4 Fun Things To Do In Ketchikan

One of the most fun things to do when you are planning a cruise is to look at all of the shore excursions that are available at each of the ports of call. There is something for everyone – adventure, nature, food, fun – all for a PRICE. Some are worth it, some not so much. In this series I will tell you about our shore excursions – some booked through the cruise line and some exploring we did on our own. Our first – A do-it-yourself Ketchikan Shore Excursion.

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Your Ketchikan Shore Excursion

Ketchikan is the southernmost city in Alaska and in the middle of the Tongass National Forest, which is part rainforest.  You will likely have a little rain when you visit Ketchikan, so bring an umbrella and rainproof jacket. When we got off the ship, it was drizzling a bit, but soon cleared off and we had a lovely morning.

IMG_1183

We did not book a ship-sponsored shore excursion in Ketchikan. Instead, we did a little exploring on our own. As you get off the ship and make the short walk into town, there is a Visitor’s Centers with clean restrooms (always appreciated) and information on what to do in and around Ketchikan. Everything is this quaint little town is well marked, making it very easy to get around and find where you want to go.

As you walk around town, you will be struck with its natural beauty. The plants and foliage are lush.

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If you like to shop, especially for jewelry, there are plenty of shops! We found this at every port in Alaska!

Totem Heritage Center

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I was interested in experiencing some of the rich Native American history that is part of Ketchikan, which included seeing the Totem Poles. There are replicas of totem poles throughout Ketchikan. If you want to see “real” totem poles that aren’t replicas, visit the Totem Heritage Center that is operated by the City of Ketchikan. It is a short walk from downtown and has the world’s largest collection of unrestored 19th-century totem poles. Cost to get in: $5

See largest collection of 19th Century unrestored totem poles at Totem Heritage Center in Ketchikan. Click To Tweet

Ketchikan Creek & Falls

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Also a short walk from downtown, this salmon spawning ground is a site to behold.

Beautiful, clear water, green trees and flowers surround the creek and falls.

Annabelle’s Famous Keg & Chowder House

We arrived before 11:30 for an early lunch and had the most delicious clam chowder and Pub Style Halibut (beer battered & fried) that I have ever tasted. If chowder and seafood aren’t your thing, they have plenty of other choices – burgers, salads, sandwiches and wraps. As we were leaving a little after noon, there was a line out the door to get in. But I told the people in line that it was definitely worth the wait and I don’t say that about many places.

 Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show

This was recommended by several people. We elected not to go, but our friends who were traveling with us said it was quite entertaining. If you were taking a trip with kids, this would be a must see. If you book this show through the cruise line, it costs a bit more, but this covers your bus ride to the show, which you’ll want to take. So book it through the cruise line.

Ketchikan was our first taste of Alaska. Beautiful town and a lovely introduction to this great state!

Next up: Favorite Shore Excursions from Skagaway.

You Might Also Like:

What I Packed For My Alaskan Cruise

5 Tips for Traveling With Friends

Things to do in Ketchikan Alaska
4 Things To Do In Ketchikan
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Lessons Learned From The Sickbed

 

Lessons from the Sick Bed - SMI have been blessed with extraordinarily good health. I rarely get sick and when I do, it’s not for long…until a week and a half ago when a cold turned into the plague and I was IN BED for a week.  Still not 100% but carrying on.  Here are my takeaways from that experience.

  • I am not a nice sick person. I am grouchy. I am not a “suck it up” and get on with things sick person either. I want everyone in my family to know I am sick and feel sorry for me. Hence, the “selfie” of my me in bed with my sick face to show my adult daughters just how bad I felt.
I am not a nice sick person. Click To Tweet
Sickbed Selfie
Sickbed Selfie
  • I LOVE to watch TV and read. My head hurt too bad to read, but I did watch lots of regular TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime.  I am here to tell you that after a couple of days of that there is not ONE DARN THING worth watching. I got SO BORED. So I took a selfie with my cat.  The craziness of that is a whole other conversation…

Cat Selfie

  • Although I am WELL PAST the age where my mom took care of me when I was sick, there is nothing like being laid up for a few days to make you miss your mom and dad. I had a good cry because I missed them so much (and felt a LOT sorry for myself).
There is nothing like being sick in bed to make you miss your mom and dad. Click To Tweet
  • I have a good husband. At one point he said to me “What do you want to eat? I will go and get you anything you want.” To which I replied, “I want this soup that I don’t know the name of from a Chinese restaurant I can’t remember the name of”. He went on a mission to get that soup for me and it did taste good. I think he was hoping that it would be a miracle cure so mean, grouchy Cathy would go away..but it wasn’t.
  • I need to appreciate my good health. For as bad as I felt, it was not lost on me that there are people with chronic illnesses that really suffer every day.  My suffering was temporary.

The greatest wealth is health. ~Virgil

The greatest wealth is health - Virgil Click To Tweet

Health is not valued until sickness comes. ~Thomas Fuller

If I’d known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken better care of myself. ~Leon Eldred

Hoping you all are enjoying good health and are ready to party!

Over the Moon Link Party

Welcome to the Over The Moon Link Party #33

Welcome to the Over the Moon Link Party!  You can link up any family friendly posts without profanity. Have a post you want to give more reach? Need some comments or shares? Want a post that’s close to going viral takeoff like a rocket? Now is the time to link it up!

Need comments or shares on your blog post? Link up at #overthemoon! Click To Tweet

We pin EVERY link you leave and may even share on other sites as well! So come on in, be one of the first to link up, and remember to go Over the Moon with us!

At #Overthemoon we comment on and pin every post. Link up today! Click To Tweet

Statistics for Over the Moon Link Party #32 saw 866 pageviews, 133 links, and 225 clicks on those links.  And the numbers continue to roll in!

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Over The Moon Link Party #32

Over the Moon Link Party

Welcome to the Over The Moon Link Party #32

 

Welcome to the Over the Moon Link Party!  You can link up any family friendly posts without profanity. Have a post you want to give more reach? Need some comments or shares? Want a post that’s close to going viral takeoff like a rocket? Now is the time to link it up!

Need comments or shares on your blog post? Link up at #overthemoon! Click To Tweet

We pin EVERY link you leave and may even share on other sites as well! So come on in, be one of the first to link up, and remember to go Over the Moon with us!

At #Overthemoon we comment on and pin every post. Link up today! Click To Tweet

Statistics for Over the Moon Link Party #31 saw 951 pageviews, 141 links, and 293 clicks on those links.  And the numbers continue to roll in!

Tweet: #OverTheMoon is live! http://bit.ly/1OB1U2S @eclecticredbarn @mysideof50 @Marilyn_Lesniak @inbetweenmeliss @SandySandmeyer @Sizzling60

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The party will open weekly on Sunday evening in the USA and Monday morning in Australia and close on Thursday.  Niches of all kinds are eligible – stories, printables, for sale items, DIY, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments, etsy items, nails, wraps, anything at all, just as long as it’s family friendly and without profanity. All links will be added to the Over the Moon Link Party Board on Pinterest. All posts may be commented on, tweeted, shared on Facebook and other social media. Please be kind and use our party button and follow someone new.

 

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What I Packed For My Alaskan Cruise

Packing List for an Alaskan Cruise

Mid-summer is the high season for Alaskan cruises. I just returned from the Celebrity Solstice 7-day Tracy Arm Fjord Cruise and must say, it was the trip of a lifetime. I highly recommend it. But trying to PACK for it was a bear!

“Dress in Layers” They Said

When I asked people who had been what to take, everyone said “dress in layers”. What did that mean? Did it mean long underwear, ski pants, heavy sweater, thermal socks, fur lined boots, parka, hat, gloves and a scarf? Those are the layers I dressed in on a trip to Germany in December.

Or did it mean, capris, t-shirt and a vest?

What does it mean to dress in layers on an Alaskan Cruise? Click To Tweet

Not knowing, I packed EVERYTHING and ended up paying a $100 heavy bag charge. And I only ended up wearing about 1/3 of what I took.

Here’s what you should know about what to wear on Alaskan Cruises:

  • When you are inside on the ship, you can dress like you do at home because you are in a climate-controlled environment.
  • When you are outside on the ship, it will be colder. It’s windy and you will be sailing past glaciers. To just take a walk outside, jeans, sweater and a jacket (I had a leather jacket) will be fine. If you are spending a lot of time outside, bundle up a little more. Maybe a hat, gloves and a scarf.
  • Evenings.  If you are eating in the dining room with the scheduled seating, there is a suggested dress code each night. My regular evening wear consisted of black pants and a nice top – much like I would wear at home to eat out at a nice restaurant. My husband wore slacks and a button down.
  • Most cruises have done away with the “formal night”. Celebrity designates two nights as “evening chic” where a cocktail dress or dressy pants and fancy top are acceptable. I wore nice black pants and a lace top. My husband wore slacks, a button down and sport coat.
  • Shore excursions. On all our shore excursions, the temperatures were mild, ranging from about 55 – 70 degrees. It was windy, so it did feel a little cooler at times. I was fine in jeans and a long sleeved tee with my windbreaker. The windbreaker added a little extra warmth, shielded me against the wind, could have served as raingear if needed and was easily folded up and put in my purse when I took it off.

Here is what I packed for our cruise, including a pre-cruise overnight stay in Seattle.

What I packed What I wore Notes
4 light sweaters 3
3 heavy sweaters 1
4 long sleeved tees 4
1 heavy hoodie 0
3 pairs cropped pants 2
1 light weight vest 1
4 pairs jeans 4
2 pairs black slacks 1
3 dressy tops for dinner 3
1 flat sandals 1
1 strappy heels 1
1 pair wedges 1
2 pairs tennis shoes 1 I took 2 in case of rain and one pair got wet. I would do this again.
1 pair black flats 1 Really didn’t need – could have worn tennis shoes.
2 sets workout clothes 1 Only worked out once.
1 warm scarf 0
1 warm hat 0
1 set long underwear 0
15 pairs of socks 7 Was afraid of my feet getting wet. 🙂
1 leather jacket 1  

 

1 Windbreaker 1 Used for every shore excursion.

Other Items to take on Alaskan Cruises

  • Good camera – YES . I’m glad I didn’t rely on just my iPhone to get some great pictures of the breathtaking scenery we saw.
  • Laptop – YES.
  • Chargers – phone, Ipad, Fitbit, laptop & camera – YES.
  • Power Strip – YES . There will only be a couple of plugs in your stateroom. My husband had 2 phones in addition to all my electronics. The couple we travelled with both used a C-Pap Machine, so definitely needed a plug on each side of their bed. The Power Strip is a must.
A Power Strip is a Must Take for your Alaskan Cruise. Click To Tweet
  • Downy Wrinkle Release – Depending on what clothes you take, this may come in handy. We didn’t need it.
  • Garbage Bags – YES. We used for dirty clothes.
  • Evening Purse – YES.  I used mine on “evening chic” night.
  • Backpack – YES. Great for shore excursions when you are carrying a camera, bottled water, snacks and will be bringing back souvenirs.
  • Insect Repellant – Was recommended, but we didn’t need it.
  • Headphones – Yes. One of the reasons my husband and I have managed to stay married for 32 years is that we have our own TV’s at home. We had to actually SHARE one for 7 days and since there is not one show in the entire universe that we both like, he could watch what he wanted on the room TV and I watched Netflix on my iPAD with the headphones.

Other things to remember:

  • We were blessed to have absolutely perfect weather and no rain. Not having any rain during a cruise to Alaska is unusual. It was recommended that we take two pairs of walking shoes in case it rained and 1 pair got wet.
  • If you are taking shore excursions where you will be riding outside on a boat or hiking on a glacier, you will need to take some very warm clothes.
  • You will not sweat, so unless you spill something on your clothes or just can’t bring yourself to wear an outfit twice, you CAN wear your clothes twice.
  • You are only wearing your evening clothes for a couple of hours every night, so you can wear them again. Believe me – no one will notice.
  • I wore the same “evening chic” outfit both nights.

If you’ve been on an Alaskan cruise, is there anything I missed?

If you’ll be taking an Alaskan cruise, are you wondering about something you are planning to take?

Leave your responses in the comments! I respond to all comments.

 

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Over the Moon Link Party #31

Over the Moon Link Party for all family friendly blog posts

It’s LINK PARTY TIME! A great place for

  • Bloggers in all niche’s to link up their family friendly posts.
  • Blog readers to discover tips, tricks and inspiration from bloggers you may not know.

Here are a few of my favorites from last week:

Have you ever seen those pretty container gardens that contain several plants at Lowe’s or Home Depot? They are beautiful, but kind of expensive. In this post, Nicole from The Professional Mom Project shows how you can make your own.

How to Plant a Simple & Beautiful Container Garden

After all that gardening, it’s time for a drink and some online shopping!

How’s this for a cool, refreshing summer drink? Pink Moscato Limoncello Spritzer by Celeste at The Whole Serving.

Pink-Moscato-Spritzer1

After you get your drink mixed, get ready to do a little shopping. Sandy, from Sandy’s POV has  reviewed some “must have” items for summer.  I found a few that I will be getting for our family beach vacation next month.

Stuff You Need This Summer

Posts will be added throughout the week, so check back and see what cool things you can find!

Link up your family friendly posts at #OvertheMoon where all posts get comments and pins! Click To Tweet

Over the Moon Link Party

Welcome to the Over The Moon Link Party #31

Welcome to the Over the Moon Link Party!  You can link up any family friendly posts without profanity. Have a post you want to give more reach? Need some comments or shares? Want a post that’s close to going viral takeoff like a rocket? Now is the time to link it up!

Need comments or shares on your blog post? Link up at #overthemoon! Click To Tweet

We pin EVERY link you leave and may even share on other sites as well! So come on in, be one of the first to link up, and remember to go Over the Moon with us!

At #Overthemoon we comment on and pin every post. Link up today! Click To Tweet

Statistics for Over the Moon Link Party #30 saw 893 pageviews, 123 links, and 254 clicks on those links.

Tweet: #OverTheMoon is live! http://bit.ly/1OB1U2S @eclecticredbarn @mysideof50 @Marilyn_Lesniak @inbetweenmeliss @SandySandmeyer @Sizzling60

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The party will open weekly on Sunday evening in the USA and Monday morning in Australia and close on Thursday.  Niches of all kinds are eligible – stories, printables, for sale items, DIY, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments, etsy items, nails, wraps, anything at all, just as long as it’s family friendly and without profanity. All links will be added to the Over the Moon Link Party Board on Pinterest. All posts may be commented on, tweeted, shared on Facebook and other social media. Please be kind and use our party button and follow someone new.

 

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Over the Moon Link Party
Share the Over the Moon Blog Button on your shared posts.

 

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Adding your link to the Over the Moon Link Party indicates that you agree that all of the hosts of this party have your permission to display your link with your name, URL, and image. All links will lead back to the URL you use for the link. When we share your link, it provides a backlink for SEO as well as additional traffic to your blog. 


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Pretzel Rod Sparklers – A 4th Of July Treat

Looking for an easy and quick treat to make for your 4th of July celebration? Try these Pretzel Rod Sparklers from frostingandsmile.com. Parker and I made these together.

Pretzel Rod Sparklers. Fun treat for the kids to make this 4th of July. Click To Tweet

Ingredients:

  • Pretzel Rods
  • 10 oz. package of white candy melts
  • Red, White and Blue Sprinkles

Method:

Make a row of each color of sprinkles on wax paper. They should be 1 – 1 1/2″ wide and touching. r

IMG_1057

Melt the candy melts. Dip about 1/2 of the pretzel rod into the melted candy. Shake off as much excess as you can. As you can see, this is very serious business, so please make sure all involved appreciate the gravity of this step. 🙂

IMG_1061

Roll coated pretzel rod in sprinkles.

IMG_1097

Admire your masterpiece!

IMG_1102

Share with your sister.

IMG_1086

 

Hope you are enjoying a great 4th of July weekend with family and friends!

Pretzel Rod Sparklers Pin

Over the Moon Link Party

Now Let’s Party!

It’s time for the Over the Moon Link Party. Bloggers, link up your family friendly posts. Blog readers – click the links below and find a wealth of great posts – recipes, DIY, book reviews, travel, parenting…you name it, we’ve got it!

#Overthemoon Link Party is open. All posts get comments and pins. Link up today! Click To Tweet

 

Over the Moon Link Party

Welcome to the Over The Moon Link Party #30

 

Welcome to the Over the Moon Link Party!  You can link up any family friendly posts without profanity. Have a post you want to give more reach? Need some comments or shares? Want a post that’s close to going viral takeoff like a rocket? Now is the time to link it up!

We pin EVERY link you leave and may even share on other sites as well! So come on in, be one of the first to link up, and remember to go Over the Moon with us!

Statistics for Over the Moon Link Party #29 saw 509 pageviews, 114 links, and 276 clicks on those links.

Tweet: #OverTheMoon is live! http://bit.ly/1OB1U2S @eclecticredbarn @mysideof50 @Marilyn_Lesniak @inbetweenmeliss @SandySandmeyer @Sizzling60

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Get Your Midlife Style Back – How I Did It!

How Blogger Cathy Lawdanski Got Her Midlife Style Back
Get Your Midlife Style Back – How Cathy Did It!

Today we wrap up our series of fashion posts with a guest post from ME on Shellie Bowdoin’s site, The FABulous Journey. You’ll recognize Shellie from my two posts where I feature lessons I learned from my favorite fashion bloggers.

Fashion Bloggers Rock A Summer Look

Lessons Learned From My Favorite Fashion Bloggers

This time, Shellie asked me to write about How I Got My Midlife Style Back.  I have to laugh at the irony of this as I sit at my desk in short shorts,  ratty t-shirt and no make-up, bra or shoes because everything I own is either in the laundry or in my suitcase that is packed for our vacation. You wouldn’t look at me now and think I had any business writing a fashion post! LOL!

But seriously – Getting My Midlife Style Back hasn’t been easy. This 57-year-old body has grown and changed and finding stylish clothes that fit well or even knowing what looks good on me is a challenge! I have learned some valuable fashion tips from Shellie and others that I follow that help me feel more confident and fashionable when I do have to be seen in public.

Shellie is the “real deal”, as they say. While she is lovely and fashionable and always looks put together, her blog also talks about other issues that are important – health, fulfillment and personal growth. You can read more about her here.

Join me over at The FABulous Journey today for Get Your Midlife Style Back – How Cathy Did It!

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Accessories – The Icing on the Cake

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Accessories – The Icing On The Cake

Today’s post is by Guest Contributor, Glenda K. Harrison. Glenda created the style blog, So What to Twenty. Through this platform, she inspires readers “to view fashion as an all-encompassing vehicle and encourages women to explore their personal gifts, style, femininity, and, most importantly, inner beauty”. Her post today is all about accessories, or as Glenda calls them, the icing!

Whether you enjoy accessorizing like over-the-top style maven, Iris Apfel, the elegance of the minimal approach like designer, Carolina Herrera, or somewhere in between – whatever your take, accessories are most certainly the icing on the cake. But here’s the most crucial fact about the icing – either it can enhance the beauty and flavor, or it can completely ruin the outcome. In other words, if you put the wrong jewelry, bag, belt, scarf, sunnies and shoes with your sartorial pursuits, you’ll completely destroy the look. Careful attention to these important details are ultra important, and must not be ruled as an after thought.

Accessories are the icing on the cake Click To Tweet

Depending on the occasion, mood and story I wish to tell, I have dazzled with a variety of accessorizing techniques. However in most cases, I tend to lean more toward a minimal approach to completing an ensemble. In my opinion, comfort is just as important as what you choose to wear. The idea of futzing with myself is out of the question. When I select what I’m wearing, I like for the entire look to flow seamlessly into my complete life, or better yet, my style story.

To better understand the concept of accessories completing my style story, I have selected 4 looks from my So What to Twenty archives. Enjoy!

Free Spirit

Free Spirit 311
What better way to represent my free spirit than to dress in clothing that gives me the ability to do so – clothes that do not restrict, but swirl and dance in playful movement. Soft, artful layers glide over my silhouette – enhance who I am, rather than conceal. Tassel-tied shoes and jewelry are the perfect choice for such a bohemian inspired look – with just a loosening of the tie – they evoke thoughts of a life led free.

Black Down Memory Lane

Black Down Memory Lane 133
A tie-neck detailed dress which evokes memories of the ladylike appeal of the 50s and 60s has been accessorized with items that continue to play with that particular era – Cateye sunglasses, a ladylike silk floral handbag, a pair of laser-cut gloves, and a necklace which was wrapped around my arm several times to create a charm bracelet.

The Icing: Maximum

Icing Maximum 028
A beautifully constructed, dramatic necklace, in colors that remind me of cascading water, is worn to create an element of surprise in this calming and leisurely ensemble. Typically, when I expose my shoulders, I prefer to keep the entire area bare, free from necklaces, but with large hoop earrings. But for today, since I’m sporting such an artistic piece, accompanied with large sunglasses, I chose to scale back my earrings. The look represents an inner calm, yet it taunts my ability to make a statement…but in a reserved and quiet way.

The Icing: Minimum

Icing Minimal 167
The look I’m wearing is classic, feminine, and minimal: A tiered lace skirt is accentuated by a fitted scoop-neck tee, barely there heeled sandals, and simple lace clutch. The hero accessory is a glorious, yet classic coin bracelet that makes a statement on it’s own. There’s no need to over adorn myself with multiple necklaces and a variety of rings – a touch of gold on the ear and one gold ring are all that’s needed.

Inspired by Chanel

Inspired by Chanel 008
To capture the spirit of a Cubana, I decided to adopt a couple looks from the Chanel 2016/17 Resort collection. A straw fedora, a more masculine sandal, a Spanish-inspired corset, and added touches of antique gold jewelry take this look to another level of success. Without the accessories, I would be wearing a white top and black pants. There’s nothing wrong with that, but why not take your look up a notch or two.

Inspired by Chanel – Fashion Illustration by Allison Taylor

Glenda_Instagram

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Glenda K. Harrison - Accessories: The Icing
Accessories – The Icing
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Celebrating Fathers

Dad4x6_1819

Here’s a picture of my Dad in his beloved Houston Texans attire at age 90. It’s our first Father’s Day without him. I miss him, but today I celebrate the wonderful father, grandfather, father-in-law and great-grandfather he was!

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This is my husband, Tony. Just like my Dad, he is a wonderful father, father-in-law & grandfather.  He shows us all how much he loves us in a million ways every day. Could not be more blessed!

Connect With

I am so honored to the Connect With Featured Blogger on my friend Michelle’s blog – GrammieTime.  Michelle and I did the Dancing With the Stars Series together in the Spring. We also like our wine, so don’t be surprised if we collaborate on something wine related in the future!

On Connect With, I answer some questions that Michelle asked to help her readers get to know another blogger. I share a story about my dad, a favorite vacation with Tony, advice for young moms and a tip for grandparents.  I actually got to give some advice that someone asked for! That’s a first!

You can read Connect With here.

And in case you missed these posts:

Be Brave & Be Open – my guest post on Sizzling Towards Sixty
Fashion Bloggers Rock a Summer Look

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Be Brave & Be Open

Be Brave & Be Open

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do that for some reason, you haven’t tried?

Is there something that you've always wanted to do but haven't tried? Click To Tweet

Are you passionate about something but have not pursued it because you are afraid?

On this side of 50, I am working on being brave. Being open. Not automatically saying no to things. Daring to try things I want to try, no matter what others may think.

On this side or 50, I am working on being brave and open. Click To Tweet

Easier said than done, but I’m moving in that direction.

Today, I am honored to guest post on Sue Loncaric’s blog, Sizzling Toward Sixty. Sue is an Aussie who believes that age is just a number and shouldn’t hold you back from reaching your full potential. I wholeheartedly agree.

You can read my guest post, Be Brave & Be Open here! While you are over at Sizzling Toward Sixty, check out Sue’s #couchpotatotofabfit community on Facebook. I’m a member and we encourage each other as we maintain our health in community. We’d love to have you join us!

 

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