Sunday, September 27, 2015

Moisturizing Gloves Repair Hands Anywhere, Anytime

Editor’s Note: I was recently asked me to review a new product, James and Lourdes Moisturizing Gloves. The following is my review. 

Health and beauty experts tell women over 50 to moisturize year round. And sure, I’m devoted to daily facial moisturizing—even in summertime. My hands, however, are another story. Sadly, I tend to ignore my hands until they start to burn and itch. My problem: I never think to moisturize my hands when there's time for the hand lotion to be absorbed. Granted, tacky hands isn't a huge problem. However, it's been enough to squash anything close to daily hand moisturizing routine.

Over the summer, the folks at James and Lourdes contacted me with a possible solution: gloves that allow hand moisturizing anywhere, anytime. Unlike spa gloves, they told me, James and Lourdes moisturizing gloves are made from microfiber polyester yarn with a bit of stretch for use indoor or outdoor. The James and Lourdes folks suggested that summertime was the perfect time to start moisturizing, before the onset of cold weather. I liked the idea of being proactive and agreed to try the gloves.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Keep Your Favorite Purse Looking Great

Editor's Note: Flattering50 was recently invited to review Wrapurse, a new product that protects the bottom of a woman's handbag. The following is that review.

How many times have you hesitated to put your good handbag down somewhere--a public floor or a park bench, for instance? Too many times to count? Since I was first contacted by the folks at WraPurse, I've been amazed how many times I found myself saying: "Do you really want to put your purse there?" In just the past week, I've avoided putting my handbag on a public bathroom floor, when the stall had no hook; a movie theater floor, sticky with soda and popcorn butter; and the stadium floor at a summer concert. In the past, my only solution in those situation was to keep the purse in my lap or on my shoulder--not great options. With WraPurse, a convenient, protective covering for the bottom of a handbag (see photo above), I can put a purse on most surfaces without fear of ruining it.

Right now, WraPurse creator Cyndi Heap is running a campaign to generate funding so she can establish her product's brand as well as give back to a worthy cause.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Eastern Inspiration: The Costume Institute Exhibit at the Met

I finally stopped by China: Through the Looking Glass, this summer’s Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The exhibit explores Chinese culture’s influence on fashions—in the East and in the West—over the centuries. Over 140 garments, many created by well-known designers like Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs, are displayed in rooms on three floors. To emphasize the connection between culture and fashion, the garments are juxtaposed with Chinese paintings, films, porcelains and other objects. Don't you love the influence of Chinese porcelain on the garments above and below?

Although photography is allowed in the exhibition, the room lighting is often dimmed for dramatic effect. Nevertheless, I took a few snapshots to share with readers who may not be able to attend this wonderful exhibit.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Still Learning: Creating Your Own Nail Art

Photo credit: Jason Setiawan

I'm happy to report that Astrid and Vicki are the winners of the recent Flattering50 Giveaway of  Designer Nails: Create Art at Your Fingertips, a new book by nail artist Ami Vega. This new book, filled with gorgeous photographs of nail art by Jason Setiawan (like the photo above), tips and resources, and lots of encouragement from Ami, recently inspired me to dip my toe, or rather fingernails, in nail art.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Flattering50 Giveaway: $150 NIC+ZOE Gift Certificate

Editor's Note: This Flattering50 Giveaway has ended. Thanks to all the Flattering50 readers who entered! 

Fall 2015 fashions are now on to the shelves and webpages of most clothing brands and department stores. It’s time to make that wish list of clothing and accessories to complete your fall look. Regardless of whether I’ll be shopping for a new textured sweater, cropped pants or new boots this fall, I'll be looking for fashions that offer two things: Style and Comfort. That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that the folks at NIC+ZOE would like to give one lucky Flattering50 reader a $150 gift certificate to the clothing brand’s online site. The Boston-based fashion brand specializes in comfortable, feminine knitwear for travel and life. Above, is an outfit from the company’s fall 2015 Adagio Collection.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Style Over 50: Repurposing the Sundress

“Cute skirt,” said the women at the office.

“That’s no skirt,” I replied, smiling. “That’s a sundress.”

Yes, I’m over 50 and still wearing strappy sundresses. However, I’m not wearing them solo. Instead, I’m repurposing my sundresses by creating faux skirt looks with lightweight sweaters and accessories.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Flattering50 Giveaway: New Book on DIY Beautiful Nail Art

Editor's Note: This Giveaway has now ended. Thanks to all those Flattering50 readers who entered!

In recent years, I've become a huge fan of polishing my nails. It's one of those things I find I have more time for now that I'm an empty nester. For a very small investment, I can change my nail polish with my mood; it's a great pick-me-up. Lately, I've been experimenting with colors I never imagined I'd like: green, powder blue, lavender, navy. So...when the folks representing the nail artist Ami Vega contacted me about Ms. Vega's new book, Designer Nails: Create Art at Your Fingertips, I was thrilled. Ami, the creator of El Salonisto, a nail art business and blog (, has compiled a beautifully photographed, easy-to-follow book on creating nail art for everyone--from beginners, like me, to experts. The folks promoting the book (Perigee Trade), which was released August 4th, would like to give two lucky Flattering50 readers a copy of this gorgeous book.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Top August Sales: Summer Clearance And Fall Previews

Did you miss the July summer clearance sales? Well, no worries because you're just in time for the August summer clearance sales as well as fall preview sales, like the 25% off sale at Easy Spirit (above). Here's a sample of what's happening...

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Site Review: Good Quality Fashions For a Lot Less

Recently, the folks at 10DollarMail contacted me and invited me to experience their website, which specializes in low-cost apparel, shoes, jewelry and accessories for women. In fact, everything on the site is priced at $9.99 or less. I was intrigued and wondered: Is it possible to get good quality fashions at such a low price? After a perusal of the site's merchandise, which includes Plus sizes, I accepted the invitation to review the shopping site. 

To experience the website, I order the Woven Straw Camel Bohemian Shoulder Bag, using a $9.99 gift certificate provided by 10DollarMail. In the summertime, I like to carry a straw bag on the weekends; straw is a casual and fun look. Plus, a big straw bag is handy for shopping, especially at the farms on Long Island's North Fork. To test out the 10DollarMail straw bag, I carried it on a recent trip to Lavender by the Sea, a lavender farm in East Marion (see photos).

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Shopping the Sales: The 3 C's

Editor's note: The winner of the most recent Flattering50 Giveaway is Lori. Lori won a Blu-ray of "Woman In Gold" and a $50 Visa Gift Certificate. Congratulations, Lori! The next Flattering50 Giveaway should be launching in early August 2015.

The semi-annual sales or summer clearance sales may be almost over, but there are still bargains to be found. I wasn't able to shop the sales till this past week and was pleased to find there are still a lot on sale in stores and online. Needless the sale, shopping at the end of the sales season has its advantages and disadvantages. The Disadvantage: You may not find a lot of things in your size. The Advantage: The clothing companies really want to unload their inventory and keep slashing prices. For example, this week, I bought a jean skirt and textured sweater at Gap for less than $20.

As a frugal shopper, I like to have a strategy when shopping the semi-annual or clearance sales. Without a plan, it's easy to be overwhelmed by the racks and racks of garments at reduced prices. While I may find a little something to wear right now (a midsummer pick-me-up), my real goal when shopping the summer sales is to get a head start on fall shopping. To shop for fall pieces now, I follow the 3 C's. That is I look for garments and accessories that are:
Color trendy

Friday, July 10, 2015

10 Favorite Quotes by Donna Karan

Photo credit: Christopher Macsurak

If you’re a follower of the fashion scene, you probably read that Donna Karan (above) stepped down as chief designer of her brand last week. LVMH, which has owned the label since 2001, has "suspended" the Donna Karan brand, according to the New York Times. Ms. Karan's other lines, DKI and DKNY, will continue to operate.

Ms. Karan held her first show in 1985. Fashion was a bit rocky in the 80s and early 90s. Whenever I look at old photos of girlfriends and female family members from back then, I inevitably cringe at the big hairdos, the big shoulders and, in general, ill-fitting clothes. In my humble opinion, it was the worst period for fashion in my lifetime.

Part of the problem with fashions in the 80s, I think, stemmed from the increasing numbers of women doing jobs that had been done by men in the past. No one seemed to know how to dress the working woman. I remember wearing boxy navy or grey pinstriped skirt-suits and sensible pumps to work. Cringe. (A girlfriend was told by her employer that she couldn’t wear sling-back pumps because they were "sandals.") Donna Karan designs were a breath of fresh air for women because they made them look and feel feminine and powerful during the day or night. (Scroll down to see Oprah's friend Gayle King in a luscious red Donna Karan gown.) Thank you, Ms. Karan!

Throughout her career, Ms. Karan has been a role model for women of our generation. I’m looking forward to see what she does next. She has been quoted as saying, “If I weren't doing what I'm doing today... I'd be traveling around the world on the back of a motorcycle.” Maybe she will.

For this post, I’m sharing my top 10 favorite quotes (so far) by the designer.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Flattering50 Giveaway: 'Woman in Gold' and $50 Gift Card

Editor's Note: This Giveaway has ended. Thanks to all of you who entered! Look for a new Flattering50 Giveaway in the future.

In “Woman in Gold,” Academy Award winner Helen Mirren, 69, portrays Maria Altmann, a proud Austrian Jewish woman who fled the Nazis during World War II and relocated to California. Upon the death of her sister, Maria takes on a legal battle, with the help from an inexperienced lawyer (Ryan Reynolds), to regain possession of Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” an artwork that was stolen from her family by the Nazis. The painting’s subject, Adele, was Maria’s aunt. Ms. Mirren gives a fabulous performance of a strong older woman who wishes to reclaim her heritage and seek justice.

The folks at Anchor Bay Entertainment would like to give one Flattering50 reader a...
  • Blu-ray of the “Woman in Gold”
  • $50 Visa Gift Card to mark her moment in history.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Top July Sales: Big Savings On Women Clothing

Editor's Note: The July sales have ended, unfortunately. However, there are lots of August sales going on. For links to current sales, visit Top August Sales: Summer Sales and Fall Previews

Where I live, the 5th of July is one of the quietest days of the year. Or, perhaps, it just seems that way after a night filled with endless firework explosion. (A hint of pyrotechnic chemicals still lingered in the air when I woke up this morning!) In an hour or two, however, I suspect the roads around the mall and department stores will be jammed with wise shoppers taking advantage of the Fourth of July weekend sales, which kick off the summer clearance sales.

Spending the day bumping into other people's shopping carts and waiting on long checkout lines, doesn't exactly appeal to me, to say the least.  I much rather turn on my computer and check out the sales virtually. For those of you who feel the same, I've created links to sales at some of my favorite shopping destinations for women over 50. Most of the 'Fourth of July' sales run through July 7th, so there's still plenty of time to look for bargains. Some sales, though, like the 40% sale (above) at Clarks runs straight through till the end of the month. I'll keep updating this post and new sales are advertised. Happy shopping!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Color Quest: Stepping back from Neutrals

In recent years, the overarching fashion trend has been to ignore safe styling and look for opportunities to add a bit of edge. Women—yes, even women over 50—have been encouraged to “mix things up”—different textures, different prints, different attitudes. This summer, we’re being challenged to shake up the way we use color.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Style Over 50: 9 Things To Look for When Buying a Dress

I recently added a  new draped dress to my spring wardrobe (photo, above). I'm a big fan of draped dresses for women over 50, so I was drawn to this dress, a Lauren By Ralph Lauren design. Upon closer inspection, though, I realized this dress embodies just about everything I look for in a new dress. Naturally, I grabbed it.

How do I measure the value of a dress? Let me share the 9 ways. I look for...

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Design-Your-Own Clothes: Shopping Just Got Easier!

When you shop, either in stores or online, are you frustrated by what you find--or, perhaps, don't find? Are the dresses too short or ill-fitting? Do you wish they had sleeves or a higher or lower neckline? Do you find a skirt you like, but hate its  pockets?

What if there was a site where you could choose the length of the sleeves or hem, or design other elements to create a garment that flatters you? Well, there is! The folks a eShakti are committed to providing affordable, custom-made fashion to make women who wear sizes 0-36 look their very best. Recently, the company invited me to customize a garment and share the experience with Flattering50 readers. And be sure to scroll down for eShakti's special offer for Flattering50 readers!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Still Learning: 'Unavailable' Online May Be Only Temporary

If you shop online, you've probably had the experience of finding something you really like,  only to discover when you try to purchase it that it isn't available in the size or color you want. In such cases, I have always assumed that "unavailable" meant, well, unavailable.  However, a recent shopping experience has taught me that "unavailable" online today may be "available" online tomorrow.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Spring Casual: The Versatile Jacket

When I think of casual outerwear for spring and cooler summer weather, my mind immediately goes to jean jackets, hoodie sweatshirts or anoraks. However, none of these, with the exception of my white jean jacket, works for me when I'm styling something to wear out to lunch or a casual dinner. Recently, the folks at Territory Ahead, a clothing line with lots of casual styles, asked me to review their Shirred Slub Knit Jacket (photo above). It was a gorgeous day yesterday (note the cloudless blue sky over my head) and I decided to give the jacket a "test run" out to lunch on the waterfront with my husband.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tall boots make way for leggings and bare ankles

 Editor's Note: I'm happy to announce that Sheri R. is the winner of the most recent Flattering50 Swimwear Giveaway. Congratulations Sheri! And thanks to all Flattering50 readers who entered the giveaway.

So long down parka! So long tall black leather boots! Spring has finally arrived and I'm so ready for it! And's not all sunshine and 70 degrees here in the Northeast. We still have to contend with intermittent clouds and cooler temps, especially at night. For those times, I'll pile on the layers--jackets, lightweight scarves, and sweaters--before pulling on a heavy winter coat and tall boots again. For cooler spring weather, I'm loving layers that include my moto jacket and leggings. It's too early for sandals, but going sock-less gives me hope.

Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 13, 2015

7 Sandal Trends For Spring/Summer 2015

I'm hunting for a new pair of sandals this spring. A comfortable sandal with a small heel, 2"-3," would be ideal. I'm open to any stylish design, except one with an ankle strap--not a flattering look for me. As for color, I have no particularly one in mind--just not black. And lastly, I don't want to spend more than $125, if possible. Too demanding? Well, I began to search online this week and found a lot of great styles. I haven't settled on a pair, but thought I'd share 7 sandal trends (in bold green) for 2015.

If you like any of the sandals featured here, but not the color shown, click on the photo to see what other colors are available. For example, the Women's Bella Vita 'Leona' Slingback Sandal, Size 8 M - Blue, 2 1/4" heel ($89.95) comes in several different colors, including a jazzy black and white.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Spring Skirt: Great Style And, Yes, Good Length

Three years ago, Pauline Durban introduced Covered Perfectly, a collection of super comfortable, well-priced tops for women in sizes Small through Plus. The tops are designed to flatter the woman over 50 by covering her in all the right places. Flattering50 has followed the progress of the brand, reporting the addition of new top styles. Recently, I was asked if I'd like to review one of the brand's newest additions: skirts. Needless to say, I said "yes."

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lauren Bacall's Look: An Exhibit

Last week I stopped by the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York to see an exhibit celebrating the fashion and style of the late Lauren Bacall. The exhibit, Lauren Bacall: The Look, featured photos of the celebrated actress taken during her modeling career for fashion magazines, a display of her clothing by such designers as Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin, and a clip from Bacall and the Boys, a 1968 television show in which she modeled fashions from the Paris fall collection. I've always been a big fan of Ms. Bacall's look and appreciated the opportunity to take a peek at some of her clothing. I snapped a few photos from the exhibit to share with you.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Wedding Guest Blazers for Slacks or Dresses

Ivanka Trump Open Front Blazer

Editor's note: Congratulations to Alicia S., winner of the Flattering50's $50 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!! There's still time to enter the Flattering50's Swimwear Giveaway. For details, click Giveaway.

A Flattering50 reader recently asked me for the shopping sources for blazers I featured in a post about Slacks and the Evening Wedding. Unfortunately, that post is a couple of years old and the blazers shown are no longer in stock. Since we're entering a time when there's often lots of wedding invites, I thought I'd post some 2015 spring blazers that might do nicely with slack or a dress for a wedding guest outfit.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Flattering50 Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win Swimwear

Editor's Note: This Giveaway has now ended. Thanks to all Flattering50 readers who entered!!
Yesterday, I wrote about my experience ordering a new tankini from SwimSpot. It was a great shopping experience and I'm thrilled with my new tankini. Now SwimSpot would like to give one Flattering50 reader a chance to win swimwear of her choice valued up to $100.

SwimSpot offers high-quality swimwear from brands like Nautica and Athena. The site has a large collection of one-piece suits, tankinis (like the one above), swimdresses as well as cover up dresses, tunics, shorts and pants. Most garments come in either Sizes XS-L or 4-16.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

SwimSpot: Stylish, Comfortable Swimwear

I suspect I'm not alone when I say I don't enjoy swimsuit shopping in department stores. I'm usually shopping for a new bathing suit at this time of year, when my body, particularly my skin, has yet to recover from the cold, moisture-zapping winter months. Needless to say, the fluorescent lights in the store fitting rooms aren't friendly to chalky, wrinkly skin. As a result, I'm a huge fan of buying swimwear online. I love trying on swimwear at my leisure under the softer, more forgiving lights at home. So when the folks at SwimSpot recently contacted me to see if I'd like to review a swimpiece from their online site, I jumped at the offer.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Style Forever: A New Book About Grown-Up Style

Are you over 50 and looking for style inspiration? I just finished reading Style Forever, a highly appealing style guide for grown up women by That’s Not My Age blogger Alyson Walsh. I say “highly appealing” because not only is Style Forever well-written and chocked full of helpful style tips, the ideas are conveyed with a healthy dose of humor in the form of personal anecdotes, inspiring quotes, interviews with clever women over 50, quick-to-digest lists, and lots of lovely whimsical illustrations. Truly, this is a book with something for every woman over 50 or as Alyson calls us, Generation FAB (Fifty And Beyond).

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Style Over 50: The Green Scene

styling green on women over 50

The color green is having a moment. And, no, not because it's March and some people like to put on the green for St. Patrick's Day. According to the NY Times, green, especially forest green, started trending during Fashion Week in New York last month. The newspaper's online site created a slide show of celebrities (ie, Anna Wintour, Julianna Moore) dressed in high-end green outfits a few weeks ago. I was I was reminded of the slide show this week when I was in the city and saw three women wearing green winter coats. How many green sightings makes a trend? I sometimes wonder. I'm sure Bill Cunningham knows. No matter. Then, on Friday, The Guardian, a UK publication, created a slide show of green outfits. This slide show shows women with more down-to-earth clothing allowances styling green. to my closet I went this weekend to see what green I could find.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Flattering50 Giveaway: $50 Visa Gift Card and More

Editor's Note: This Giveaway has ended. A winner will be announced shortly. Thanks to all of you who entered!

If you're a Downton Abbey fan, you may be a little sad today. After all, the final episode of Season 5 aired last night and the next season won't begin until January 2016. Sigh. But I've got news that might brighten your spirits whether or not you're a Downton fan. On Friday, March 6th, Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton (from Downton) will star along side Judi Densch, Billy Nighy, Richard Gere and others in the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, the sequel to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

To celebrate the release of this new movie, the folks promoting the film would like to give one Flattering50 reader:
  • $50 Visa gift card to inspire your next adventure
  •  Hotel Key Chain
  •  Copy of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on DVD

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Spring Handbag: Chasing the Winter Blues Away

spring handbag for women over 50

It's snowing--again! Oh, well, at least yesterday was sunny and bright. I asked my husband to snap the photo above to show my latest fashion pick for chasing the winter blues away: a spring handbag. After weeks of frigid temps and every-other-day snowfalls, I decided to bag my winter black handbags and start using a honey-colored spring handbag. And strange though it may sound, it's definitely picked up my spirits. It's a little like seeing those cheery crocuses popping out, which sometimes happens around this time of year--but not this year! So in lieu of crocuses, I recommend (if you haven't already) pulling out a spring-y something, like a handbag or shoes. Stay warm!

I thought you might enjoy this snow creature (a caterpillar, perhaps?) with its stylish red bandana and gloves...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2015 Swimsuit: 14 Trends and Where to Shop Online

Robyn Lawley Ultra Indie Dragonfruit Scoop Back One Piece

It's that time again--swimsuit season! Huh? Here in the Northeast, we've been experiencing record snow fall and single digit temperatures. That hasn't stopped the brick and mortar shops in my area, however, from wheeling out their 2015 swimsuit lines. Recently, I took a peek at the trends. I'm happy to report there are a number of new swimsuit designs that are fun and flattering for women over 50. A few of the new designs, like the monokini and high-waist bottoms, might be best left to the under 50 set. But then, two of my "just 50" girlfriends still wear bikinis, so who knows?

To avoid confusion, I've left out the words "for women over 50" in the post's title. In the past, some visitors have been very disappointed when they haven't found women over 50 modeling the swimsuits. I understand completely, but the truth is: Most women I know, regardless of their age, would never pose in a swimsuit for the Internet. Instead, I'm illustrating the trends with photos of young models provided by the swimwear companies. I've assembled a group of swimsuits for women of different body shapes, including different bust sizes. Here goes...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Buying a Dress: 10 Tips for Women Over 50

Calvin Klein Cascade Sheath Dress

I'm a huge fan of dresses on women over 50. A dress is…
  • Flattering. A dress’s continuous color or print from shoulder to hem is slimming and elongating.
  • Easy. There’s no debating what top goes best with a particular skirt or pair of pants.
  • Comfortable. Most dress styles don’t have a confining waistband.
However, shopping for the perfect dress online can be challenging—to say the least. Here are a few tips that have helped me along the way. If you have other tips, please leave a comment. Thanks!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Giveaway Winner Models Her New Flattering Top

Flattering top for women over 50

Last fall, a Flattering50 Giveaway gave readers a chance to win a top from Covered Perfectly. Michelle's name was randomly selected as the winner. I put Michelle in touch with Pauline Durban, founder and president of Covered Perfectly, to claim her prize. This week, Michelle emailed me a photo (above) of her wearing the top she had chosen. It was so exciting to hear from her and to see her new top. Doesn't she look fabulous? The top is called the Wrap Over. It's made with MicroModal,a natural fiber that's super soft, comfortable and cool. In her email, Michelle wrote, "I love my top!"

Thanks so much for showing Flattering50 readers your new top, Michelle!!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Style Over 50: Totally Textured Separates

Textured separates look for women over 50

Is there a limit on how many different textures a woman over 50 should wear at one time? I hope not. For today's in-between snow storms look, I've combined a black moto jacket, a light grey fuzzy sweater, a lace midi skirt and black leather boots. The sweater is new to me, though not exactly new. I've been looking for a fuzzy sweater for some time now, but couldn't find one I liked and could afford. Then, a week ago, a friend was visiting and I took her to Second Time Around, a chain of second-hand stores that specializes in "gentle used" designer fashions. My friend and I stumbled upon the store's winter clearance sale and I got this Vince fuzzy sweater for a steal. Here's a better look at the sweater's fuzzy texture.

Vince sweater for women over 50

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 Fashions Favorites for Women Over 50

Best fall cardigan for over50 women

Happy 2015! Can you believe the 2010s are half over? Crazy.

A year ago, I reflected on my favorite fashion looks and trends for women over 50 in 2013. I thought it might be fun to repeat the fashion look-back  for 2014. However, I wondered: Would I have anything new to report? Had my fashion favorites changed at all in a year?