(ABOVE) Me, June 2016. In this post, I tell why I decided to start a blog and YouTube channel.
Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and welcome.
I am a 56-year-old, Corpus Christie, Texas-born girly-girl who now lives in Southwest Florida. I arrived via The Hague, Holland; London, England; Houston, Texas; La Jolla, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Los Angeles, California.
I also am a wife (my husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this year!), a former co-host of a Southwest Florida visitor’s television channel, and a former editor of and writer for several upscale South Florida lifestyle magazines. I am passionate about all things classic–and living a holistic, healthful lifestyle.
I hope you will stay awhile and have a look, and if you enjoy this blog please come back and visit again. I post new features one or more times a week.
Janis Lyn Johnson
P.S. For additional information about me, my personal style, and why I created this blog…
The Meaning of “Classic”
Q: Does classic mean “class” or “classy”?
JLJ: If for you “class” or “classy” mean pleasing, understated and timeless, then yes, classic means class or classy. For me, something is classic when a) it stands the test of time; (b) it appears to not try too hard and gives a feeling of ease and effortlessness; (c) it isn’t garish or off-putting, and shows restraint and appropriateness; and (d) it elicits, at best, delight and appreciation, and at worst it isn’t even noticed. Classic never shocks.
Beginning the Blog
Q: Why a lifestyle blog?
JLJ: I started this blog because I couldn’t find anything in contemporary media that reflected my tastes and lifestyle–who I am and the sort of things I want to know more about. I knew there had to be plenty of other women in the world who were just like me, so I decided if I couldn’t find it, I would create it.
Q: How would I describe myself?
JLJ: I suppose you could say I’m what a friend once described as “a Charlotte” (and I’m not sure she considered it a compliment). My friend was referring to Charlotte York, the traditionalist romantic on the 1998-2004 U.S. television series “Sex In The City” (which also became two feature films). Played by Kristen Davis, Charlotte was and still is one of my favorite fictional characters (along with Mary Crawley on the television series “Downton Abbey”. I miss that program so much!).
Charlotte also was the one at whom the other girls often rolled their eyes, because they thought she was so naive. I loved Charlotte’s hopeful, cheerful, conservative wholesomeness. I loved how kind and polite she always tried to be (I wish I could be so gracious). I loved Charlotte’s understated and natural, fresh-scrubbed look, the classic way she dressed, styled her hair, and decorated her apartment on Park Avenue in New York City. Charlotte inspired me to be perfectly comfortable with not being so-called “cool”.
But there are few Charlottes in the media today, because edgy, cynical, and irreverent are vogue. And that makes me feel so…well…frustrated, sad, baffled (and several other emotions that I can’t quite put my finger on). Add to that the fact that I turn 56 this year (2016), and the media would have me and anyone like me believe that I am an old, ugly, irrelevant anachronism–especially since I stopped trying to camouflage my graying hair in 2012, and I don’t want to have a face lift, botox, or fillers.
By all means, I wholly support and respect any person who does believe in doing these things—of course–but they just aren’t for me.
My hope is, by putting my un-edgy, sentimental, over-50, un-cool, always-a-little-disheveled, classic-bent self into a blog for the world to see, I might be of some support to other women who also just want to be their classic selves.
For more about my personal style…
Why Follow My Style
Q: I’m not a celebrity and I’m not in the fashion industry, so why would anyone want to know about my style?
JLJ: I think, because my taste is classic and it isn’t dictated by design trends, my style is relatable to women of all ages. I am a real person who gets dressed in the morning for a real life–not for New York Fashion Week, reality TV, or paparazzi. Truly, how many of us look like one of the women on any of the “The Real Housewives” television shows (which I love, by the way). These women go shopping in five-inch-high heels, which looks amazing and is definitely admirable. But my poor feet would pay the price and I probably would break my neck.
What I love about classic style is that it makes good sense. Not only does it flatter any body type and at any age, but it’s intrinsically appropriate to the occasion and doesn’t sacrifice comfort or health for beauty. If a classic woman plans to do a lot of walking, like shopping at a mall, she wears a cute, lower-heeled shoe or sandal. She may not be the peacock who attracts photographers, but a classic woman is okay with that. And if you are a woman who’s a peacock, I think that’s fantastic, too. I enjoy admiring you and all your lovely feathers.
Developing Personal Style By Observation
Q: I’m not an expert, so how can I help you navigate the do’s and don’ts, and more, of classic fashion or home decorating?
JLJ: All I can do is share what I like and have learned up to this point. The fashion and lifestyle bloggers who inspire me most are regular women just like me, not experts, who are not afraid to feature themselves—even on days when they may not look their best. To me, because our hair or makeup or outfit is not always perfect—or we obviously did not get enough sleep–it makes our blogs more relatable and interesting. I think it’s inspiring when others are not afraid to try and maybe fail but put it out there nonetheless. There are enough wins, in my opinion, to keep readers interested.
Pablo Picasso once said, “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn to do it.” I think creating fashion and home decorating are similar. I continually develop my own style by observing what others do, and trying it out for myself—with my own twist added in.
Expensive Taste, Frugal Budgeting
Q: What do I mean when I say my taste is expensive but my mentality, Depression-era?
JLJ: My brothers and I are products of parents who were children during the Great Depression. Neither of their families had money, so they learned at a young age the importance of fiscal prudence. By the time I was in middle school, my father had become an executive vice president for a large company. Our family lived in a Pittsburgh suburb on 12 acres, in a 1928 brick tudor with seven fireplaces, eight bedrooms, a ballroom and wood-paneled study in the main house and a two-bedroom apartment above a three-car garage. Yet, still, our go-to stores were Sears and K-Mart. Being frugal is in my DNA.
To see a video featuring excerpts from my YouTube channel and this blog, click here.
To learn about my heal-your-body eating plan (I have had some health issues, but because of my change in diet, I am finally experiencing the disappearance of most symptoms), click here.