I Feel Pretty | Content

Black Blazer Boyfriend Jeans Seated 2Over the weekend, I quietly celebrated a milestone – my 40th birthday.  If I’m being honest, it all still seems pretty surreal to me.  I don’t feel 40 but then again, I’m not sure what 40 is supposed to feel like.   I’ve never been one to get caught up in age but for the first time this past year, I’ve faced the harsh reality that youth is appreciated in our society and I’m getting older.

And of course, it brings up some fear and insecurity.  Even though I am more content with who I am than ever before, I’m also aware that being over 40 has a certain stigma attached to it.  Even in the blogging world, I’m almost afraid to put it out there.  Will my younger followers still want to read?  Does my style reflect my age?  Are brands interested in working with women over 40?

What if I ever have to go back to corporate America to find a job?  My resume shows my college graduation date, surely someone will do the math.

It just seems backwards that society judges age by how much time you have left to contribute instead of by what you’ve already accomplished.

I prefer to measure my 40 years differently.

I’ve accomplished a lot, by my own standards.  From leaving my small town of 200 to become the first person in my family to graduate from college, to being a single mom my senior year of college and learning to put someone else first, my son.  Seventeen years ago, I made the very scary move from small town Pennsylvania to big city Dallas to find a job – with my new college degree, $50 to my name and a six month old baby.

It all worked out but none of it came easy.

I endured years of passionless soul sucking jobs in beige cubicles while chasing what I thought was my dream – being an actress.  I had brushes with making it into the “big time” that never panned out.  Being second choice one too many times took it’s toll and I walked away from a career right when I started to book the jobs I always dreamed of.  The only problem was the dream was much better than the reality of it all.

My real dream come true was right in front of me all along.

Stepping away from acting and getting laid off from my corporate job has allowed me to focus more on what matters most – my family.  They are the greatest accomplishment of my 40 years and have given me plenty to celebrate along the way.  Especially my marriage to my soul mate, the man that God perfectly created for me.  He stepped in and took over the responsibility of raising my son and has loved him as his own ever since.  He treats me and our two little girls like princesses.  Those two beautiful girls bring light and joy to our lives every single day. Our home is filled with unconditional love and lots of laughter. I’m also grateful to live near both of my sisters who are absolutely my best friends and have always been there for me.

I’m blessed beyond measure.

So, this is 40 and 40 is pretty darn good.  I don’t know what the future holds for me but I’m definitely enjoying every single moment of the now.

Today I feel pretty content and that’s a great place to be.

Black Blazer Boyfriend Jeans Seated

Black Blazer Boyfriend Jeans 34

Black Blazer Boyfriend Jeans CloseLooking for a snake print heel for fall?  This pair is gorgeous and comfy and ON SALE for $40!   It comes in three different colors.

Snakeprint Heels

Black Blazer Boyfriend Jeans Heels[Blazer:  The Limited/T-shirt:  Forever 21/Jeans:  Mossimo/Heels:  Sole Society (ON SALE!)/Bracelets:  c/o In Pink/Necklace:  Heather Belle Co./Watch:  Michael Kors]

I Feel Pretty

It’s the day of the week at GYPO where we celebrate what makes us feel pretty. Whether it’s a new outfit, hairstyle, or makeup, the I Feel Pretty link up is about anything and everything that makes your life prettier. Even if you’re not a blogger, you can still play along. Just tell me what made you feel pretty this week in the comments!

I Feel PrettyLink up your outfits or anything else that makes you feel pretty. There are just a few simple rules:

1. Follow GYPO. (Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin‘)

2. Link up your pretty post.

3. Link back to my blog (using the button above or your own link).

4. Visit other pretty peeps.

That’s it! Let the fun begin.


Getting my pretty on with Fashion Informant, Fashion Friday, Friday’s Five Tres Chic, What I Wore to Work, The Pleated Poppy, Shanna, Sarah, Style Sessions and Monday Mingle.

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Comments

  1. First of all, love the outfit…that blazer is fabulous! I agree with your thoughts on age. 40 was scary and I have to admit as I edge closer to the next birthday with a “0″ in it I am no less terrified! I wish I was one of those women who could just accept it for what it is and learn to love it, but I’m not. I definitely don’t feel my age and I don’t know if I ever will…at least I hope not!
    Debbie :)
    http://www.fashionfairydust.blogspot.com

  2. Alison, I think this is my favorite post you’ve ever written. So neat to read about the stepping stones in your life that have gotten you to where you are today. God is so faithful! And not only is this my favorite post you’ve ever written, I also LOVE your look! The boyfriend jeans, the wide striped shirt, the blazer, the long necklace, the heels – you look SMOKIN HOT!

  3. You are a blessed woman. Lovely inside and out. Thanks for sharing your heart today. Contentment comes when we “trust not in our own understanding” and trust the One who gives wisdom. And, happy belated birthday!

  4. You look fabulous, as always! Your story is very inspiring – that is A LOT to have accomplished at 40, and let’s face it – you don’t look 40! I was shocked to see that. Belated Happy Birthday to you!!

    Dhruvi
    Stilettos & Sequins

  5. Happy belated birthday, dear Alison and thank you for sharing your story.
    I always love to learn more about the real person behind the blogger.
    40 is so young and you don’t even look 40 ;-) You look absolutely stunning and your jeans-blazer-heels combo is fabulous.
    It is good to hear you have such a loving and caring family which is most important in our lives.

    Annette | Lady of Style

  6. Happy belated 40th birthday!!!! I just can’t believe it…you don’t look a day over 32!!!

  7. You look beautiful Alison and happy milestone birthday! You don’t look a DAY over 25!! I had you have a wonderful day celebrating all that you’ve earned and deserve.

    xo Lulu
    simplylulustyle.com
    *What I’m Loving Fridays*

  8. You are one amazing woman, Alison!! I love your positive attitude! Hope you had the best of birthdays…age is just a number, right?!

  9. You look amazing for 40! I can only hope I look that fabulous in 10 years!

    Joanna

  10. Girlfriend, you ROCK 40! Absolutely gorgeous as always. :)

  11. Hi Alison , you look so chic and young, wish you a happy 40 and all the best for your life with your loved ones. xoxo Ebru

  12. Dang girl! Happy Birthday and you don’t look a day over 21 :) I loved this post since it was a little more personal. It’s funny how things always work out in the end. You have a beautiful family and family is definitely the most important thing in the world!

  13. Happy Belated Birthday gorgeous, I want to look just like you when I turn 40. you look dashing in these pics as always. I wish you all the best and Virgos do Rock!

  14. If THAT’s 40, I will GLADLY turn 40! You look amazing!

  15. You look incredibly chic in your blazer! I think you have amazing style and you’ve accomplished a lot, no matter how old you are!

  16. You’re one gorgeous 40 year old!

  17. Happy birthday! You look amazing! I think this is one of my favorite outfits. The colored tee, blazer, animal print and tassel necklace look great together!

  18. Happy Birthday! And don’t fear the forties — they’re a great period in our life. We have the wisdom acquired from living three decades combined with the vigor and beauty we retain at that age. It’s the FIFTIES that you have to fear! (Just kidding…)

  19. I turned 40 last year and I agree I didn’t feel 40 and I still don’t. I feel better about myself than I ever have. I think 40 now is a lot different when I was little . I love your entire look and 40 looks great on you!

  20. Happy Belated Birthday!

    That is the right way to look at aging. We all do it. Even if we don’t want to. Plus the alternative isn’t so hot.

    You look fabulous as usual.

    There are lots of women over 40 online looking for fashion inspiration. Embrace your new demographic.

    bisous
    Suzanne

  21. Hello Beautiful!
    Happy belated Birthday!!! I love your outlook on 40. You’re just a babe… a very fashionable one at that!
    God bless you and your wonderful family!

  22. Love everything about this look! Those heels are perfection!

  23. I hope you had a great birthday. Nice post, reflecting on your life. It seems that things work out the way they should. Glad you are in a happy spot in life. I think you’re looking 40 and fab! Work it!

  24. Happy belated birthday! You have a great attitude and look absolutely fantastic. :)

  25. Happy 40th Birthday Gorgeous Alison. You don’t look a day over 30!!

    Your nice, chic Outfit is inspiring me to get out a Black Blazer, Jeans & my Snakeskin Pumps and wear them. You look Dressy & Sexy!!

    My Pleasure linking up once again.

  26. Welcome to the club + Happy 40th!
    I struggled most with 30. Not sure why…but that said, today, I feel blessed with every passing year. You have achieved so much and are absolutely stunning to boot.
    40 never looked better. xo

  27. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALISON…..wow welcome to the best decade of your life! I assure you there’s a lot more in store for someone as wonderful as you. Lovely how you shared how you became the person you are now…….and you are looking ever so fabulous in that look today!

    Rebecca
    http://www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

  28. Happy Birthday! You look amazing and you perspective on age is spot on.
    Ginny

  29. Happy Belated Birthday! You look amazing for 40! I wish could wear heels-those are so pretty. Thank you for sharing your story.

  30. Welcome to the exclusive club! They say 40 is the new 30s and it’s true, I feel so much more happy and blessed than I did in my 30s. Looking fabulous as always!

    Alice
    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

  31. I’m turning 41 today, so I had a similar reaction last year. It came down to feeling grateful for what I have (and some of the things I don’t)! The alternative to aging is death, so I’ll take aging : )

  32. Happy Birthday! I kinda understand. I turned 30 this year and I had heard it was a time that was hard. I don’t feel 30! But what is it supposed to feel like? Anyway, you look absolutely fabulous and you are so blessed! So good for you to enjoy it!!

  33. Happy Birthday! You wear 40 very well! Love your outfit. Nothing better than a blazer, jeans and some great shoes.

  34. Alison!

    40? Seriously? You are spectacular. I’m not one for guessing people’s ages but if I had guessed yours it would have been at least 10 years younger than you are. Beautiful lady.

    And I loved reading about your journey. Never let anyone convince you that who you are and what you do is “not enough”. The health and happiness of the people closest to you is the truest evidence of your beauty and character. Becoming a momma myself has absolutely convinced me of that. Glad that you have found a sense of contentedness :)

  35. Happy birthday to you! What accomplishments you have had! You are beautiful! :)

  36. This post is incredible. It’s so sad that our culture makes us feel bad about something as natural and positive as getting older. Your perspective is fabulous, and I’m so glad to have read it. Also, love your outfit. You look amazing!

  37. Girl, you definitely do NOT look 40!! You look so stinkin’ fabulous! I hope I look that good in 20 years, sheesh! Also, your outfit is fabulous!! So glad I found your cute blog via the Because Shanna Said So link up!

    xx
    Allexis

  38. You don’t look a day over 25! You are one stylish Mama. I can totally relate as I turned 41 this year. I was a bit nervous about turning 40 but I’m loving this era and I feel great. I had two kids before I started college but through the support of my family I was able to accomplish great things including getting my degree! My husband is a true blessing and took in my two oldest children as his own! Happy Belated Birthday! :)

  39. Hi Alison,
    Happy belated birthday. You make 40 look great! Be blessed!
    http://www.robincharmagne.com/blog

  40. Contentment is an accomplishment and you have done it. You are an inspiration to all those ladies turning 40 this year.

  41. Happy birthday! Great post! I’m in my fifties, a little overweight with a muffin top and I have silver/gray hair, and yet I feel confident and fantastic! I feel like I have truly come into my own. To think that I was once an insecure, anxious young adult doesn’t even register with me anymore. Every year that passes you will start shedding your fears, insecurities, doubts, etc. You will become more assertive. You will start to feel more and more confident in your own skin regardless of your body shape, facial wrinkles or gray hairs. Your little children will be on their own & you will have true “Me” time to lavish however you want. What a blessing to feel wise, strong & youthful as you age.

  42. I love this post Alyson. I had no idea that you are 40. You look amazing. I totally know what you mean about starting to notice your age. A girl at work said that she went to a 90′s party and she was just a baby back then. I grew up in the 90′s. She sure made me feel old and i’m only 34. You have done an amazing job of becoming a beautiful person inside and out. You are a true inspiration for other single mothers that you can do it. Happy Birthday Alison!!!!

    Don’t forget to link up tomorrow for my weekly Tres-Chic Fashion Thursday link up.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

  43. Happy Happy Happy Birthday! 40 or not, you look absolutely amazing!

  44. Happy Birthday Beautiful! I loved hearing you share from your heart and I am so inspired by you once again! Contentment – what a great place to be in, and of course, your outfit is just perfect. Age is just a number, I’m telling myself that as I think we may have graduated college the same year. :)

  45. Happy Birthday a few days late! You look fabulous as always, so embrace your forties with joy.

  46. Happy Birthday! Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable! You have a beautiful heart and that doesn’t change with age:) God will continue to lead you through this year as He has done every step of the way.

  47. Happy birthday, Alison! You are gorgeous inside and out. The rest is just a number. I don’t think you’re ever supposed to feel like a number, because we’re not shaped by those numbers – we’re shaped by the blessings, the steps, the stumbles, and the amazement that happens as they go by.

  48. This was my favorite post you’ve ever done! I loved, loved, loved it! You are beautiful both inside and out. Happy Birthday!

  49. First of all congrats on your birthday. Age is just a number and the older we get the more stories we have to share. You look awesome.

  50. You make 40 look glorious :)

    Happy Birthday!

  51. Great post and very inspirational! Happy Belated Birthday! You wear 40 well! :-)

  52. Oh my word…I would have never guessed you were even 30…no lie. Wow, you look great! I hope I look as good as you when I’m 40!! :) Happy Birthday! (P.S. love your outfit & shoes!)
    xoxo,
    Lauren from Modern Modesty

  53. You look so beautiful in these photos – I love your outfit! And happy 40th!!! You really seem to have come a long way, and it does sound like you’re truly blessed! I hope you had a wonderful day.

  54. I don’t think anyone would EVER guess you were 40! Seriously. You look AMAZING and you have impressive taste and style. I LOVE reading your blog and admire your style!! (I’m 23) Congrats on a beautiful life and marriage too! Your Hubby sounds like such a sweet heart and I loved reading your love story :)
    P.S. Loving that blazer with the color-blocked shirt! You look stunning!
    Jessi
    http://haircutandgeneralattitude.blogspot.com

  55. Happy birthday Alison!
    You are STUNNING at 40!
    I of course will keep reading to see how you do it. I only hope that I can look and dress half as good as you when I’m 40.
    I loved learning more about your life in this post. :)
    http://www.floralandfudge.blogspot.com

  56. Today is my 43rd birthday. I have been in a bad mood all day because of it. I hate getting older!

  57. You are fabulous!!! I still cannot believe you are 40!!! You look like you are in your late twenties!! I know how you feel about telling people how old you are on the blog…since most style bloggers are in their early to mid twenties….BUT we definitely have an audience out there and are reaching them! You should be so proud of yourself and all you have done and where you have come! Happy Belated Birthday!! 40 never looked so good!!

  58. You look amazing!! You are rocking that outfit :)

    xo,
    Sincerely Miss Ash

  59. I am not sure what 40 is supposed to look like either, lol! I hope when I get there (9 yr countdown) that I will look as amazing as you! I appreciate your translucence. I would have never guessed all of that happened in your 40 years. Isn’t it funny how we make judgements based on someones exterior but have no idea about their life story or even what they are going through in the moment…
    God is good!

  60. I loved this post! And I think your husband found a jewel when he found you.

  61. I CANNOT believe you are 40! You look amazing and you have such a great attitude about life

  62. happy birthday! I think you look amazing – those snake print heels? gorgeous.
    I think we all let our age dictate our feelings a bit too much, and it can be hard to stop thinking about your life in terms of a number.

  63. I adore your outfit – so chic and edgy. And girl you do not look 40 – you are absolutely gorgeous!
    ~Callie
    http://www.creationsbycallie.com

  64. Happy belated birthday! I never would have guessed your age. To have and appreciate a fulfilling life is truly a gift. Those heels are gorgeous!

  65. Happy late birthday! That’s so exciting. And you look more fabulous than ever! Great post, love. If you get a moment, I have two new looks I’d love to hear your thoughts on. :) xo

    http://www.fashboulevard.com

  66. Wish to look like you when I’m 40…thats all I have to say.

  67. Happy Birthday, my friend!!! May the Lord bless you this coming year in ways you never dream possible!
    I actually jumped on here to ask you a favor! Could you think about doing a blog post about family pictures? We are having ours done in a few weeks and I’m having a hard time figuring out what the 5 of us should wear! I’m also trying to figure out what’s appropriate for a woman over 40 to wear; I think that some of my friends have forgotten they aren’t teenagers when they get their pictures done! xoxo jules

  68. Happy belated birthday!!! I’m shocked to learn that you turned 40 – you don’t look anywhere near 40 – not even close! I really admire the post you’ve written, and I agree that as an “older” blogger it’s tough to announce your age – I struggle with it myself, but haven’t been brave enough to actually admit how old I am yet. Your post was so inspirational for me to read. Very nicely written :)
    xo
    Kym
    bitty.and.bunny

  69. Happy Birthday! What a heartfelt, honest post. You look SO good, more like 30 than 40! Congratulations on what you have accomplished and your beautiful family!

  70. love this look at any age
    brett

  71. Happy birthday!!! My goodness, you do not look 40 at all! What’s your secret? :)
    My birthday is actually today, there sure are a lot of september birthdays!

    Christy
    Sunnywithasideof…

  72. Happy belated birthday! This was such an inspiring post– and amazing outfit! Thank you for sharing :)

  73. Thank you for linking up today Alison. See you next Thursday.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

  74. Happy Birthday! You look absolutely beautiful Allison!
    Katherine

  75. Happy birthday! Can’t believe you’re 40! I’m turning 39 next month and I’m feeling angsty about it. Although my husband and baby are pretty awesome! Love your shoes!

  76. First of all, happy belated birthday!! I wish I hadn’t missed it! Our birthdays are actually pretty close together. Yay for Virgos! And let me just say that if 40 looks like THAT, then I can’t wait for it!! Haha! Seriously, you look amazing and have nothing to worry about! I also LOVE that outfit! The colorblocked top looks great with the blazer and jeans! And the animal print heels are to die for!

  77. A blessed life indeed :) Most women in their 20′s would love to look like you. 40 is just a number:) It’s right around the corner for me too….doesn’t feel like it though.

  78. Happy Birthday! You look drop dead gorgeous and that outfit is fantastic. So nice to see someone who is focused on the blessings and what God is doing instead of focusing on a silly number! Very inspiring for the rest of us. :)

  79. Happy Birthday! You look phenomenal and I’m absolutely loving this chic, relaxed look. I think that super cool printed shoe really elevates your look and makes you look modern and polished. Love it!

  80. Happy Belated 40th Birthday Alison! You are such an inspiration to us all! My big 4-0 is in November & like you I think I’m going to quietly let it slide by & not focus on it all too much! There will be some reflection but Naughty Forty here I come! Big Kisses & Hugs! Andrea x

    http://couscousandcorkwedges.blogspot.co.uk/

  81. Happy belated b-day!! You ROCK 40! By the way LOVE the top it’s a must have for me….
    Did you get at the forever 21 store or online….

  82. Happy (belated!) birthday… you look great! I loved this post :)
    Lori

  83. You look absolutely amazing for any age. I felt the same way when I turned 40, and I decided to embrace it. I think you have the right attitude! :-)

  84. 40 is the absolute best! My kids are older so I don’t have to drag them everywhere I go, my relationship with hubby is better now that I can give him more attention, moving onto phase 2 with my kids. We are definitely in the sweet spot right now. I LOVE MY 40s!!!!!!!

  85. Happy Birthday beautiful lady.
    What a lovely post. I will be 40 in October and I know how you feel about putting your age on your blog. I too feel very content and very blessed. Your blog continues to inspire me with it’s beauty. Your warmth and happiness shines through. Love Liz xxx

  86. You hit 40?? Holy smokes! I would have guessed you were in your early 30′s..no way. You look so good and keep rocking that. I am glad you feel differently about hitting a milestone, and the best part is, you are thankful about all things that makes life better. Cheers!

  87. If I look half as good as you when I’m 40, I’ll be elated!

  88. You look fantastic! I will be 40 in February and am unsure of how to feel about it. I don’t feel 39 and certainly don’t look like it. I too am a single mom. My son just started high school and I graduated from college this year. Next month I celebrate a 1 year anniversary with the man of my dreams. He came into my life just when I decided love was not in the cards for me.

    Thank you for posting such a personal story. You are an inspiration to all women regardless of age.

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