Out of the Closet

6 Picks under $50

By Charlotte on June 14, 2012 6:09 AM

Want to shake things up?  It could be time to try one of summer's hot, new fashion trends. I'm thinking sheer fabrics, eye-catching colors or sexy, ankle straps ... for a start!

That's why I love these six pretty pieces. Besides being trendy, these Boomer-perfect wardrobe inspirations are surprisingly budget friendly.



Dots Sheer Stripe Maxi Dress


Maxi Dress Full Length - 300.jpgLong on looks, this cool, color-blocked number cries "pool party." But it's so comfy and affordable I want to wear it every day.


Bright orange (I'm still crazy about the color of the year), blue and white stripes on filmy fabric shout summer. A black lining prevents any embarrassing show-through (whew!) while adjustable straps and a self-bra make this maxi especially easy to wear. Add a fedora and you're ready for a long, holiday weekend.


$19.80 at Dots stores


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Gaiam Tagua Earrings


Craving color? The Tagua Earrings deliver dazzling hues. These guaranteed head-turners are handmade by fair trade artisans in Ecuador using sustainable tagua, an all-natural seed from locally grown palm trees.


Another winning design from the folks at Gaiam, the earthy tagua accented with double-chain detail on both sides is striking. I've enjoyed pairing my sunset orange stunners with Dots Sheer Stripe Maxi Dress. In addition to upping the fun factor, they're so light I never notice them. No fear of ear tears here. Bonus!


$26 for sunset orange or midnight teal at Gaiam.com









Crocs Sexi Aliana

I got hooked on Crocs last year after trying and LOVING their 70's-influenced Leigh wedges. That's when I realized this foot-pampering brand also offered significant style.


So when I saw the Sexi Alianas' of-the-moment ankle straps, I just had to have them. The white hot Alianas with turquoise beads made a natural choice because they complement so many of my shorts, capris and sundresses.


What's more, these top-rated shoes are meant for walking. A "relaxed fit" means the flexible ankle straps go on and off easily but don't sag. And wearing them during a recent walking tour of Fairhope, AL followed by heavenly hours scouring the outlet mall in nearby Foley kept my feet feelin' fine!  


$39.99 for black with purple, oyster (white) with turquoise or espresso with pink trim at Crocs.com



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Luv Designs

70s Collection Ruffle Dress


They say every room needs a little purple. I'm convinced that's especially true in the closet, where this flirty, feminine style from Luv Designs is a stand-out choice for everything from your day job to drinks with the girls.  


Boasting a retro vibe, the chic ruffled, v neck and slim, fitted waist are universally flattering. And who wouldn't love the feel of that super-soft, bamboo cotton fabric? Heels and a clutch make this LPD party perfect.


$42.99 at boutiques 











Stella & Dot Belle Fleur Ring


This gunmetal-toned, floral find (shown above and below) from one of my and my girlfriends' favorite jewelry brands provides the perfect finishing touch to your outfit.


The rich look includes pretty petals covered with delicate, hand-set crystals and a glass stone center. Nicely sized, it makes a striking accent even when your fingers are on the shorter side like mine.


$49 at Stelladot.com


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Stella & Dot Pippa Stone Earrings


Earrings on Green Coffee Mug-450.jpgThese darling danglers can help you rock the simplest look. Pair them with a pretty ponytail for a chic statement.


Three stunning, stones (one colorless, one cream and one hinting of aqua) surrounded by shiny 12k gold-plated brass cascade from a 12k gold-plated sterling silver wire. That means even Boomers like my sister Pam (whose ears rebel if touched by anything other than sterling) can enjoy these gorgeous gems.


$49 at Stelladot.com





We'd like to shout out a big "Thank You" to all the brands in this post for providing samples for review and testing.



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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

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By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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