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Stirring The Pot: How We Find Our Personal Style

Today I have a little of this and a little of that for you. Being housebound with a cold has me thinking about our personal style and experimenting with recipes. Literally. I seldom make a recipe as written. I prefer to take a little of this one with a little of that one to make a recipe of my own. Sort of the way we find our personal style.

Few women discover their personal style and stick with the same formula for the rest of their lives. Even the often admired style of Jackie O evolved. The look that defined her during the white house years didn’t work for her lifestyle as Onassis’ wife, nor her life as a book editor. It changed to suit her lifestyle.

Our personal style unfolds as we grow emotionally and our life changes. We may go through phases trying on different looks the way one would sample at a smorgasbord. Is feminine feeling right on me or can I only have a tiny part of that in my personal style formula? Do I like to wear unique clothes and stand out in the crowd?

In the hunt for a personal style that feels right, we need to pay attention to our inner voice in order to understand what we really love. We needn’t discard entire looks because the stereotypical vision of it seems too intense for us. Our personal style will be a blending of styles and feelings which is distinctive to us.

A touch of tomboy style doesn’t preclude a touch of feminine. An elegant outfit can easily have a touch of whimsey. A classic look can have edgy bits and bohemian style needn’t mean all patterns and flowy garments.

Slotting our style into a rigid formula that limits our freedom to express will feel forced and limiting. Women are complex and so is their personal style. We need to give our selves permission to change course and start over as our personal style develops.

Our personal style needs to be fluid, much like a soup recipe…bad pun:) Here’s one I cobbled together from a mixture of many recipes.

Carmelized Onion and Roasted Tomato Soup


18 medium tomatoes or however many it takes to cover baking a sheet. I’m persnickety so I cut the little core out of each half.

5 large yellow onions, slivered

10 cups organic low sodium chicken broth – adjust this based on how large your tomatoes are

8 cloves garlic, minced

4 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 cups dry white wine

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon rosemary

salt to taste



Slice tomatoes in half and place cut side up on a baking sheet. I jam them together so they won’t fall over.

Roast at 350 for 70-80 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking sheet.

Thinly slice onions and saute with a little olive oil on medium/high until thick, brown and caramelized, approx. 25 minutes.

Remove from pan.

Add tomatoes with 1 cup chicken broth to a stockpot. Don’t turn tomatoes over until they’re in the pot because you want all their juice going into the soup.

Use an immersion blender to pulverize tomatoes. Cook for 15 minutes to combine tastes. Remove from pan.

Heat the stockpot, add a drizzle of olive oil and the minced garlic. Cook until fragrant then pour in the wine, vinegar, mustard, and rosemary. Bring to a soft boil and cook until it reduces about 50%.

Add back tomato mixture, caramelized onions, and the remaining chicken broth.

Cook on medium for 30 minutes or until all the flavors meld together.


I topped it with Parmesan crisps and we had crusty gluten-free French bread.


Parmesan Crisps

Turn oven to 400.

Grate parmesan cheese, about 1 cup.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place 2 tbs of grated parmesan in mounds on the parchment, separated like you would for cookies. Flatten slightly.

Bake 3-5 minutes until golden.

Let cool before removing.

I make a lot of homemade soups and my husband declared this the best I have ever made. Of course, he’s sick with a cold too so he was just very happy it wasn’t his night to cook:)

Do you give yourself permission to try new styles or are there ones you just won’t touch?

Thanks for reading ladies and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.


  1. Happy New Year Jennifer. I tried your soup and I agree it’s one of the best I’ve made. My hubby loves it too and keeps telling me while eating leftovers for lunch. I did add Italian seasoning to the tomatoes before roasting and a little red pepper flakes to the garlic. We enjoy a little spice in our food. Yummy. Thanks for sharing. Hope you and your hubby are feeling well.

    1. That sounds wonderful! I’ll add those next time. Thank you so much.

  2. I was so afraid tonight. But I did it. I made the Hot and Sour Soup from smittenkitchen.com. Outstanding! Delish! First time! Would be good during a winter’s cold.

  3. His night to cook? Please tell me more about how this works. Does he plan, shop AND cook the entire meal on his own? Do you wash dishes if he cooks? Do you alternate days of cooking or weeks? My husband and I are currently taking turns cooking the evening meal and I’d love to know how someone else handles this.

    1. We alternate nights to cook. We both usually cook based on what’s in the house but both do shop if we have something special in mind.
      He generally cleans up every night and I help clear the table and clean the counters. He’s retired but I’m not! And honestly? I don’t care if the dishes wait until the morning but he does.

  4. My post-fire life is giving me the opportunity to focus on my style without getting distracted by fads and sales and whatnot. I have only so much insurance money to work with, and I have to replace everything lost in the fire, including shoes (that’s the pain, there.) However, I just found a duplicate of a blouse on Poshmark that I had I loved and had bought maybe two years ago. I was so happy to be able to replace it!

    1. Poshmark is a great resource for stylish clothes at a great price. Glad you’re finding pieces you love Kay

  5. Francesca says:

    Hiya Jennifer,
    Happy New Year!! Thank you for your post and I will definately make the soup as my man is sick as well and after the excesses of Christmas its so nice to eat fresh healthy things.
    My daughter surprized me with a gorgous very generous present of very bohemian clothes from Johnny Was- an embroidered top and a casual dress with leggings-and I was really delighted how it made me look and feel. I am 56 with grey natural hair and I feel now very Californian and chill. Something I would not picked for me, thinking it was for a younger woman and one with a better trim figure! But it works! So my style is always changing. This year I am going to get more confidant with clothes thanks to your blog. Many thanks;)

    1. Lucky you! Johnny Was makes stunning things. I love so many of their pieces. Wear them with confidence. Happy New Year

  6. I love soup and make it often. The canned soups are just way to salty and not very good. Mama gave us Cambells chicken noodle soup for a cold but I tasted it and it is just terrible now.

    I really won’t try leggings or very high heels or capes. I just don’t think they suit me. Bomber jackets, denim jackets, simple shirts, jeans, plain boots or flats are more my style. I don’t like to dress up but I do love acessiories like scarves, color in bags & shoes and unique jewelry to jazz up my basic color wardrobe.

  7. Lezlie Gravens says:

    This is my year to capitalize on my personal style! I thank you for reminding me that I can do that!

  8. I love this. And I’m going to make those crisps!

  9. Love your message and your recipe. My husband is sick with that cold also. I think he would love that soup! I’ve been retired for a long time and I am always wearing casual clothes. So when I need something dressy I have to scramble to find something. I think this year I might be looking for that.

  10. What a very timely recipe!
    I am almost done with the cold but my hubby can’t seem to beat it.
    I may try this.
    My style is classic & when I try something different, I just know when it’s wrong!
    Love reading your blog.

    1. I hope you don’t come down with it but it’s pretty hard to avoid when the hubby has it.

  11. Your recipe looks yummy! Will have to try that. Love this post and totally agree, a little bit of a twist to a look can totally make it your own! I think it is fun to do that. Hope you and your hubby both feel better soon.

  12. Great message today! I am sorry that the “cold” made its way to your home! Your soup sounds really good and soup is a great way to treat a cold!

    May you heal swiftly!

  13. How did you know that I woke up today craving tomato soup? This one sounds delicious, I believe we will try it this weekend! I am turning 60 in a few weeks, and still don’t really know what my personal style is. I am drawn to too many things, lol. I hope you and your husband feel better soon, Happy New Year!

    1. Being drawn to many things is a good thing. The things that appeal are all usually parts of our personality. The fun is how we combine them.

  14. Happy New Year Jennifer, I hope your cold lets up soon. My Thanksgiving week was plagued with one. Nice recipes and reflections. My style will flex in 2020 when I look towards retirement. I have to make myself stop purchasing work wear ?. Thanks for your blog. Amy

  15. Sandy Dugger says:

    I think your last sentence is the key. Wear what makes you feel confident. And that may change from day to day and as we age and have different life styles ie mother, grandmother, working, retired or never working. Also, thanks for the soup recipe. Looks really good.

  16. Deborah Broughton says:

    Looks like a great recipe!

  17. Paulette Levy says:

    Hi Jennifer
    Love today’s message and the recipe! As a recently diagnosed celiac
    Disease patient I’m always looking for such recipes. Especially soups!
    This looks so yummy and with a head cold going on I need this soothing soup too.
    Hope your own cold is soon just history…..feel better!

    1. Janet Williams says:

      What an interesting recipe! I don’t often see anything different and can’t wait to try this one!

      As for changing styles, these last few years have been a a little perplexing as I realize I am changing but I’m not exactly sure where it is taking me. I’m open but a little unsettIed I think.

      Feel better soon!

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