Thursday, July 11, 2019

Backyard Philosophy

Musings From My Backyard


I've been taking walks outdoors sauntering around my woods and waxing philosophical with my musings. I thought I would share. We'll begin with this surprisingly good pic of the Lantana on my back porch. I surprised myself with getting the bokeh on this shot! Just goes to show that if you keep trying, you can eventually get it right!


I spied these toadstools out my door today and grabbed my camera to snap some photos. I have a "thing" for toadstools that dates back to when my Mom and I would watch the Smurfs on Saturday mornings. Just look at the detail on the stem of the toadstool on the left! How beautiful the stem is with the creamy white of the cap with brown in the center! I like looking for beauty in small things. Think of the small creatures who may take respite from the sun under the shade of these toadstools. 


This is the fern that ate Manhattan growing on my front porch! There are equally large ones on the other side of the front porch and on the back porch. These ferns have gone to town over the summer and are HUGE. This pic doesn't do it justice! Note to self to allow for more space between planters next summer so the Coleus in the side pots don't  get overwhelmed by the fern. Sometimes a little space is a good thing. 


We have had several trees fall in our woods during stormy and windy days. This one fell into the crook of another tree and got wedged saving the underbrush from getting crushed. It's a good thing to be able to give support when needed. 


This pile of large rocks may not look like much but my husband has been steadily finding them on our property and moving them to the front of the house where he will eventually be turning them into stone steps up to the house. It is hard work to move such heavy objects but he is determined! What looks chaotic can actually contain order


Thankfully, this little Leyland Cyprus tree seems to be recovering nicely after the baby bear cubs used it to climb on during their playtime. It pays to be able to bend without breaking. 


I was lucky enough to be able to catch the raindrops on this leaf. Into every life a little rain must fall. 


These ferns were not planted but just popped up on their own next to these huge boulders in our front yard. Not a very hospitable environment for plants but these ferns appear to be thriving! It's possible to bloom and grow even in poor circumstances. 


This spider web covers a large territory along the ground ivy and it sprinkled with raindrops. The delicate web strands are unharmed by the heavy droplets and the wind that accompanies the rain. Delicacy does not diminish strength. 


Our mountain stream now runs smoothly and gently never hinting at the raging waters which washed out portions of our driveway during a deluge a few weeks ago. The strength of water should never be underestimated. 


This gray fox paused for a moment during a foray through our backyard. I snapped this photo from inside the house. The fox looked my way warily, unsure of my intentions and listening carefully for every sound. It pays to be on alert in uncertain circumstances. 


And it's ok to leave if it doesn't feel right. 


My marigolds didn't like the front yard and were thin and spindly until I moved them to the backyard next to the porch. Now they are thriving and multiplying! It can take awhile to find your best place to thrive. 


I am blessed to live in such a place of beauty where, like the needles of the pine tree, there is the evergreen of nature throughout each season. The beauty of nature, unlike fashion, never goes out of style and never worries about trends. Each plant, creature and aspect of nature has its own style and is beautiful in its own right. May each of us copy nature's styling in our own lives. 

Our backyards can teach us much if we take the time to look and listen.

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Devotional: Psalm 34 and Anxious Fears

When Fearful Thoughts Come


I bless God every chance I get;
my lungs expand with His praise.

I live and breathe God,
if things aren't going well, hear this and be happy:

Join me in spreading the news;
together let's get the word out.

God met me more than halfway,
He freed me from my anxious fears.
Psalm 34:1-4  (The Message)


Everyone has anxious thoughts from time to time. Whether it's concern over finances, family, health, jobs, the state of the world or something else, worry is a common affliction in our world. When worrisome anxious thoughts assail us, Psalm 34 is a great reminder to us that God is with us in all times and situations. He works on our behalf to calm our fears and anxieties if we rely on Him. I love the idea of not only living God but breathing God. Have you ever heard of a "breath prayer?" I have recently been reading about how to pray breath prayers. It can be as simple as breathing in while praying "Jesus" and breathing out while praying "give me peace."  Try it and you will be amazed at how calming breath prayers can be! Breath prayers don't have to be about anxiety. They can be praise prayers as well. For instance breathing in while praying "Praise to you" and breathing out while praying "Lord Christ."  Give breath prayers a try and experience Psalm 34's recommendation to "live and breathe God!"

Blessings,
Debbie

Friday, July 5, 2019

How To Wear A Little Black Jumpsuit

Styling A Jumpsuit Two Ways



Hello, everyone! Today, I'm showing two different ways to style a little black jumpsuit. I've shown before how to style a little black dress, so why not a little black jumpsuit, right?!


To be honest, I really didn't think that the current jumpsuit trend was right for me. I recently remarked to a friend that I had tried on a couple of jumpsuits and they REALLY showed my pear shape and were not at all attractive. I decided to try this one, however, when I saw it on the clearance rack at Target for a few reasons. 
  • I love to wear black and find it very slimming.
  • I thought this outfit would work well for both casual and dressy wearing. 
  • I liked the structure of this particular jumpsuit and the thicker fabric. Others I had tried were made of flimsy material. 
So, I gave this jumpsuit a try and I feel that I found a winner! It wasn't that I had to have a jumpsuit, but for all the above reasons, I figured it would be a good addition to my wardrobe. In addition, I can change up the look of this jumpsuit, which I will show you in this post, making it a versatile piece of clothing. 


Here, I'm styling a dressier look wearing the jumpsuit with the belt that came with it, black heels, large silver earrings and a dressy bracelet and clutch purse. 


To change up the look a bit, I decided to go for a more casual look by adding lots of pink. I switched out the belt for a pink multi-belt and added sparkly pink sandals and a pink purse.


I like the pink accessories, but think I'll stick with the black belt. Which styling do you like best? Have you tried jumpsuits? Let me know in the comments. 


And, here is my solution to the "bathroom dilemma" that accompanies jumpsuits. This jumpsuit has a small button and fabric hook at the neck which was not easy to either button or un-button, which could create problems!!  So, I simply added self-sticking Velcro tabs on the neckline and now I have no issues with quickly snapping/unsnapping the neckline. As you can see, this jumpsuit is by Prologue and gets great reviews. As I mentioned before, mine was on the clearance rack so I got a really good discounted price. 

Hope your 4th of July holiday was good and I look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Friday, June 28, 2019

A Simple Red, White and Blue Foyer Table

Bringing Red, White and Blue To The Foyer Table

Hello everyone!  The 4th of July is almost here and I thought I would make the lower foyer table look a bit more festive with a simple red, white and blue arrangement. I think today's post will show just how simple it can be to come up with a tablescape for the holidays!


Everything I used for this display I already owned except for the red/white plaid scrapbook paper. A.C. Moore was selling sheets 6 for a dollar today so I scooped up some colors I thought would work for the 4th and for card making. 


I've always enjoyed using this strawberry bush in different ways and today I cut the stems and placed them in a red square vase that I use throughout the year. Red works for lots of holidays so if you have a red vase you can get a lot of use from it!  The red and blue no-flame candles are used every year about this time! It's pretty when they are lit.


I've been away for a few days visiting family in West Virginia so I'm just now thinking about the 4th of July next week. No big plans here. The Mr. will be playing a concert that day and I'll most likely tag along with him and watch the fireworks afterward. How about you?  Decorating for the 4th?  Big plans ahead in your summer?  Hope you'll leave a comment. I enjoy hearing from you!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Match Made In Seven: Midsummer's Eve

Midsummer's Eve


Hello, and welcome to another edition of Match Made In Seven! For those of you new to this collaboration, here is a recap of our group. 

We are an international group of fashion bloggers who meet once a month. One of us chooses a theme in turn, and that can be anything. A book, music, a color, a movie. And then we style an outfit based on that theme. The theme of this month is chosen by Bettye and is: Midsummer's Eve.  Also, take a look at the other bloggers and how they have interpreted the theme this month. (See list at end of post).



With this month's theme, I feel like I need to look ethereal.  So, I chose my cold shoulder pretty blue striped top with ruffles and a new blue straw skirt that drapes lightly and flutters in the wind. 


To me, this look is light and summery and perfect for midsummer, although, really, summer is just beginning! Do I look as if I could just float off of this rock?!


I've been looking for a really flowy, long, lightweight skirt for awhile now in a solid color. When I saw this one on sale online from Stein Mart I ordered it in both blue and pink. I sized up thinking that some skirts I had tried in the store felt a little tight in the waist in my normal size. When this arrived, I realized I should have stuck to the smaller size, but oh well. I'm just pinning the waist and going ahead with keeping them both. The pink color is actually more of a salmon color, but I like it. I can't stand anything tight around my waist so this way I can adjust it and pin it the way I want it to feel. Here's the link if you are interested in this skirt. The brand is Zac and Rachel. 


Here's to warm, sunny days with gentle breezes blowing as I glide through the woods at Midsummer's Eve and beyond!

Let me know in the comments if you enjoy long, flowy skirts for summer! And, be sure to check out all of the other lovely ladies on their blogs:

Nancy of https://www.nancysfashionstyle.com

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Friday, June 21, 2019

Summer Re-Runs

Revisiting A Few Favorites


Happy Friday, everyone!  It seems that summer television brings on the re-runs so I figured why not have some blog re-runs just for fun? So, I'm rehashing a few favorite photos from past blog posts. If you're new to the blog I hope you enjoy seeing some of what I've done the past few years and if you are a faithful reader I hope you will enjoy a trip down memory lane! My three part series on how to style a little black dress is by far one of my most favorite posts and pics! What a versatile piece to own!


This was my very first style post way back in 2015! Still have the green top and love it. The skirt has gone bye-bye. 


This is still my favorite tablescape that I have done on the blog. I just love the blue with the crystal candlesticks, goblets and white babies breath!


This was a fun post to do! The Mr. and I haven't eaten at Mellow Mushroom in forever. Maybe we'll make a trip there soon!


Wow....sunset in the Rocky Mountains. So beautiful! We hope to get back out there this summer!


I would love to go back to Bear Lake while we are there. It is so incredibly peaceful in the early morning. Still and quiet....just the best!


And speaking of bears.....these guys still keep coming! New cubs each year though. Today, a doe and her fawn walked by my kitchen window. The fawn was covered in spots. Precious! Sorry, I didn't get a picture. I just enjoyed the scene. 


I still love this pattern mixed look. The scarf kimono can be worn tied like in this pic or hanging loose. Yep...I was still Debbiethisandthat when this pic was taken! Hadn't started styling life yet (wink)!


I have misplaced this tee shirt and it is one of my favorites! How can I lose clothes in the house?! Does that ever happen to you? 


Sigh....I've pretty much decided to swear off shorts these days. Just don't like how I look in them anymore. This was taken a couple years ago. 


I think hands down this is the craziest look I have tried! Definitely not for Debbie!


Lovin' my jeans looks though!


Like this face shot.


And it was fun to change up my look to style a "Punk look" for my Match Made In Seven collaboration group. BTW, next Wednesday will be a new edition of our Match Made In Seven and I think you will really enjoy this month's theme. Be sure to check it out!


Guess I have a little punk in me!? I can't help but like this look conservative though I may be!


But, most days this is how you'll find me...


Unless I'm wearing my crown, of course!


Hope you have enjoyed this summer blog re-run. It's been fun for me, too. Have a great weekend everyone and please leave a comment for me. I love hearing from you!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Maxi Dress With Jean Jacket, New Wreath and New Beginnings

Styling, Decorating and Beginnings


Hey Friends!  Yet another busy week has gone by in which life has taken precedence over blogging. Hopefully, after about one more week I can resume my blogging schedule of at least 2-3 posts per week. I'll catch you up on some of what has been going on as the post unfolds. First off, I'm styling a long maxi dress with a blue jean jacket. This is a perfect look for summer!


Maxi dresses and skirts are still "in" and can be dressed up or down with accessories. I think adding the jean jacket gives the look a casual and relaxed summer vibe. 


I've styled this dress on the blog before with a light blue pashmina scarf, but I really like the jean jacket with the dress better. The dress hem hides my gladiator sandals which also gives a relaxed feel to the look. This outfit is cool, comfortable and perfect for a hot summer day! Let me know in the comments if you enjoy wearing maxi dresses or skirts and how you feel about jean jackets. 


I have a new decor item to share with you-a new wreath on the front door. I've had my eye on this succulent wreath at AC Moore for months and the sales finally brought it down to what I consider a reasonable price. The wreath was marked down 60% plus I had a 20% off total sale coupon which I could apply. Hooray!


The wreath looks good with the retirement quilts Sharon made for me.


And, it matches with my other succulents on display on the foyer table. This makes it look more like I have a theme going on in the foyer. 


I've mentioned how busy life has been lately. This guy right here, is retiring after 30 years of math teaching plus an architecture career before that. I'm so proud of him and all he has given to teaching his students over the years! He will continue to use his math and to teach in some form or fashion but I hope he will take some time to rest first! This pic was taken at a luncheon to honor retirees from his system. 


There have been several celebrations in the past week which is both wonderful and exhausting! At one, the retirees were each given a rocking chair!


And on top of the retirement festivities, I directed a big bells, brass and organ concert at our church last Sunday. The Mr.'s quintet performed. 


The brass played beautifully....


As did our organist....


And my handbell choir really rocked it!  I was so proud of them and all of the musicians who participated in our concert!

So, yet again it has been quite a week!  And, there were a few other things going on which I won't bore you with. I hope that each of you dear readers are well and that the week ahead brings only good things to you! Please leave a comment and let me know what's happening in your life!

Until Next Time,
Debbie