Ten Things You Never Knew About Me

This is a post from a few years back that I always like to repost on the first of the year to give my new readers a chance to get to know me. I hope you enjoy it!  …….

I’m a private person. I’m not one to talk a lot about myself or what I do. I think that’s my Canadian upbringing, but since many of you have asked to know more about who I am and my background, I wanted to write a little post. So here goes. Ten things you never knew about me.

Deborah Boland - Fashion Blogger

1. I Was on TV for Over 20 Years

Before Fabulous After 40, I was the Host and Executive Producer of the HGTV series Backyard Pleasures – a popular outdoor design series that ran for five years. Before that, I was a talk show host, news anchor, entertainment reporter, and TV fashion expert; you name it, I did it.

Back in the 80s/early 90s, I was a producer on a national talk show in the same genre as Sally Jesse Raphael and Geraldo, etc. – remember those? My specialty was tracking down fascinating and often wacky people with the most unusual lives. Vampires, shipwreck survivors, a lesbian who artificially inseminated herself with a turkey baster- It took real detective work as this was all pre-internet. I met all kinds!


2. I Can’t Start My Day without a Cup of Tea

I am and have always been a huge tea drinker. I drink several cups a day, and I’m very picky about what kind I like. Please don’t give me any new-age herbal teas that smell like hay. I love a good, strong cup of old-fashioned black tea with 1% milk (or 2% as a treat) and no sugar.

Give me Tetley or Red Rose. Tea is more than a drink to me; it is my ritual. It warms and comforts my soul and is a way to connect to myself and others.  I love to put the kettle on and take a cup up to my son when he is doing his homework. It’s a lovely bonding thing that I think only another tea drinker might understand.

Deborah Boland from Fabulous After 40


3. I’m Crazy about Tulips

I have several paintings of tulips and often have tulips in vases around my home. Yellow is my favorite. To me, tulips symbolize true beauty. They’re simple, elegant, and understated, but they are also bursting with energy and life.

Colorful spring tulips thrill me. I don’t know what I love more: the stunning pink, yellow, and red tulip heads or the gorgeous green stems. Just thinking about tulips makes me feel happy and optimistic.

4. I Live on the Lake

They say once you live on the water, you get addicted to it, and that is certainly the case for me. I have lived on the lake in Burlington, Ontario, for 19 years. People ask if it sometimes gets boring staring out at the water, especially in winter. But it’s far from that.

We built our home with big-picture windows, and I often feel like I’m on a cruise ship watching the world go by. The lake is a hugely calming force in my life. It’s awesome to watch the power of the water and all the wildlife surrounding it. The lake makes me so happy to feel like I am one with nature.

Lake Ontario Burlington
The view from my kitchen

5.  I Get a Big Kick Out of Feeding Squirrels 

Speaking of nature, did you know I have a fun little game with the squirrels? We have a lot of trees in our backyard, so we get squirrels. When a couple of squirrels started jumping up on my office windowsill, I  began tapping on the window and motioning them to the kitchen door.

They know the drill, and I get a big kick from feeding them our old bread. The most fun part is giving them a whole slice at a time. My heart melts when I see them balancing this huge piece of bread between their tiny paws and nibbling away.

6. I’m a bit of a Risk Taker

Ok, more than a bit. I bungee jumped in Australia (from 15 stories high) twice when I was hosting a TV show called Sports Down Under. In my early 30s, I took flying lessons and learned to fly solo. I also got into a cage with a 500-pound tiger and patted it while I interviewed its trainer again for a TV show. (Looking back, that was nuts!)

Bungee Jump
Yes, that’s me!


7.  I Once had a Sewing Needle in my Foot 

I know that sounds crazy, but everyone loves this story. I was about 12 and heavily into gymnastics when I did the splits on my mom’s shag carpet and, oops, stepped onto a long, thin sewing needle that entered up into the bottom of my foot.

The doctor didn’t want to operate right away for fear of messing up my muscles, so I walked around with a sewing needle in my foot for six months. The needle made its way upward and finally started to poke out the top of my foot. They did a 10-minute operation, and it was out. The doctor let me keep the rusty needle, and I still have it. Tah dah!

8.  I’m Married to Dr. D.

We met on a blind date 23 years ago and married one year later. My sweet husband is the love of my life, such an incredible person, and my greatest supporter. He’s also my TV buddy. We love watching Downton Abbey, House of Cards, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Homeland, and all the rest together. It’s our thing. We have three gorgeous, amazing children- two boys and a girl (21, 19, and 16). They are our greatest joy; we feel blessed to be their parents.

Deborah Boland Fabulous After 40 - Fashion Blogger

9.  I’m a Travel Junkie

I come from a traveling family. As kids, we would jokingly say, “When you get in dad’s car, you are a prisoner.” that is how much my dad liked to travel. One summer day, my parents loaded us in the car for a trip from Toronto to Thunder Bay. (approx 800 miles). We ended up in Vancouver a week later, 2,000 miles away! (We bought clothes along the way.)

That sense of adventure has stayed with me my whole life, and I have been worldwide. There’s nothing I love more than traveling, and I’ve had so many unique experiences. My favorite? In Egypt. ..Getting to climb a dark, narrow passageway that let led me inside a pyramid. It was a lifelong dream. I felt like an archeologist.

10.  I Have Never Gone to Bed in my entire life with my Makeup on

Since I have been blessed with good skin, I’ve always made a point, even if I can barely stand up because I’m so tired, always to wash and moisturize my face before I get into bed. I’ve also avoided the sun since I was 16 after a horrible sunburn and a warning from a dermatologist that I was going to get skin cancer if I didn’t cut it out.

I’m still aging like everyone else,  but I do believe these two things have helped me keep my fair skin from too much damage and look pretty darn good.

I hope you enjoyed my little stories. Now tell me about you!

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40 thoughts on “Ten Things You Never Knew About Me

  1. Hi.
    Fascinating info. I love the view from your kitchen. I always thought you lived in the USA. Keep up the excellent work.


  2. What a fun and exciting post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about “who you are.” You’ve had, and still do, an enjoyable life! You are a very adventurous and brave woman; I admire that. You remind me of my best friend; you wouldn’t happen to be a Capricorn, would you? Thank you for the fun read.

    I do have a personal question. How tall are you? Seeing your outfits helps me visualize myself better in the companies you represent if I knew your height. I hope that’s an ok question to ask.

    Also, do you see the return of off-the-shoulder blouses and tops in 2020, or is it goodbye? I loved them in the summer. I’m tired of cold-shoulder, but off-the-shoulder makes me feel a bit sexy.

    Happy New Yes!

    1. Hi Tisa, great to hear from you, and I’m glad you liked my post.
      To answer your questions, I’m a Leo! I’m 5’7″, size 6.
      As for off-the-shoulder, they are still in style but on the down part of the trend curve, so don’t toss them out, but I wouldn’t buy more than one new one. They are lovely and, I agree, a great way to look sexy over 40.
      Thanks for dropping by and commenting! Cheers, Deborah

  3. THANK YOU, Deborah, for your life story growing up; you have been busy and look to remain for some time.
    Hooray! for that. Happy Holidays.

  4. Hello Deborah! I was browsing through your page and came across this post. It was so lovely to learn more about you. I enjoyed learning about your professional background and family and that you have lived your life fearlessly. I must say you are super beautiful both inside and outside. The view from your kitchen is breathtaking, and I can’t believe you did bungee jumping, seriously! Have a blessed weekend! Love and peace to you always, XOXO, Jeannette

  5. Hi Deborah,
    It’s so great finding out about you. I am a fellow Canuck from BC. I discovered you not long after I started a style-inspiration board on Pinterest. I am 53 (today!), and I felt I was becoming rather dull in my style choices lately and decided to smarten myself up a bit! It’s rather challenging, though, when you are an art teacher ((it’s rather messy!). I, too, love tea and usually go through a pot before noon. I always take my tea (English Breakfast) when I travel because I’m picky! I might get it together one day to send an outfit photo.

    1. Hi Theresa, Happy Birthday! So great to hear from you. The best thing about this post is I am discovering so many Canadian readers I never knew I had. I love B.C. My grandparents lived in Victoria, and we would visit them every Christmas…and I know what you mean about taking tea when you travel. I do the same. Good Luck getting back on the style track, and yes, please send a photo of your new look. Cheers! Deborah

      1. Thanks, Deborah!
        We have an early spring on the West Coast. Daffodils and cherry blossoms are all popping up everywhere. Keep up the tulip therapy until, at least, the warm weather over there kicks in.

  6. I remember you from the ’80s. You were the star on local cable tv. I enjoy your blog ( and need it badly). I depend on stylish women like you to tell me what and what not to wear because I don’t have a clue – seriously.

    Keep up the great blog!

  7. Hi Deborah, I appreciate that you are a private person-me too. I recently started my style blog, which was difficult given my need for privacy. I understand your reluctance to be public about your personal life. So thank you for letting us get a glimpse of yourself. I, too, am a dedicated tea drinker, and none of my coffee-drinking friends can understand why. You explained it so well, thank you. I also want a lake house to retire in! So glad to get to know you better!

  8. Hi, this is my first comment. I like your website. This post was fascinating, and the view from the kitchen is just fabulous. You seem to be a charming person with lots of positive energy. You must be a great wife, mother, and friend.
    PS Sorry for my (poor) English, which is not my mother tongue.

    1. Hi Agnes, Thank you for your lovely compliment. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. It is sometimes hard to connect over the internet, so I’m trying some new things so you can get to know me better. I would love to learn more about you and all my readers… Your fashion likes, dislikes, and what you’d like to see more of. So please let me know. Cheers! Deborah

  9. I thought you were British, for some reason, which could explain your love for tea. That’s what I blame my love of the same teas on…my Scottish, Irish and British grandparents. Glad to know you are a fellow Canadian. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself. I found your post very interesting, as I had no idea who you are at all other than enjoying your website for ages. Never a dull moment in your life (and some fun and funny moments, too) from the sounds of it! You look like a model. (How tall are you?) I love the view from your kitchen window and am so jealous! I would love to live on the water…beach-combing is my favorite thing to do. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for this post and all the others and for helping us all look and feel our best!

  10. Debra, I so enjoyed getting to know you better. These are my favorite posts. I was aware of your TV background, but the rest was fun seeing a whole new you.
    I’m a real family kind of gal myself, I’ve been married for 28 great years, and our two children are both adults living on their own now, but that makes them out best friends. We try to find every opportunity to get together with them.
    Thanks for taking the time to share a bit of yourself with us.

  11. I enjoyed hearing about your life. I like taking risks, too. Fast cars were my thing in my younger daysands white water rafting VI rivers in Eastern USA. I also love traveling. Today I am 68, and we just got back from a month in Florida with an 11-day cruise thrown in. We saved so we could travel when we retired, which is incredible. I will never see all your things, but I intend to enjoy God’s beauty! Thanks for sharing your story, and keep up the good blogging!

    1. Hi Janice, I hear you about traveling. My parents always said it is the best education you could ever have, and they are so right. Not only do you learn so much, but you have so many beautiful experiences that enrich your life. When I think of the highlights of my life- the peak experiences- most of them involve travel. Your cruise sounds like it was fantastic. I hope you had a fabulous time! Thanks for writing. Cheers, Deborah

  12. I just started receiving your newsletter, and I love it. Just curious what your take is on capris and crop pants.

  13. I love everything about your website. Thanks for sharing today. I assumed you were in the States and was pleasantly surprised to find out that you live in Burlington, my hometown. I’ll have to step up my game next time I’m back for a visit. Say hi if you see a tall blond 52-year-old trying to look fabulous in Aldershot this spring!

    1. Hi Jane,
      That’s so funny! Thrilled to hear from you. I spend a few weeks every year at my family’s Florida home, but for the most part, I’m here in this lovely city. Cheers! Deborah

  14. I have enjoyed reading this so much, Deborah! What an exciting TV background you have. You must tell me more about that in our next chat (soon!)
    Like you, I always have 2 cups of English Yorkshire tea with milk every morning as soon as I get up. Only at work do I have coffee.
    Your kitchen view is fantastic! Mountains surround my house.

    Thanks for sharing this, Deborah.
    Annette | Lady of Style

    1. Hi Annette, English Yorkshire, Yes, I like that too- my son’s favorite! Your view sounds fantastic. We have an escarpment (The Niagara Escarpment) across the Lake. Thats’ Canadian Wine Country. I like to pretend it is the mountains. It makes you feel so peaceful. I would love to get our way someday. Cheers, Deborah

  15. Wow, Deborah,

    I enjoyed learning all of these things about you. Julia told me about the squirrels. That’s so cute. The needle story is Ivans’s worst nightmare, and now I can see why, yuck!

  16. I used to watch Backyard Pleasures all the time! I love hearing about you… I didn’t realize you are Canadian… we love our Canadian neighbors, and I look forward to your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

  17. Hi Debra,
    I can so much relate to you. I enjoy reading your posts. Originally I’m from Poland, but in the last 27 years, I have changed three continents and many cities. I learned how to live in Europe, Africa, Canada, and now in the US. Admire you. If it were no offense to you, I very much would like to know what you have in your closet. Your type of beauty is similar to mine :): same type, same colors, same style.
    Keep well and inspiring as usual!

    1. Hi Nina, thanks for dropping by. I have a lot of colors in my closet- peaches, corals, creams, reds, and many transparent, bright spring colors- they suit me best. As for style, I wouldn’t say I like fussy things. I like clean lines, elegant, modern, kind of like tulips! My favorite designers are DVF, Michael Kors, Milly, Joie, Eli Tahari, Equipment, Theory Tibi, Pink Tartan, Tory Burch, Ann Taylor Banana Republic Piperlime Stuart Weitzman shoes or coach- modern colorful..elegant/sporty. I hope to shop for some great stuff this spring and post a few photos. Cheers! Deborah

  18. Thank you for sharing these things about yourself. As readers, it helps us relate to you and feel we are not so unlike you in our day-to-day lives. Glad you got that needle out! Ouch!

  19. Thank you so much for sharing. You are so beautiful, attractive, and very fashionable. It was your blog (back when you shared it with the gal from the US) that got me started on taking more interest in what I wear. I now follow a few more fashion blogs, but I always love reading your updates! Blessings from a fellow Canadian.

        1. So interesting to read this and get to know more about you! I love your view from your kitchen window….and I am not ashamed to admit I am a little jealous! :) My dream is to live near water someday. I love your articles and how you seem so personable. I have picked up some great ideas on how to dress more admirably from your website. Thanks for taking the time to let us get to know you a little better!

          1. Hi Paula, This was the most exciting winter on the lake- it froze a lot, and it usually doesn’t. It’s been so interesting to watch all the Canada Geese huddled on the ice and the Swans- yes, there are swans. I don’t know how they stood it. It was so darn cold this winter you think they would have stuck to the ice! Thanks for dropping by. I hope your dream of living near water comes true! Cheers! Deborah

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