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The Best Shop for Confidence and Priority

We were due to leave for a Black Tie Gala in two hours. I hadn’t planned what I was going to wear,  I just assumed I had something. Everything I tried on from my closet didn’t fit right or look right. I was feeling unattractive, out of shape and hated my new haircut.I  needed something new so I jumped in my car and headed out.
I wondered where I could I buy a dress that would take 10 pounds off my body, 15 years off my face and add two inches to my new haircut?
Then it hit me. The best  only place to shop for what I wanted was within…myself.
I just needed to reach in…grab hold of my confidence…and wear it. What I wore was much less important than where I was going. What I would be doing.I entered the sea of black…that is my closet…and emerged with a lovely outfit, totally suited for the occasion.

The event was a fund-raiser for a wonderful organization. My dear friend Bonnie Addario founded the Lung Cancer Foundation several years ago, after surviving stage four Lung Cancer. This was her annual Gala to raise awareness and funds for Lung Cancer held at the Fairmont San Francisco.

Please meet Gabby. 

She is eleven years old. Five years ago she had a lung removed because she had Lung Cancer.

No one in her family smoked.
Unfortunately Lung Cancer has a (you brought it on yourself) stigma attached to it. It doesn’t get the funding and awareness it deserves.
Gabby is just one, of many young people, with Lung Cancer that I’ve met through this foundation. I’m proud to volunteer my time fundraising for this worthy cause.
What I wore was ultimately, of so little importance. A great reminder for me.


  1. Marcia Pilar says:

    Oh, Jennifer, here I was stopping by to wish you a lovely weekend on my way out to a movie and lunch with friends, and you’re totally ruining my makeup. Thank you, love. My heart is so full, and I am a lot more confident going out that door than I was before I clicked over. This is a group of new friends I’m meeting for the first time, so I’m a little shaky. I’m tucking this in my purse and in my heart.
    Thank you.

  2. What a worthwhile post with an important message. It’s true that too many assumptions are made about people with lung cancer.

  3. such an important and timely reminder for me.

  4. Your blog is beautiful and I love your attitude Jennifer! We all need to reach down and wear our best self, don’t we?

  5. Catherine Staat says:

    What a great reminder of what is important – great post!

  6. Jennifer dear-you just brought a major tear to my eye. What a heartfelt post. What a wonderful cause and beautiful connection between you and your friend. My dad, a vegetarian, non-smoke, non drinking dentist died from lung cancer nearly 5 years ago. We had 19 days from his diagnosis to the end. Devastating. He was only 75. What a perfect way to share the cause for your lovely friend. Thank you for sharing. By the way-where do you live? Next time we do a blogger get together in norcal you are a must! xx, Heather

    1. Dear Heather,
      I’m so very sorry to hear about your Dad!! So young and healthy, to be struck down by this horrific desease. I have volunteered and supported this cause from the moment she started the foundation. She and her husband are tireless crusaders to educate the public and beat this desease. Wishing you three ladies a fabulous weekend. xo Jennifer

  7. About Last Weekend says:

    What a glorious pink that room and how beautiful Gabby is! Wonderful post, thank you for this

  8. Loved this post! I often forget that cancer can strike at any age. Gabby is beautiful – thanks for sharing this event with us!

  9. Oh my gosh, I feel so dumb. I didn’t realize young people could develop lung cancer. Thanks for sharing this important information. BTW, I love that you wore confidence! I know that exact feeling of having nothing to wear when my closet is full…it is usually my own feelings. Wishing Gabby well!

    1. Most people aren’t aware there are young, non smokers dying from this desease!! You are not alone. That’s why public exposure is so very important. I need to wear confidence more often 🙂

  10. What a great post! And love that you knew you need to turn inside for the confidence (and styled with a fab dress this is the greatest:) xo Caroline

  11. What a lovely way to put it! I know how much time I have wasted over what to wear, when half the time, it really doesn’t matter…and as you point out, so much more important to wear the right attitude! I was looking over some photos from a recent black tie event, and realized that there were some lovley gowns…but, on the day, I only saw the people in them! Great perspective!

  12. Marsha Splenderosa says:

    Know what? I finally figured this out about how really unimportant an outfit is. It’s the woman inside the outfit! So happy you told this story, it touches my heart. And, how courageous this little girl must be, truly an inspirational story. I am so proud of you!

  13. A wonderful post on many levels. It is always good to be reminded what is important. Thank you for the work you do raising awareness and funds for a worthy organization. Have a wonderful week. Bonnie

  14. So perfect. You know what’s really important. My sister worked for years to raise millions of dollars for lung disease.

  15. I have a cousin who this happened too also………..will send your post off to her!In fact, she is coming up next week!She lives in Southern California.Question for you if we were to spend the day in the city what streets offer the best shopping and lunch spots??I am so out of the loop these days………anything on Clement Street?
    No matter what YOU couldNOT look bad………..

    1. Email me and let’s chat. We need to plan our own get together ourselves!! Loved that post of you in a Paris. Glorious!!

  16. This was a great lesson, thank you.

    1. Fashion has frankly been boring me…I suppose that’s why I didn’t plan my outfit. Meeting Gabby was a powerful lesson. Very moving.

  17. You are right the inner is so important, the outer will take care of itself.

  18. Hello Beautiful! Great post … my main interest in what I’m wearing … is always how it makes me feel … so I can then be more invested in others. The only thing this post is missing is a picture of you. i have seen bits and pieces of photos of you … and know you are one gorgeous woman who should be celebrating her own beauty … both inside and out! I believe every time we deny our own beauty … we make it harder for everyone else … in that we give each other validity to the shrew, that is the critical voice that lives within each of us.

    I will now step down off my soap box. Love you friend.

    1. But you must stay on your soap box!! You inspire so many!! Our outer package supports our confidence and gives us strength to be our strongest. Our best.

  19. French Basketeer.com says:

    Love this; I’m sure you looked fabulous, but in the end Gabby and so many other beautiful aspects of your life matter so much more. So glad you supported this gala and its cause!

  20. Coulda shoulda woulda says:

    Well that was a swerve ball! Love it.

    Yes I know what you mean – there is an issue with lung cancer as there is a PR issue as people think that it is a consequence of something you must have known was bad for you. There needs to be more research as I know of smokers who still smoke in their 80’s and yet as you mentioned there are beautiful young girls like Gabby who suffer for some unbeknownst reason…I did like the photos you posted on instagram though – it looked a beautiful event!

    1. I started the post before the gala, and obviously finished afterwards. This is sort of a multiple personality post.

  21. Brilliant and so very moving. A post with a truly beautiful perspective.
    It is amazing how little we know about this dreaded disease until we experience it first hand or have someone near and dear to our heart suffer from it’s wrath. I am impressed with the fact that all the monies are focused on lung cancer. Some of our large organizations in the US funnel funding to political causes and big salaries.

  22. While I am still often curious to see what Women Our Age wear, I found this post much more compelling for your thoughts about the outfit, and for your recognition that what we do, what we think, how we feel, are so much more important. Kudos! And I hope the gala raised both big bucks AND awareness for this cause.

    1. They did raise quite a lot, but much more is needed. Believe me, if I could figure out how to snap a photo of my whole body, I would have included a picture of my outfit to go with the post.

  23. I loved this post! great organization and a good reminder of priorities…

  24. Lots of non smokers get lung cancer…it’s a misconception that needs to be addressed.
    People can be so judgemental…it drives me crazy sometimes!
    Looking within for your confidence is key…even if you had invested in a perfect gown, inside you might still feel ill at ease.
    Being comfortable in our own skin is a gift that I think comes from reaching a certain age.
    I am sure that you looked lovely.

  25. I bet your smile was the only thing you needed, best accessory to black! That’s a wonderful organization, so worthy of your volunteer time. Thanks for sharing this event and the beautiful Gabby, what a gorgeous young girl.

  26. I remember when Christopher Reeve’s wife was diagnosed with and died from lung cancer shortly after he passed away. She was also a non smoker. What a beautiful post to nudge us into remembering what is important and also who needs our help, either through time or money.

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