Beyond Words

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

This Ghoul Just Wants to Have Fun! October 31, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 9:43 pm

As I have previously blogged, I am not a big Halloween person.  But, I do love to laugh and I love a good joke. 

So, in order to get Trick-or-Treating off to a hilarious start, here are some of my favorite comics. 

Enjoy and enjoy the night!


Collage3       Collage4





Wednesday’s Words of Wit & Wisdom October 30, 2013

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Live every day as if it were your last. 

Stop and smell all the roses you haven’t been paying attention to and do things that make you happy.


Fall Into an Organized Closet October 29, 2013

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Okay, so I may not totally agree with Ms. Bradshaw, but I do love her thinking…and her closet!


Some of you may already be enjoying nice Fall weather, but I am still anxiously waiting to say “Hello fall and hello sweaters and jackets!” But, just where are those sweaters, jeans, and wraps? Maybe finding your fall and winter clothes amidst all your spring and summer outfits is a daunting task. No worries!


Every year I joyfully anticipate the arrival of fall. I have been wearing spring and summer clothing since at least March and I’m tired of it all. Just last week I went through a “closet cleansing” and it was quite cathartic! I actually look forward to switching out my warm weather clothes and shoes for cooler weather attire. I’m fortunate in that my home office is actually a bedroom, so the closet in it serves as my “out-of-season” closet for many items. I love the process of hauling clothes up and down the stairs and switching short sleeves out for long sleeves, golf skirt s out for pants, and sun dresses out for cozy wraps.


I also use this time to organize my closet and take stock of what I can save and what I should pitch or donate. Here are some of my tried and true tips.




Closet Cleanse
If it’s something you’re hoping to someday fit in but haven’t been able to for at least two seasons (as in spring and summer, not 2011 and 2012!), pitch or donate.


If it was a trend you purchased a year or so ago and the trend has come and gone, chances are the next time the trend comes back you’ll have different taste or be a different age and size so it’s probably safe to pitch it.


I like organizing my closet first by style (pants, short sleeve tops, long sleeve tops, etc.,) then by function (casual, dressy, exercise, etc.) and if feasible then by color.


Closet Organization
Built in shelves and drawers are the way to go in a closet, but they are not always do-able. If you have a very small room but a decent size closet (it doesn’t even have to be a walk-in closet) think about placing a dresser inside the closet. This serves two purposes: it keeps your close in one handy place and it frees up space in your bedroom. Luckily my master bedroom closet has both built in drawers and shelves, but, being the clothes and shoe horse that I am, I also use many other organizing methods and storage items.


I like using boxes and baskets for everything from purses to clothes pins to anti-static spray, and I also like hanging organizers for flat shoes like flip-flops and leggings. My daughter uses one for all her folded jeans.


Shoe-wise, here’s how this Cinderella makes sure all her shoes fit…in her closet!


My every day and “go to” shoes like sneakers, flip-flops, and slippers, I simply stow on the floor. Other often used shoes like ballet flats and driving mocassins are stacked on shelves and not in boxes. All my heels, dress shoes, or any shoes I spent too much money on are in the boxes they came in in, stacked and labeled. (I don’t use any fancy labeling tool, I simply write what shoes are inside with a Sharpie.) I also have some tried and true cardboard shoe organizers that I’ve had for years and I use them to store out-of-season shoes up high and out of reach. Often times two pairs can fit in one cubbie.


Hooks are also very useful in a closet. On them you can hang purses, jewelry, scarves, belts, or whatever else you want. I hang my folded scarves , wraps, and pashminas on pant hangars, which I also use for my husband’s ties. They work perfectly!


Closet Add-ons
Once you have your clothing, shoes, and everything else organized inside your closet, it’s time to think “outside the closet.” By this I mean asking yourself “what else should I have in my closet or at least nearby?” I recommend a full-length mirror, an ironing board and iron, and your hamper.


Those are some of my ideas, but don’t just take my word for it. Consider these additional tips from some real experts in their field.


every closet


Celebrity stylist Rachel Wirkus told Stylecaster readers to ask themselves “How long have you owned the item?” “When was the last time you wore the item?” and “Can you find new ways to wear the item?” She suggests that if you’ve had the item for more than six months and haven’t worn it, get rid of it. At the same time, if the item is old and you haven’t worn it in a while and you can only pair it with one other item in your closet, pitch it. She’s quick to remind us though, that a worn out pair of boots, jeans or sweatshirt are sometimes great to keep in your closet if you wear them and they can work in multiple ways.


RZoe closet

Fashion Designer and Stylist Rachel Zoe


Elizabeth Kott of “Closet Rich” told the Zoe Report she suggests you conduct a “whatever cleanse.” Go through your closet and pull any items you are “whatever” about then stow them away for a month or so. When you feel like doing so, pull them out and find a new home for any of the items you don’t feel super excited about seeing again. Kott also recommends putting together new ensembles of existing clothes, which will give you a “new outfit” feel and she also suggests keeping a few of your “go to” pieces and outfits in one easily accessible spot. I love this idea! I also love Kott’s idea of keeping all empty hangars in one place, which I have always done.


All of this inspires me and gives me something to work on as I wait for the temperatures to dip. What about you? Do you have any tips or ideas to share?


Sunday Scripture October 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 6:02 pm


Let go and let God.


Momma Needs a Nap October 26, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 2:55 pm




Despite attempts to truly “have it all,” a new study finds that even women who feel they are succeeding at doing so may indeed feel liberated, but ultimately they just feel tired.  Yes, tired.  Burned out.  Fatigued.   Drained.


The new analysis from the Pew Research Center shows that whether at work or at home, mothers in general feel more exhausted than fathers.  Sadly, this is also the case when it comes to leisure time as well.  It seems momma can’t even relax when it’s time to relax.  All this despite the fact that dads today devote more time to caring for children and cleaning the house than they used to.  What gives?




The truth of the matter is that even though dad may help out here and there, he still doesn’t do half as much as mom does.  In fact, moms spend nearly twice as many hours on household tasks then dads even if they also work outside the home, while dads spend more time working for pay, on average, than mothers.  Some things never change.   Still, momma deserves a nap!


Some good news from the study is that even though they are weary from the grind, 62 percent of parents said child care is “very meaningful” while only 36 percent said the same about paid work.


I’ve always supported the belief that being a “stay at home mom” is just as hard, if not harder, then being a working mom in many ways.  Still, it’s good news that dads continue to step it up.   Other than the obvious, (those I know personally), what moms and dads do I admire?  Hmmmm….let’s see.


“Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a daddy.”


Just yesterday I posted a “Friday Funny” blog taken from the Bill Cosby Show.  I always admired Cliff Huxtable.  He was an accomplished doctor but an awesome dad and husband too.  He was no nonsense and most of the time he allowed his kids to learn their own lessons without preaching to them.  Andy Griffith was kinda the same.  I also admire the dad in the movie “Taken,” who would do anything to save his daughter.  He was, B.A. defined.




I also admire all the dads in my preschool who bring their kids to school regularly.  They arrive with their child’s backpack, lunch box, water bottle and sometimes siblings and/or car pool kids.  They remember to sign them in, take items off their clips, and even visit with me.  I especially admire the one who took his daughter to get a manicure on her fourth birthday!


Nationally, I must say I admire Donald Trump.  Don’t “hang up” on me here, listen up.  What I like most about him parent-wise is that his kids could all very easily be last year’s Paris/Britney/Miley, or any other famous scandal or burn out, but they aren’t.  They are educated and successful young adults following in their dad’s footsteps.  Daughter Ivanka also has what I consider a stylish yet affordable shoe line.  You don’t hear about them in press stumbling out of clubs or entering rehab and you don’t see their lewd home movies on YouTube.  That is a testament to parenting, whether you admit it or not.  The same can be said about Bill and Hillary Clinton.  Despite the dysfunction of her parents, Chelsea has turned out to be quite a normal and accomplished young lady.


“A worried mom does better research then the FBI.”


Mom-wise, I admire Blessed Mary (for her obedience and devotion), Princess Diana (who steadfastly held onto her goal of raising her royal sons to be caring and compassionate in the midst of a loveless marriage), Sarah Palin (for getting where she is on her own and not marrying into it, raising a large family that includes a special needs child, boasting the ability to shoot what’s for dinner and then cook it up, and running a state that borders Russia), Martina McBride (for turning down many a publicity or promotional deal to stay close to home and raise her children somewhat normally in Nashville), Angie Harmon (for sticking with her Christian and conservative roots in liberal hotbed Hollywood), and Robin Roberts’ momma for raising one strong, talented, and amazing daughter.  I also respect any and all single moms, all parents of special needs kids, and the wives and mothers of our armed forces.


I know there are many more, but off the top of my head, those are who come to mind.  What about you?  Besides your own, what moms and dads do you admire?




Friday Funny October 25, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 5:12 pm

Where’s Cosby when we need him?

Happy Friday everyone!




Think About it Thursday

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“Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.” 

Arthur Schopenhauer


Tuesday Tip October 22, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 7:52 pm

To me, nothing is as golden as loyalty.  I pride myself on being loyal, sometimes even to a fault.  As much as I treasure and admire loyalty, I equally cannot stand sneaky or lying, what I consider the fragile foundations for the falling of many a relationship.  If you can’t be honest and trustworthy, you don’t deserve my trust and loyalty.




My Hometown October 21, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 6:44 pm

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I just recently read that Conde Nast Traveler magazine named my hometown of Santa Fe, NM the seventh best in its “Top 25 Cities in the World” rankings.  Really?   That is just amazing to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Santa Fe and my mom still lives in the house I grew up in, but to see the town listed next to world cities like Kyoto, Paris, Victoria, and Seville takes even this home girl some getting used to!


I still think of Santa Fe as a small ski town with a lot of art and great chile.  Sadly, that hasn’t been the case since Ralph Lauren debuted his “Santa Fe look” in the 1980s.  Since then the Woolworth became a mini mall, my favorite shoe store became a gallery, and there are probably more Californians who call Santa Fe home than true Santa Feans.  It’s all good for the economy I guess, but a lot of what made “The City Different” different is now wrapped in a disposable bag and overnighted to places unknown.  Yes, Santa Fe still has gorgeous mountains and architecture and the food and culture there is unmatched, but a top city in the world?  Especially considering that its population of around 50,000 is so much smaller than other popular destinations, all I can say is, Wow!


Coincidently, another list Santa Fe just recently made was that of Travel+Leisure magazine’s “America’s Snobbiest Cities” list.  Ranked according to barometers like a reputation for being aloof, smarty-pants residents, high-end shopping, and highbrow cultural offerings, here are the cities T+L says have their noses in the air the highest:


  1. San Francisco
  2. New York City
  3. Boston
  4. Minneapolis/St. Paul
  5. Santa Fe and Seattle (tie)
  6. Chicago
  7. Providence, R.I.
  8. Washington, D.C.
  9. Charleston, S.C.


Amazingly, Charleston was the only other U.S. city on the “Top 25” world cities I mentioned above.  What gives?  All the cities listed with the highest snob factor are also cities people love to visit and love to live in.  Does this mean we like snobs?  I think not!


The only reason I can think of why Santa Fe made the list of having its nose in the air is its 7,000 feet altitude…or maybe it’s just the Californians.  Although I will admit that every time I go home people do seem less friendly and less happy.  It’s a change I don’t like seeing in what will always be one of my favorite places on earth.


What are your favorite cities?  Why do you like them?  What cities are on your bucket list?


Sunday Scripture October 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlawordsmithblog @ 8:38 pm




I just spent enjoyed a weekend with my daughter and some of her friends from college.  I was struck by how strong my Kristen is and what a confident woman she’s grown up to be.  She is soooo much more sure of herself then I was at her age and it makes me both proud and happy.


As I always tell the little three-year-old girls in my class, “use your girl muscles,” but being “strong” has many facets.  Let’s all strive to be both strong women and women of strength.



A Strong Woman vs. a Woman of Strength

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape,

but a woman of strength also kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything,

but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fears.

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her,

but a woman of strength also gives the best of herself to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes and works hard at not repeating them,

but a woman of strength realizes life’s mistakes can also be God’s blessings and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman walks sure footedly,

but a woman of strength also knows God will catch her when she falls.