn’t there so much for the coronation as I was there for the spectacle. Rain or shine…and there was some rain…the Brits do it right and do it big. The synchronicity of the troops and guards was amazing and I loved them all…from the mounted ones to the Beefeaters to the bands atop horses and of course to the bag pipers. It was fun to watch.


I also watched the fashion and instead of this blog being on the actual coronation and all things King and Queen, it’s a sort of best and worst dressed. In short, it was a day of casual elegance and stylish sensibility for the most part. After the fashion spectacle that was the Met Gala last week, it was actually nice to see a group of those who could royally match them crown-to-crown…only with real crowns…keep it classy.  Let’s go…



As with any event she attends, Princess Kate was hands down the best dressed. The Princess of Wales wore formal regal robes and a blue Royal Victorian Order mantel edged in scarlet over an embroidered silk dress by Alexander McQueen. She also paid tribute to her late great mother-in-law Diana with a pair of Di’s earrings and like all other royals in attendance, did not wear a tiara. Instead, she opted for a crystal and silver bullion leaf headpiece. In a word: exquisite.



Next up Princess Charlotte. How adorable was she in her little caped dress and mommy matching headdress? Well done Kate on both counts.



I also thought Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie’s daughter and Charlotte’s cousin Lady Louise Windsor looked beautiful in her Suzannah London flowy dress, as did her mom. I’m a big fan of Sophie and love her quiet yet regal polish.


If there was any trend, it was monochromatic, with many an attendee opting for the look.


Crown Princess Mary of Denmark was perfection in her head-to-toe purple and Crown Prince Federik looked very handsome as did any and all the royal men in their formal uniforms.



Crown Princess Marie Chantal also went for a head-to-toe look with this Mary Katrantzou baby blue design with a unique accent bow. Check out her purse BTW, it’s a take off of the Marcel Proust book entitled “In Search of Lost Time.” I’m not sure what, if anything, it has to do with the day’s activities but at least it matches!



Crown Princess of Sweden Victoria almost always look elegant and she stayed true-to-form in this sleek royal blue dress, pillbox hat, and matching pumps and gloves. King Gustav III accompanied his daughter.



Almost monochromatic was Queen Rania of Jordan in this mellow yellow Tamara Ralph couture dress and accompanied by a suited King Abdullah II. I’m not crazy about the whiteness of her shoes and would have preferred a shade matching her dress, but when you look like she does just about anything works.



Charles sister Princess Ann had no trouble picking out what she wore, as she had a prominent role in the crowning event. She served as the official “Gold-Stick-in-Waiting,” a prestigious position that dates back to the 15th century and one that was created to protect a monarch from harm. The accomplished equestrian rode on horseback behind her brother’s Gold State Coach and led 6,000 armed services personnel through the streets of London in procession and precision. She was the only royal to ride on horseback.



Her daughter, Zara Tindell, could have easily rode alongside her mom as she too is an accomplished equestrian, but instead she stunned in a light blue Laura Green coat dress and matching fascinator. She also wore a stunning pin of her mamma’s.



Staying true to her roots, Queen Jetsun Pema of Bhutan wore a beautiful purple and traditional kira and King Jigme Khesar also wore traditional attire. Both looked refined and tasteful.



Another standout was Queen Masenate Mohato Seeis of Lesotho who coordinated her elegant long gown with her husband, King Letsie III of Lesotho.



I’m not usually a fan of Princess Beatrice’s choice of fashion but I’m down with her belted fuchsia Beulah London dress and metallic headband. I also thought her choice of nude shoes and pearl clutch bag were brilliant.



Lady Helen Taylor stole my heart in this, to me, very British ensemble albeit with French sling-backs and I feel like it’s something we all could wear.



My votes for worst dressed go to Katy Perry and Princess Charlene of Monaco who both attempted the monochromatic trend but their ill-fitting tan and pink business-like suits respectively missed the mark. And Katy, please refrain from selfies while in attendance. Ugh.


That’s my take on the royal day. For now, I’m off to a Kentucky Derby party for which I’ll be sporting a festive fascinator and feeling all the royal feels as they win, place, and show at Churchill Downs. The very British Winston Churchill would feel right at home.





Garden of God April 30, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 3:31 pm

This past week we celebrated both Earth Day and Arbor Day and I blogged about gardens. It must be spring! I sprung into action this week by visiting a local wildflower center, which inspired me to plant some flowers in various flower beds at our home. One such garden encircles a giant oak tree, making “sun,” “full sun,” or “shade” flower choices beneath it a challenge. I got what I’m hoping grows and if not, am grateful we have that we at least have that majestic tree.



Trees are very symbolic and did you know they are mentioned in the Bible more than any living thing other than God and His people? Did. Not. Know. As He always does, He had a plan when he created trees in that they give us oxygen, shade, fruit, beauty, and everything from the furniture we use to the tires on our cars to the medicines we take.


Trees are very symbolic in the Bible and many people and events involved something related to a tree starting of course with the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that God forbid Adam and Even to eat from. Adam’s first instructions were to “dress and keep” the trees in Eden. We all know what happened instead.



Trees were also significant in Noah and his Ark, Moses and the burning bush, the palms waved at Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem before being crucified, and of course the cross He was crucified on. There is a tree mentioned on the first page of Genesis and on the last page of Revelation and everywhere in between.



This photo really spoke to me as vines are throughout our bodies. In fact, we are all called to be “trees” in so much that we are to bear good fruit and that we will be known by the fruit we produce. An apple tree would still be pretty without its fruit, but what good would one be if it never produced apples? A healthy tree generally produces good fruit, but a tree that is sick will bear either bad fruit or no fruit at all. Same with you and same with me. Too deep for you? Think the children we raise and the lives we live and leave behind.



Saint Paul described some of this as the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. In a sense, this is also all about putting down roots; which is something trees also do in order to grow and thrive. In order to have healthy roots, trees need to be planted in healthy soil, need water, and need light. In general, the bigger their roots, the bigger they grow. The bigger and deeper our roots are, the better we are able to withstand troubles and other life droughts caused by the lack of living water. The light they need is gained through a process called phototropism, from the Greek “phos” meaning light and “tropos” meaning turning.



I loved an analogy on this very subject published by It told the story about a Kindergarten memory of planting seeds in two different pots. One pot was placed on a window sill while the other was put in a dark closet. Once the seeds began to sprout in both, the plant on the window sill’s leaves began turning toward the sun while the one in the closet became pale and thin. One was strong; one was weak. One had light in its life; one lived in the dark.



But where do we start? By planting seeds. Gardeners plant seeds and then tend to them so they grow. Yes, weeds will come up but a grounded gardener will make sure to pull those weeds and toss them. Even the smallest of planted seeds can grow into something big. I love the parable of the mustard seed where Jesus reminds us that even the smallest of seeds can grow into something literally heavenly.



I also love the Jesus’ parable of the Seed Sower in which the seeds planted on rocky ground have no roots and only last for a short time, the seeds planted among thorns get choked out and bear no fruit, but those planted in rich soil bear the best fruit. When we plant our own seeds on rocky ground of the ways of the world, we lose direction and our joys are short-lived. Those we plant among the thorns of anxiety and the riches of the world get choked out. But those we plant in the rich soil of truth and discipline, help us thrive. The Seed Sower is special to me as the above statue stands prominently on the campus of my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, which is where I learned how to plant the seeds of my life in fertile ground and bloomed.



Then there is the olive tree; so prevalent in so many faiths. The olive branch has been a symbol of peace dating back to the fifth century BC, when the Greeks used it as a symbol of peace. Perhaps the most famous of these accounts is when Noah sent a dove out to see if the waters had subsided but not until it flew back with an olive branch did Noah know it was safe. The Mount of Olives, where Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion and then returned to for his triumphant ascension, is actually a mountain range near Jerusalem and is named for the olives groves that line the hillside. To this day, there is an olive tree that’s more than 2,000 years old and both Christians and Jews consider it a sacred place. And finally, the United Nations flag and the Great Seal of the United States both feature an olive branch.


When you think about all of this it’s really not complicated and makes perfect sense. Plant the seeds, spread your roots, and bloom.





Dig It April 24, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 7:10 pm

April showers bring May flowers, right? Yes, even though some of the showers up north and back east right now are snow showers, in warmer weather climates flowers are indeed starting to bloom. I’m not much of a gardener or green thumb, but I do like pretty flowers, flower beds, window boxes, and potted plants. So much so, in fact, that I recently attended a Master Gardner luncheon in my neighborhood. When I first saw it was our monthly topic, my immediate thought was “no thank you,” but then I reminded myself that my New Year’s resolution each year is to learn new things so why not learn about pretty flowers? I dug in and I’m sharing the dirt!


And, I learned so much and had so much fun! It focused on native plants so I won’t dig way into what all was discussed but I learned what plants are native in these parts, which means they were here before people were, and that they are fairly low-maintenance. They might die in a freeze but they’ll likely come back and many of them attract beloved hummingbirds, are natural pollinators for bees and butterflies, and make for a very healthy garden. I also learned they despise fertilizer!



When you say “native plants” in Texas, most right away think cactus but depending on what area of Texas you’re in, you can really grow some flowering and towering beauties. Yes, cactus does do well here and we actually have several varieties in our yard, but so do a host of other, as they say, garden varieties. Here are just a few examples:


Firecracker Plant. Beautiful blooming and somewhat tall perennial that hummingbirds love.


Trumpet Vine. Great perennial for fences in full sun that blooms late and also attracts hummingbirds.


Gulf Muhly. Lovely late-blooming purple blooming tall grass that’s a great filler for large yards.


Mountain Laurel. If you like the smell of grape, you’ll love this bright purple blooming spring beauty as you can literally smell them down the street! Careful though; their seeds can be poisonous for animals.


Crepe Myrtle. One of my favorites as it comes in a host of colors and blooms like crazy in the heat.


Esperanza. Not only do I love this plant’s name (“hope” in English) but I also love its yellow flowers and the fullness of it.


Pride of Barbados. Another great named growth and one I’m wanting in our yard as these tall orange bloomers add stunning color and height. They grow like crazy and seeds in their pods can be planted for more saplings.


Blue Sage. This tall blue-stemmed bush blooms all season, adding color to a garden that may be feeling the heat of a long, hot summer.


Lantana. You can’t go wrong with these space fillers as they bloom spring to fall, come in a variety of bright and cheerful colors, and come back every year.


Salvia. A gorgeous Texas native that’s easy to grow, blooms virtually all season, and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. It’s also heat and drought-tolerant and doesn’t attract deer.


Verbena. This one thrives in the heat and I’m here to say it’s a winner. Plant it in full sun as it won’t bloom unless it gets plenty of sunlight. After its first blooms, prune the plant to encourage more blooms.


Red Yucca. They give a “desert-y” kind of feel and produce tubular coral flowers on tall stalks spring through summer. Though not actually a yucca, this perennial succulent resembles a true yucca and loves full sun.



The biggest knock-outs in town right now are Knock Out Roses. They bloom abundantly, make for beautiful cut flowers for the house, are extremely low maintenance, and come back every year. I guess that means they are perennials as opposed to annuals, right?  I can never seem to remember which is which of the two but learned annuals need to be planted annually and perennials come back each year. I think where I get confused is thinking annuals come back annually rather than need to be planted annually. Any helpful hints out there?


I’ll just talk briefly about the beloved Texas Bluebonnets as they are generally true wild flowers, as are their stunning friends Indian Paintbrush. I learned that seeds from them or for them should be tossed about in November if you want traditional spring blooms. The patches this year have been stunning!


One last thing I learned is that even though it is pretty and pretty popular, black mulch is not good as it gets its long-lasting color from dye; dye that seeps into your garden and the environment. Opt instead for cedar or other natural mulches.



Other than all of the above, my favorite potted plant is a geranium surrounded by some trailing greenery of some type as well as asparagus and Boston ferns. In my gardens I love daisies and irises in addition to the natives I listed above. I also love boxwood. I’ve blogged about the beloved boxwood before but feel it fits right in with today’s musings.



Boxwoods are actually evergreens and are the ideal garden design building blocks and add instant curb appeal. The gorgeous greenery creates structure and depth to any landscape and is both earthy and elegant. I’ve forever been fond of the formality and symmetry of boxwoods but am a bit intimidated by them too.



They can for sure be a bit much for a novice gardener but they are drought and deer-resistant and endlessly versatile. They can be used as everything from low-growing yard hedges to small front porch topiaries to even conical columns. They also have an illustrious history.


This staple of gardens was found as formal hedges in ancient Egypt as well as palatial gardens of ancient Greece and Rome. So fabulous are they, that they’re often referred to as the “little black dress” of plants as every garden should have at least one.


You can’t talk boxwood without talking blight though. That dreaded blight is basically a fungus that can wipe out an entire shrub and first appears as brown spots on leaves. Blight needs to be tended to immediately and once established and healthy, boxwood is quite hardy and low-maintenance, other than the trimming.


If the weather isn’t scorching hot and you have good irrigation, you can pretty much plant boxwood any time of the year. Keep in mind, however, that boxwood prefers some shade so don’t plant it in areas that get a lot of afternoon sun and loose, quick-draining soil is best.


So, there’s my very rookie-ish take on gardening and gardens. And not to sound too Miley Cyrus-y, plant your own garden and buy your own flowers! And lastly, bloom where you are planted and live by this, The Garden of Daily Living.







Under Control April 18, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 9:30 pm

I recently read an interesting story having to do with how what you believe affects everything including anxiety, fear, control, trust, and the likes of which run similar gamuts. I can relate to all of them and I’m sure you can too.


Apparently, psychologists learned some fascinating truths about belief systems when they studied the impact of combat on soldiers in World War II. Results revealed that after 60 days of continuous combat, ground troops became “emotionally dead” and their anxiety was off the charts.


On the flip side, even though their mortality rate was among the highest in combat, fighter pilots remained comparatively calm and positive and loved their work and claimed to be happy in their assignments. This, even though 50 percent of them were killed in combat. What gives? Control.



Yep, the pilots sat in the cockpit and had their hands on the literal throttle. Those on the ground however, had little or no control of their successes or their fates and felt helpless. A pilot could be shot down and an infantryman could defeat that day’s evil, but what seemed to make the difference is that perceived control creates calm and lack of control festers as fear.


All of this comes out of a fabulous book entitled “He Gets Us” and I believe it and I get it. My name is Carla and I’m a control freak. I like things in order. Everything in its place. I like to plan. I’m a get it done girl. I’m also a great worrier. Hmmmm…lack of control festering as fear? I fear not!


But, sadly it’s more than likely the case. Maybe it’s because my mom is an even bigger worrier than me. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up with a lot of self-confidence, which often results in the desire to control. Maybe it’s because for many years my job required me to have two news stories on the air, not a second late, and twice a day every day. I lived on deadlines and I kinda still do. It was stress-filled yet success- focused.



Our world is full of stress and uncertainty so it should come as no surprise that many of us are feeling a total loss of control. Everywhere you look there’s either chaos or despair and things seem unfixable. This is when anxiety creeps in as it’s often the consequence of perceived chaos. Our youth is feeling this perhaps the most.



A new study revealed 60 percent of U.S. girls reported persistent sadness and hopelessness. This makes me so sad but think about it, they were locked down for years, no school and no social activities, then they’re put back in school with more mature bodies, socially awkward, and uncertain how to navigate friendships. Then there’s social media, which contributes to and acerbates superficial appearances, purported perfection, and wayward acceptance. And don’t even get me started about many of the schools they were thrown back into, which seem more hell-bent on teaching everything they perceive as wrong instead of all the truly “write” things. No wonder students are confused and sad! It also doesn’t help that the status of families in America continues to deteriorate as Dr. Matthew Biel, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry specialist from Georgetown University Hospital, told Journalist Derek Thompson.


“I interpret data about teens in the context of a larger state of crisis in families. Parents and families are struggling terribly and are feeling overwhelmed. Teenagers don’t exist in a vacuum. They live in families and families right now are not flourishing. Social media emphasizes anger, despair, hopelessness, and disconnection.”




This is when it’s time to go back to belief systems and what makes us good and good and strong. If your belief system is strong, you are more likely and better equipped to stand firm. Don’t wring your hands; bend your knees. Try to give up control and perfection and realize you can’t run or fix the whole world. But you can trust. Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be the case by looking at this chart:



Mind blown and mind-numbingly scary, right? Everything except money is down…values, patriotism, religion, families, and community…not great news for our communities, families, and country as a whole as is evident in any newscast or podcast you catch. And we wonder why we’re anxious and unsettled and our kids are even more so. What to do; what to do?


It all kinda reminds me of one of my favorite movies of all time, “Forrest Gump.” We all know the “Run, Forrest run!” and “Life is like a box of chocolates” quotes but there’s also a very timely message in the 1994 movie that relates to today. (For the record, my favorite quotes from the movie are “Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks” and “If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He’d have given us all braces on our legs.”)



Forrest and childhood friend Jenny were “like peas and carrots,” but as the years went by, they each took a much different life path. Forrest opted for the classically American path of college, football, serving his country, starting his own business, and going to church. Jenny, on the other hand, chose the path of resistance and counterculture, which proved destructive and unhealthy. Through it all Forrest never stopped loving Jenny and never gave up on her and his love is ultimately what allowed her to find happiness.


It’s this kind of love society needs today; a today that has one side of America supporting traditional values and the other opposing them. We can only hope, like Forrest did, that eyes will be opened and true love will prevail even though all the Jennys out there seem so confident in their choices and decisions now. Like those WWII pilots, maybe it’s all about what we believe. Until then, the best thing we can do is be everyone’s Forrest. After all, stupid is as stupid does.




















The Good in Good Friday April 7, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 9:15 am

Have you ever wondered, like I did for so many years, why on earth today is called “Good Friday” when it’s the very not good day when Jesus Christ was killed? I’ve heard it explained in various ways, but one of my favorites is perhaps that it’s called “good” because our Lord’s terrible death lead to the resurrection and salvation of the world and what is “more good” than that? Granted, there is so much evil in this world right now and more and more proof of unbelievers tooting their horns, but there is still good. There is still hope. And hope is what Easter is really all about.




The first time today was called good, or “guode” in Old English, was in a text from back in the 1200s…and I don’t mean a text on a phone. Later, in 1885, the Baltimore Catechism explained it as “good” because Jesus showed great love for man. And that is good.


There is no rainbow without a storm and we can’t have dawn without dark. That’s kinda how Good Friday relates to Easter Sunday. And yes, Sunday is all about joy and celebration but the sadness that came before it is unspeakable. So unspeakable in fact, that none of the four Gospel writers describe it. Matthew merely writes “after they crucified him…” That’s it. Five words to describe what is history like no other history.  Mark, Luke, and John don’t write much more about the actual crucifixion and perhaps for good reason. It was brutal. It was too awful to tell; even for them.




He was forced to carry an extremely heavy cross on the way to His own crucifixion. All the way mocked and in today’s language, “offended” but protected by no one.


A crown of painful and sharp thorns was placed on His head.


He was thrown to the ground; kicked and spat on.


His arms were painfully stretched on the crossbeam of the cross and he was held down as they drove nails into his palms. Nails into His palms.


His feet were wrestled with and placed atop one another as nails were driven into them. Driven into them.


The cross was hoisted up with his body precariously nailed to it and writhing as He hung for all to see.

He must have wailed and screamed in pain right before He whispered, “Forgive them Father. They know not what they’ve done.”


Forgive them?

Would any of us ever be so forgiving?

This, my friends, was an incomprehensible act of love.

To show His love, Jesus died for us. To show our love; we live for Him.


Perhaps we’ve become all too familiar with and used to what happened on that cross and the cruelty that lead to His last breath. I remember the first time I saw the movie “The Passion of the Christ.” I could hardly watch parts of it as it was so graphic and real. I’d never witnessed it all like that and should probably watch it again. We all should.




The fact that it all took place on a wooden cross should not go unnoticed. On that cross made from a tree, Christ reversed the curse Adam reaped on humanity by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. By being lifted up on the cross, He prepared our way upward toward heaven and the cross stretched His body toward the four corners of the world.


Crucifixes are nothing new to Catholics as they adorn our churches, homes, and bodies. The word comes from the Latin “cruci fixus” meaning “one fixed to a cross” and serves as a symbol and a reminder of Christ’s journey to earth, His trials and death at the hands of humanity, and His victory over death. Plain crosses are equally popular among fellow Christians. (Why a crucifix you ask? Because it’s not the cross that saved us.) But the cross is not the only example of Christ’s humility and undying love for us demonstrated during His passion. It is said that when we make the Sign of the Cross, the first two gestures form the letter I and the next two cross it out. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It was about Him.



He is King, but the only crown He wore was one made of thorns. Instead of being seated on a throne, He was nailed to a cross. And instead of wearing a royal robe, He was cloaked in mockeries. And yes, He could have ended it all and saved Himself but instead chose to save us.




Susie Davis

So, as we “celebrate” Good Friday today, let’s remind ourselves about what actually took place some 2000+ years ago.  It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t painless. But it wasn’t the end. We believe that death is not the period, but the comma. There’s more to come. Death is not a good-bye but rather a “see you later.” Yes, we grieve but we do not grieve the same as those do who have no faith. We grieve in hope knowing that like on Good Friday, sorrow does not get the last word or last laugh. Sunday is coming.


The Most Eggs-ceptional Easter Eggs of all Eggs March 30, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 9:22 pm

Earlier this week while playing golf, my friends and I were searching for mis-hit balls…one yellow, one red, and one white one. As we were doing so, one of them commented that we were on a ball hunt that closely resembled an Easter egg hunt. Quickly the worry of having to take a drop was overshadowed by laughter and memories of many an egg hunt.


Brittany Fuson

Tis the season, right? Colored eggs, jelly beans, and even those confetti-filled cascarons fill our homes and store shelves. As I penned in a previous blog, eggs symbolize Easter and come in all styles and patterns. Most are of the plastic or real variety, but there is a variety that is in a class all its own: Fabergé Eggs. I’ve always ooohed and awwwed over them and decided this was the perfect time of year to do some digging on them. I’m eggs-cited to share what I learned with you!



Stan Honda Getty Images

It’s been nearly 140 years since the first Faberge egg was created 1885 when Tsar Alexander III of Russia’s Romanov imperial family commissioned Peter Carl Faberge to create a jeweled egg as an Easter gift for his wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna with the above pictured Hen Egg. Okay, I already learned something as I had no idea Fabergé Eggs actually started as true Easter eggs.


The stunning golf-banded, enamel-sheathed Hen Egg featured a surprise inside: a gold yolk that opened to reveal a golden hen sitting on gold straw. Yep, that’s a lot of gold and trust me, it was real gold. The hen also held a surprise: a miniature diamond replica of the imperial crown and a ruby pendant. Meant as a one-time gift, the egg proved so popular and lovely to look at that an annual tradition was started and the rest is egg history. Once owned by Malcolm Forbes, the Hen Egg is now housed in the Fabergé Museum in Saint-Petersburg.



A total of 50 eggs were created for the Russian royals; 43 of which are still around today. Each year Fabergé oversaw a production team of metalsmiths, jewelers, designers, and other artisans to create the annual egg; details of which were kept secret until presented to the tsar.


Taken by the Bolsheviks during the Russian revolution, pieces ended up in various places but eventually became highly sought after works of art. According to a “Town & Country” magazine feature on the eggs, they have taken on a new life in the international art market, appearing and disappearing in private and public collections. Perhaps most famous of Fabergé egg hunters was none other than Malcolm Forbes whose collection at one point included nine eggs that today would sell for millions of dollars.


Sadly I don’t have one and likely never will (there are some pretty dupes out there though if you are just looking for a look) but, let’s look at some of the more famous Fabergé eggs and a few of my favorites.



Tim Graham Getty Images

Stunning does not describe this work of art and one of the Fabergé collection’s most celebrated eggs. This Mosaic Egg was designed by Alma Theresia Pihl, one of only two women who designed at the House of Faberge at the beginning of the 20th century. The egg was commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II as a gift for Empress Alexandra and features an inlay pattern based on an embroidery pattern. Today it is owned by the British royal family.



Ullstein Bild Getty Images

Speaking of royals, how amazing is this, the Coronation Egg from 1897? Presented to Empress Alexander by Tsar Nicholas II as a memento of their 1896 coronation, it is sheathed in multicolored gold embellished enamel. The work of art contains a removable miniature replica of a coach built for Catherine the Great that was used to transport subsequent Romanov rulers. A large portrait-cut diamond is set in the top of the egg and is surrounded by 10 other diamonds through which the monogram of the empress can be seen. At the opposite end is a smaller diamond set among rose diamonds and surrounded by gold petals. Purchased at one point by Forbes, the Coronation Egg is housed in the Fabergé Museum in Saint-Petersburg.



Royal Collection Trust

Who doesn’t love a basket of flowers and who doesn’t love this stunner from 1901?  Empress Alexandra is said to have displayed this Basket of Flowers egg in her winter Palace study. She quite possibly gazed at the nine-inch work of art featuring a bouquet of wildflowers, leaves, and husks cast in gold and decorated in colorful enamel longing for spring as a long, cold winter ensued.  The silver gilt-and-oyster enamel basket mounted with a rose-diamond trellis and oval handle all on a blue enamel base is truly magnificent.



Sergei Ilnitsky Shutterstock

On the opposite end of the season spectrum came the Winter Egg in 1913. Given to his mother by Tsar Nicholas in 1913, it stands alone in the Fabergé world with its unique rock crystal carved thin as glass. Embellished with platinum diamonds that resemble frost, the egg rests on a rock crystal base designed to look like a block of melting ice. Amidst this winter theme is a platinum basket full of anemones and flowers made of gold and garnet…all studded with 1,378 diamonds that in 2002 sold at auction for $9.6 million to a private collector. Happy Easter to them!



Forbes Collection

Flowers delicately made from pearls and rose-cut diamonds adorn this 1898 masterpiece called the Lilies of the Valley Egg that also consists of leaves of green enamel on gold. A single pearl on the side rises to reveal three miniature portraits of Czar Nicholas II and his daughters Olga and Tatiana. It was a gift from the Czar to wife Empress Alexandra and is on view at the Fabergé Museum.



Stan Honda Getty Images

I’m particularly fond of this topiary-like creation given to his mom by Tsar Nicholas in 1911. It is made from enamel and jeweled nephrite and its leaves contain a tiny lever disguised as fruit that activates a hinged top revealing a feathered songbird that actually flaps its wings, opens its beak, and sings! I love topiaries and I love this egg.



David Lefranc Getty Images

Last but certainly not least is the last egg given to Empress Maria by Alexander III. Its trademark Fabergé inside surprise was lost but many speculate it was a bed of pearls while others believe it was the Resurrection Egg that fit perfectly inside the bigger Renaissance Egg. It has held the interest of many owners and collectors including Swingline Staplers founders Belle and Jack Linsky, who in 1949 tried unsuccessfully to donate them both to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They later sold the Renaissance Egg to a Manhattan antique dealer who sold it to Forbes. It was later one of 10 imperial eggs purchased from Forbes in 2004 for an estimated $100 million.



In short, he was a merchant from Parnu who opened a small jewelry workshop in St. Petersburg. In 1846 his son Carl was born and later took over the family firm after his dad sent him across Europe to learn more about their craft. In 1885 he was appointed supplier to the Imperial Court and by the 19th Century the House of Fabergé was recognized the world over and Carl was named supplier to many European monarchs.



At its peak, the House of Fabergé has several branches, including one in London. Its flagship store was also home to Carl’s fashionable home and included a studio for designers and a specialized library. The company hired only the best jewelers and employed more than 500 people at one point. Up until its closure in 1918, it had produced more than 300,000 objects and considered not only monarchs as clients, but prominent politicians, business leaders, and artists as well.


As luck would have it, the First World War was hard on Carl and the firm and his home country. Many employees were drafted and after the October Revolution, the House of Fabergé closed its doors for good. As we’ve all learned in history books, the new government executed the Romanovs, who were Fabergé chief clients, and the making of Easter eggs like no others was no more. Carl eventually fled the country using false documents; died in Lausanne, Switzerland; and was buried in Cannes.



Who knew the extraordinary story and history of these extraordinarily historic eggs? I certainly didn’t but now that I’m in the know, I still think they’re beautiful but am also kinda happy with just my plastic, ceramic, porcelain, and real ones. After all, it’s not about the eggs but what they represent. Here’s hoping you have an eggs-tra special Easter!


Springing for Easter Traditions March 26, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 2:40 pm

Easter Sunday is two weeks away and everywhere you look it’s all things Easter so I thought I’d share with you some fun tidbits on a few of the more popular things we think of when we think of Easter. From the Easter Bunny to Jelly Beans and more, have fun learning and sharing the stories behind each of them.



Let’s hop right to it with the beloved Easter rabbit, AKA the Easter Bunny. Much like Santa Claus and Christmas, rabbits have nothing to do with the real meaning of Easter, Jesus’ resurrection, but like other Easter favorites they do represent “new life,” which is what Easter is really all about.


Easter always occurs in spring and spring is when the weather gets warmer, flowers start to bloom, and animals come out of hiding after a long winter of hibernation. Lots of other animals like rabbits are born in the spring, which again brings up “new life.”



Susie Davis

So, what about Easter eggs? Well, lots of animals like birds and lizards are born from eggs and many of them are born in the spring reminding us of new life once again. And if you think about it, Jelly Beans (one of my favorite candies) are oval-shaped just like eggs so it’s no coincidence they are an Easter basket tradition. Peeps are also a favorite Easter treat and are shaped like baby birds I, however, am not a Peeps fan although they are kinda cute.



As I just mentioned, Jelly Beans are one of my favorite candies and another Easter custom is also a favorite of mine: the Easter Lily. In fact, it’s in my top three favorite flowers right up there with daisies and tulips. Every year I buy myself one and even a grocery store variety is sufficient in that any lily smells divine and fills a room with its own heaven-sent scent. I can smell their fragrance just looking at the picture above. But why do we only enjoy them at Easter?


Traditionally, the trumpet-shaped white blooms symbolize purity, virtue, innocence, hope, and life…the very spiritual essences of Easter. They’re mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and are referenced several times in the Song of Solomon as well as in the Sermon on the Mount. Their religious tie-in goes even further.


Often called “white-robed apostles of hope,” lilies were said to be found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane after Christ’s agony. Tradition has it beautiful white lilies sprung up where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the ground in His final hours. Today churches commemorate this belief by filling altars and aisles with Easter Lilies. They embody joy and life and serve as beautiful reminders that Easter is truly a time of rejoicing and celebrating.



Easter Lilies can fill a room with their sweet aroma as can some of the traditional foods we eat at Easter. Like ham. But how exactly did it get to be the meat of choice at our Easter tables? It all goes back many, many years ago when hogs were slaughtered in the fall but due to lack of electric refrigeration; any meat that wasn’t eaten fresh in the cold months was cured so it would keep longer and be edible in the spring. It just so happened that, because curing takes a while, the first hams were ready right around Easter. Thankfully today we have the finest of refrigeration so hams of all sorts can be found year ‘round. Still, whether honey-baked or smoked, chances are ham will be on many an Easter table.



Lastly, one of my favorite Easter legends. I’m not sure how I never knew the story until fairly recently, especially since I grew up in the Rocky Mountains where there are many pine trees, but it was news to me when I came upon it. And I loved it.



Apparently this time of year pine trees start their new growth. The tallest branch shoots forth and upward and forms the shape of a cross. If you look up and look around at certain pine trees you might see shoots developing making a familiar shape. The yellow shoots first form vertically followed by side buds, which eventually form branches and new growths that resemble a cross. They start slow and small, but as the days get closer to Easter, the tallest shoots branch off and form the familiar Christian symbol leading some believers to say “even trees know it’s Easter!”


The crosses are more prominent and more readily seen on Loblolly Pines in the southern U.S. and on Ponderosa Pines in the west but can also be found on a variety of other pines as well. The fact that this happens around the Easter season is likely pure coincidence, but who doesn’t love a little lore?



So there you have it, all things Easter wrapped up nicely in a virtual basket of info. I hope you learned something, liked it, and have an Easter season filled with hope, love, and lots of Jelly Beans!




Is It Your Lucky Day? March 17, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 8:00 am

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! We are all a wee bit Irish today and I’m guessing you are wearing green as you read this as we all honor the land of leprechauns, fabulous golf, U2, step dancing, Guinness, shamrocks, green beer, Irish coffee, and St. Patrick. But who was the saint named Patrick and why do we celebrate him in such a big way?



Forever tied to Ireland, Patrick wasn’t born on the Emerald Isle but in Britain. When he was 16 young Patrick was kidnapped by Irish raiders who took him to Ireland and sold him as a salve. He spent many years there herding sheep and turning to God in prayer. He escaped when he was 22 and made his way back to England where he spent 12 years in a monastery. Legend has it that he had a dream in which the people of Ireland were calling him back. The dream is said to have been the voice of God encouraging him to spread Christianity across Ireland and convert the pagans. Patrick returned to Ireland and began preaching the gospel, building churches, and converting many. Born of wealth, Patrick lived in poverty and suffered greatly until he died on March 17, 461. He is said to be buried in Down Cathedral in the County of Down in Ireland and ironically, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on the day he died, not on his birthday.




My favorite part of the St. Patrick story is that he used the shamrock as a way to teach the Holy Trinity. The simple green plant grows abundantly in Ireland so he cleverly used it to explain the trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. His idea was so convincing that even pagan rulers converted to Christianity and to this day the sprout is often called the Catholic rose.



The shamrock has three leaves and is considered a clover plant but what is the difference between it and the four-leaf clover? The latter is the result of a mutation in the clover plant that causes it to sprout four leaves instead of the normal three. These four-leaf wonders are very rare and is why they are considered a universal symbol of good luck.



Patrick loved incorporating other traditional rituals in his lessons for both simplicity and proof. Because fire was sacred to the Irish, Patrick superimposed a sun onto a Christian cross. Today this cross, called a Celtic cross, is one of Christianity’s most popular.



Another cross, St. Patrick’s Cross of Ireland, also makes up part of the Union Jack, the flag of the United Kingdom. When you look at the flag, you can see it is actually made up of three different crosses:  St. George’s red Cross of England, St. Andrew’s white Cross of Scotland, and St. Patrick’s red one. And to be clear, the UK is considered all of Great Britain – England, Scotland, and Wales – with the addition of Northern Ireland. Ireland is considered its own republic.


Funny thing is, as much as a celebration and party St. Patrick’s Day is today, from 1903-1970 it was considered a religious holiday according to Irish law, which required pubs remain closed for the day. Squeal! The law was reclassified as a national holiday in 1970, paving the way for the opening of drinking establishment doors and green beer. In the Diocese of Ireland however, it is still considered a Holy Day of Obligation, meaning Catholics are obligated to attend mass and receive the Blessed Sacrament.



Stateside, it all started as a political holiday when American Irish immigrants organized themselves and commemorated St. Patrick with annual parades and festivities to demonstrate their political and social might. Ironically, there are more Irish in the U.S. than in Ireland! There are an estimated 34 million Americans who claim Irish ancestry but the population of Ireland is only 4.2 million.


Also, in the U.S. this year, due to the fact that St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday and a Friday during Lent, many Catholic dioceses have granted dispensation from the obligation to abstain from eating meet. I for one will abstain anyway, but good to know just in case!




St. Patrick today, along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures and his prayers can be found among all walks of life. St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions and the Fifth Avenue Neo-Gothic icon ranks right up there with the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. And, in case you’re wondering, St. Patrick isn’t only revered by Catholics. He is honored with a feast day in the Episcopal Church and is also venerated by the Orthodox Church.



Parades and festivals will happen in many places today, but perhaps the ones in New York, Boston, and Chicago rank highest. Surprisingly, St. Patrick’s Day is also a big event in Dallas. As with everything in Texas, it is done in a very big way in Big D! In Chicago, the Chicago River is colored green and green beer and whiskey flow abundantly throughout the city. And it’s WHISKEY, not WHISKY. Irish spell the scotch with an added “e,” while their Scottish neighbors omit the extra vowel. American-made whiskeys also add the “e.”



Lastly, the color green. It’ll be everywhere you look today and be ready to get pinched if you’re not wearing it. It’s definitely tied to St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish, but it’s also tied to jealousy. “Green with envy” is a common saying but my lads, it’s nothing to celebrate. Today and every day, let’s take a cue from St. Patrick and be giving not envious. It’s a trait that will make all eyes smile, not just those Irish ones.


Envy can cause major problems and even wars. It can make us physically ill and it wreaks havoc in relationships and yet most of us struggle with envy at one time or another and I’m as guilty as anyone. I’m sure you are too. The strain it puts on us brings out the worst in us. Living in a state of “green with envy” leads to saying mean things to others, thinking malicious things about others, and maybe even acting out negatively toward others. In a word, it’s bad and ultimately makes us feel blue.



So, how can we, in today’s “bigger and better” world, avoid that pukey shade of green with envy? One way is, when you feel envy rearing its ugly head, sit back and honestly ask yourself, “What am I jealous of?” “Who am I jealous of?” “How do I compare myself to others?” “Why do I do compare?” Also, keep in mind that those people in the gated mansions have problems and struggles just like the rest of us…they just deal with them surrounded by luxury.


At the same time, think of ways you can be like those you are jealous of. That friend who has the perfect body? She likely works out and eats right. Get off the couch, put down the ice cream, and just do it. Those material things you think you need so bad? Maybe they were earned by hard work and saving money. Still, there are some ways you just won’t have what they have, be it wealth or health, but keep in mind there are people out there praying for what you do have and what you maybe aren’t appreciating.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day and the luck of the Irish to you!



The Red Carpet That Wasn’t March 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 10:17 pm

Welcome to a recap of the Red Carpet that wasn’t. Yep. The 95th Academy Awards red carpet was actually champagne. More on that in a bit.


Truth be told I didn’t watch the Oscars, don’t know who most of the nominees were, and haven’t heard of or seen most of the movies nominated. I did see “Top Gun,” “Elvis,” “Father Stu,” and “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” the latter of which wins all of my awards as I adored it, but that’s about it unless the BTS concert movie counts, which I also “attended.”


I use to love going to the movies, but when those who pretend for a living and get paid millions for doing so decided they were smarter than me and half the country, I said buh-bye to all things Hollywood. Hollyweird. But, a girl loves a pretty dress so I’m here to peruse what I’ve seen online so this suburbia girl is putting her pretend fashion guru hat on and giving her take on best and worst dressed.  Let’s go.




My award for “Best Dressed” is shared by two: Angela Bassett in Moschino and Cara Delevingne in Elie Saab. Both ladies festooned their dresses with jewelry by Bulgari and both brought old Hollywood glam to the red…er beige carpet. I loved the bold colors, elegant draping, and the fact that model Delevingne showed Hollywood how it’s done. Sidenote: what Bassett isn’t winning any awards for was her caught-on-camera reaction to hearing Jamie Lee Curtis beat her and others for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. No one knows what she was thinking, but the clips I’ve seen are not a good look for her.



Next up for me: Cate Blanchett in Louis Vuitton. It probably didn’t hurt that instead of watching the Oscar’s, I watched Cate’s film from several years ago that I just discovered, “Where’d You Go Bernadette” and absolutely loved it! What a great movie! I also loved that for the Oscars, Cate remained her original self and chose something we could all almost see ourselves wearing in a more average Joe manner.




Emily Blunt was the picture of perfection and subtle yet stunning style in white Valentino. I absolutely adored this whole look and those earrings! They don’t show up like much in photos but as she walked, they were uh-mazing Chopard statements that added the perfect amount of glam to her otherwise polished look.





Also lovely in white were Michelle Williams, who always looks chic; Sofia Carson, who I don’t know but know she picked a winner here; and Best Actress award winner Michelle Yeoh. Let’s start with Williams. Again, she always seems to win the red carpet and last night’s choice of Chanel Couture was yet another triumph. It could almost be a wedding gown or the inspiration for one! Then there were Carson’s Cinderella-like gown by Giambattista Valli Haute Couture and that Chopard piece of art around her neck. Perfection. Last but certainly not least was Michelle Yeoh. How classy is she? Her Dior Couture feathery gown was ethereal and I love that this woman who is certainly not past her prime still chose a sheer neckline rather than going totally strapless. Class. I guess couture wins this round!




Next up the opposite of white: black. I have several winners here but no one did it better than Chloe East in her stunning Monique Lhuillier and equally stunning Fred Leighton necklace. If I could wear any of the gowns mentioned in this blog to the Oscars or to any gala, it would be Chloe’s.



I also liked Vanessa Hudgen’s minimalist vintage Chanel column gown but would have liked it just a tad longer. I guess when you are offered vintage Chanel you go with the length they bring you. Oui oui!



Deepika Padukone was equally glam and stunning in an Audrey Hepburn-esque Louis Vuitton masterpiece complete with opera gloves. And will you look at that necklace?! One giant diamond was this girl’s best friend last night. Check. Mate.



Zuri Hall also donned opera gloves and her old-school meets edgy Tarik Ediz stunner checked all the boxes. I thought her hair and makeup were picture perfect too.



I’m including Julia Louis-Dreyfus here not because I loved her Lanvin gown (I do like it though) but because it fits the black theme and because she smiled for photos! What a rarity and what a shame that more of these glamazons never look happy in their enormously expensive gowns. Thank you Julia, and thank you for bringing your son as your date.




Adding some color the camel carpet (let’s see how many ways I can describe the “champagne” carpet just for fun!) were Kerry Condon, Ruth E. Carter, and Drew Afualo who brightened things up with shades of yellow. Condon’s single strap pleated mellow yellow gown with a flowing train was both whimsical and lovely. I thought Carter’s bright yellow gown with bright pink train lining and matching shoes was festive and fun and can see why she won Best Costume Designer. Influencer (ugh how I hate to write that but I did like her gown) Afualo matched Carter somewhat in shades of yellow and I not only loved her dress but loved the bow detail. In my quick search of who designed these three lovely ladies’ lovely gowns I came up empty so my apologies to whoever designed them.



Hollywood icon Sharon Stone wasn’t on the actual telecast khaki carpet, but she did turn heads at the post-awards Vanity Fair party in this stunning yellow caped dress with floral embroidery. I loved it so much I had to include it here. Some just know how to rule a carpet.





Also adding a color punch were nominated Makeup Artist Linda Eisenhamerova and Producer Victoria Alonso whose hot pink what looks like a satin gown I would wear and whose cobalt blue beauty with a sheer cape was perfect for the occasion and perfect for her. I also swooned over Eisenhamerova’s gold pumps and matching clutch. Nicely done ladies.




Subtle trains on otherwise subtle dresses also caught my eye, including Jessica Chastain’s silver sequins Gucci with black-embellished plunging neckline and black velvet lined train and Hong Chau’s oh-so-pretty-in-pink sleeveless Prada column with a fun feathery black train. I also surprisingly loved Chastain’s matchy-matchy necklace and thought her hair and makeup were flawless.




Speaking of glitter, and if you know me you know I love the stuff, I feel obliged to include Sigourney Weaver here in her gold Givenchy. I thought it was fun yet age-appropriate (can I still say that these days?).




Okay…now for the men. They were, for the most part, either very classic (which I love) or very “push the envelope” (which I don’t) so I’m going with just three: Samuel L. Jackson in Georgio Armani, Austin Butler in Saint Laurent, and Michael B. Jordan in Louis Vuitton.



Couples didn’t seem to be as big a thing this year but I always love what Willow Bay choses and she and spouse Bob Igor were once again smart and stylish. And talk about real smart and real stylish; Penn and NYU graduate Willow is yes, a former model, but also a former television journalist, editor, and author who in 2017 became dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Igor definitely out-kicked his coverage on this one.


I will say I didn’t looove Jamie Lee Curtis’ dress…something about the corseted tubing in the middle. Thinking I would have loved it way more without that embellishment but I did love how it played off her aging gracefully hair.


And now for the “What Were You Thinking?” awards. I can’t really pick a “worst dressed” but these are all in contention.



No words here. Too long. Too low cut. Too much. Sorry Zuhair Murad; on someone else maybe. On petite Eva Longoria. Not so much.



Yawn. For a beautiful woman whose husband is president and CEO of one of the world’s largest luxury brand conglomerates, Salma Hayek’s taste and choice of fashion forever baffles me. Including orangey-red, sequined, tasseled Gucci. Of all the choices she must have had she went with this. Hmmm…



I get it. The concept was maybe good but the execution was not. Again, just too much. I’m no designer but I’m thinking maybe get rid of the black fabric draping below Elizabeth Banks’ waist and just go with a white lower half, black bodice, and black train. Just a thought. Thought her hair and makeup were good though. Very Sharon Stone-ish.



No idea who Florence Pugh is but I’ve seen this pic everywhere today. Again, I get it; you’re young and wanting to do something different for the Oscars. Black biker shorts with seemingly endless Valentino white draping maybe pushed it too far though. It seems to have worked publicity-wise but that’s not always a good thing.




I’m all for sparkly, but this Louis Vuitton Kate Hudson said yes to was a no even for me. She said yes to this dress??? I don’t even know where to start. The sleeves? The fabric? The fit? The all of the above?




Pretty Kimberly Williams was not so pretty in this ‘80s prom-like pink voluminous gown. Giving some grace here as the dress that the pink cape covered was okay…except for the feathers that lined the hem…so maybe there’s hope. She’s such a pretty girl.



Very disappointed in Halle Berry in this Tamara Ralph choice as she’s often one of my faves. Maybe I’d like it more without the obnoxiously high slit. Maybe I’d like it more if she went tasteful not trendy. Less is more but I would have liked to have seen more elegance and less “look at me, look at me.” Not a fan of her hair either.



Don’t know who Jessie Buckley is but no. Just no.



And now for the question everyone seemed to be asking, “what happened to the red carpet?” Your eyes weren’t playing tricks on you; the carpet all of the above strolled down was not red, it was champagne. Yep, for the first time since 1961 the famous red carpet was anything but and it was also covered this year. The sienna-colored tent and neutral carpet were said to be chosen to convey “watching the sunset on a white-sand beach at the golden hour with a glass of champagne in hand, evoking calm and peacefulness” according to one of the event’s creative consultants.


You can’t make this stuff up. Only in Hollywood. Now back to reality.