Friday, June 11, 2021

Summer Foyer Table Decor

 A Romantic Foyer Table Vignette


Hello everyone!  The foyer table was needing an updated style and so I decided to incorporate several items to create what I think is a romantic vignette. 


There is nothing quite as romantic or mysterious as a beatiful fan which I am using for the backdrop of this vignette. The pearls spilling out of the teacup adss a three dimensional look. The whimsical bunny is dressed in a velvet top with pearls and bows in a soft pinkish mauve color. The box is one I created using mauve flowered craft paper on the outside and then layering a three dimensional rose sticker on the outside and cream color flowers on the inside. Tucked underneath everything and spilling over the edge of the table is a cream color lace runner. While I'm calling this a romantic vignette, I think it also works as summer decor with the emphasis on pastel colors and flowers. 


It's always so much fun to come up with a new vignette for the foyer table. I actually began thinking of this vignette with the purchase today of the bunny and some new craft paper. From there, I looked to see what other items I had on hand which might go well together and voila a new foyer table vignette! The fan was a Dollar Tree purchase from awhile ago. The pearls, flowers and lace runner I already owned. The tea cup is part of a tea set that my oldest sister recently gifted to me. 

What items do you have on hand that might work for a table vignette at your house?  Be sure to let me know in the comments!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Back to Thrifting at The Goodwill

 A Fun Thrifting Find

thrifted bell sleeve top

Hey Everyone!  It's been awhile since I have shared a fashion post.  I'm back to going into thrift stores and thought I would share a recent find that I think is really fun!


I found this very pretty blue and white top recently in Goodwill.  It has a lot going on and that is what makes it so fun IMO!!  The plaid bell sleeves paired with the stripes and flowers on the main body of the top all just blend together beautifully and give a lot of eye appeal without being overwhelming. 


You all know that anything blue catches my eye and this top certainly is eye catching! When I first started blogging, you may recall I didn't feel drawn to prints so much as I felt that they wore me instead of my wearing them. For some reason, I am much more drawn to prints these days but they have to feel good when I wear them. This top feels really good and I love the flowiness of the shorter bell sleeves. 


This top can be worn off the shoulder as well as regular.  I'm not really an off the shoulder type person so I'm wearing it as a normal top. The material is thin so I am wearing a navy blue cami underneath. The jeans I have owned for quite awhile and the sandals are not thrifted. I purchased them on my recent trip to West Virginia. They are a perfect summer sandal slip-on from Walmart. 


It feels really good to be getting back to my old thrifting ways!  While I have done some thrifting over the past year using online sites, because of having to pay for shipping the bargains just aren't as good as you can get at Goodwill or other thrift shops. I found a new thrift shop recently that I will share with you in another post and it has great finds. I love finding a good bargain and thrifting is also a great way to practice recycling! Plus, I only buy what I really like and want to use. Most of my favorite clothes I wear were thrifted and that's OK by me!

Have you thrifted any clothing recently?  Have a fun top you love to wear?  Been shopping your closet?  Hope you will leave a comment and let me know.  I love hearing from you!

Until Next Time,
Debbie




Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Back from WV and How I Spent Some Time There

 Spending Time In My Hometown

statue at entrance to City Park in Parkersburg

Hi everyone!  I'm back from a two week visit to see my family in West Virginia.  Although the visit was only meant to be for a week, due to the gas shortage that hit right as I arrived in my hometown, The Mr. and I decided it would be best for me to stay an extra week and let the shortage calm down so he could return to pick me up. The second week was a blessing in disguise as I was able to do more with seeing family and spending time with them as well as helping out my oldest sister more. While I was there I snapped some photos at my sisters' houses and around town and I'm going to share some of my trip and some of my hometown with all of you. Hope you enjoy! The above pic is of the fountain that greets visitors at the City Park in my hometown. The statue is called, "The Lady of the Lake," and is a new statue. There has always been a statue at the park entrance, however. 





The City Park is a large park with lots of amenities for visitors from picnic shelters to an antique museum to a large swimming pool and tennis courts to the lake you see here for fishing and walking around. I spent a lot of time here growing up and it always brings memories when I return home. I haven't seen this type of park in Asheville or other places. As a child I came here to swim and feed the ducks in the lake. As a teenager it was fun driving through to see if any cute boys were playing basketball or hanging out. And speaking of cute boys....

bandshell at Parkersburg City Park

This is the bandshell in the park where The Mr. and I first saw one another when we were playing for the summer in the park music series as junior high schoolers. He was playing in the orchestra I played violin in and we caught sight of one another. Years later we re-connected in high school and the rest, as they say, is history! It looks like the bandshell could use a coat of paint inside, but otherwise it is in good shape. 


I took a selfie as I walked around the lake. 


Now this little man is one of the reasons I was so happy to be home. Of course I was thrilled to see ALL of my family after over a year. But this little guy is my brand new great-great nephew! I got to hold him several times and he is such a bundle of joy. 


One of the things I did with my oldest sister was take her to a hair appointment. I have heard about her stylist for years but had never met him or seen his salon. My sister fell and broke her wrist a few weeks ago and can't drive so I was the designated driver while I was in town.  I am blessed with four sisters and was lucky to be able to spend time with three of them on this trip. Unfortunately, one sister was unable to travel to be with us this time. Hopefully soon, though, we will see her!

Attitudes Hair Salon in Parkersburg


The hair studio has a really pretty garden in the back so I snapped a photo of a part of it.  The stylist is also good at growing flowers!

McKinley Elementary School

While my sister was getting her hair done I walked across the street to take a few photos of my old elementary school which was closed down about a year ago. Isn't this a gorgeous building?!  I went to school here in grades 1-6. I didn't go to kindergarten as it wasn't required years ago. 


How many times I walked through these doors when I attended McKinley Elementary! The trees have pretty much grown across the front of this entrance as I guess no one is maintaining them anymore.


As you can see, the school was built in 1902.  The building was sold at an auction and the buyer has promised not to tear it down. We'll see. I can remember when all of the windows were adorned with pictures that students had drawn or colored. Now, the windows are bare.


When I attended school here, there was a "Lawn Fete" held every year on this front lawn. I looked forward to it so much! I loved the fishing booth and the little prizes they would put on our fishing pole!


There is nothing quite as sad as a playground standing empty and no longer being used by running and playing children!  When I went here there were gravel and grassy areas and two big trees way across the playground that were wonderful for hiding and playing around. Of course there were monkey bars and I earned many callouses going across them! I wonder what they will do with the playground equipment? Of course, the monkey bars I played on are long gone!



On down the street is what used to be the corner drugstore.  Now, it is a tatoo parlor of all things! I can still remember the smell of the drugstore, though, when I would open the door and walk in to buy nickel candy bars. I didn't get to do that often as I lived in the country and was bussed to school. But, for a few months, I actually lived across the street from my elementary school and so I was able to visit the drugstore then. 

St. Andrew's United Methodist Church

Across the street from the old drugstore is beautiful St. Andrews United Methodist Church. It isn't the Methodist church I attended growing up but it still holds fond memories of youth group meet-ups. I didn't take a picture since the building no longer exists, but across from St. Andrews used to be the old Burwell Movie Theater where The Mr. and I would go for dates. I think that is where I saw Star Wars the first time. 

Credit line: John Margolies Roadside America photograph archive (1972-2008), Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Here's a pic I found of The Burwell theater. Can't believe it was torn down. Such a shame. A Walgreen's Drugstore is on the site now. Isn't it sad when buildings aren't preserved?!


Anyway, after my sister got her hair done we went to a pizza place right around the corner for lunch. This pizza was SO GOOD! I admit I went back for a second slice!


This is the fence that is next door to another sister's house. The lady that lives there is very artistic and painted the outside and inside of the fence. I had to take a picture because I thought it was so pretty! It is like having a flower garden that you don't have to plant or water!


And this is a pretty flower at my oldest sister's house.  She lives in the house that I grew up in and her yard has some pretty and interesting things. These flowers are one of them. 


These may be weeds but they are still pretty.  Unfortunately, the man who cuts the lawn cut them down soon after I took this pic.  At least I have the picture of them. 



Now, this tree may not look like much to anyone else, but to me it is the fireplace in the imaginary cabin on the frontier where I played as a child.  Lots of fond memories there. Glad the tree is still standing.



These guinea hens are from the farm next door.  They pay a daily visit to my sister's yard and like to stay around her hostas and azaleas.  I tried to get a close-up pic but they wanted to run away. 


I must say that after not traveling to WV for over a year, it was exciting to drive up I-77 and see the golden dome of the capitol once more!  It was wonderful to see my family once more and to connect, visit and help.  And, it was also wonderful to have baby snuggles, good food and revisit places that I know so well from my growing up years.  After a difficult year with concern over the virus and waiting for my vaccinations so I could travel, it was fortuitous that my trip was stretched two weeks. The extra time allowed for more family visiting and for time to revisit parts of my hometown I had not been to in a very long time. This was a bit of a nostalgic trip in many ways. Asheville is now my home and I was happy to get back to our home with The Mr. But, there is always something about visiting "what you first knew" as Sarah, from the book, "Sarah, Plain and Tall" might say. What we first knew stays with us forever in memory and always has a place in our hearts. 

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Gas Shortage Change of Plans

 


Hey Everyone!  I really didn't mean to be away from the blog for this long.  But, you know what they say about the best laid plans...they often go awry!  After well over a year of not being able to see my family, the Mr. and I were finally able to travel and came up to West Virginia last week.  The Mr. traveled back to Asheville leaving me here for a planned week of visiting. Little did we know that our travel would coincide with the cyber attack of the Colonial Pipeline which has resulted in severe gas shortages for several states. With all of this going on, I decided to extend my visit an additional week to let things settle down with the shortage. I'm so very happy to see my family and spend time with them. And having extra time with them is an added bonus. So, long story short, that is why you haven't seen any new posts in awhile. I have been taking some pictures while I've been here and hope to do a longer post soon sharing some highlights of my hometown. But, in the meantime, I wanted to let my readers know that all is well and I'll be back soon with a longer post. Take good care and I hope the week ahead is great for all of you!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Monday, May 3, 2021

Pink Skirt and Unique Top

 How To Style A Pink Skirt



>Pink is one of my absolute favorite colors to wear.  So you would think I would have been wearing this pretty pink skirt a lot since I bought it several years ago.  But, it has languished in my closet, sad and unworn, until the other day when I plucked it out and decided to style it on the blog. 


This skirt is from The Magic Scarf Co. and is a great choice for traveling, which is one of the reasons I bought it. But, who has been traveling?  It is very lightweight and fairly wrinkle-free and has a great twirl factor, which is very important to me for skirts! I love the way it feels when I walk or sit down. 


It took me just a little bit to figure out a top to wear with this skirt. Finally, I decided to go with a tunic/dress that I tucked under the skirt and then added a colorful belt to cover the elastic waist. Have you ever thought of tucking in tunic tops? It works perfectly and the tunic actually also works as an additional slip under the skirt. To me this whole outfit is very lady-like and comfortable and easy-to-wear for Spring and Summer. 

So go look in your closets, ladies.  Do you have a skirt that is sad because you haven't worn it in awhile?  How about a tunic/dress that you could tuck under the skirt and wear as a blouse?  Experiment a little and have fun!  And be sure to let me know what you discover in your closets, OK?  I love reading your comments. 

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Reflections and Armchair Philosophy

 


What a beautiful spot this was at Bear Lake in Colorado.  When we were there five years ago, I felt like I could sit in this spot forever just enjoying the views. How pretty is the reflection of the trees in the water. I've been reflecting lately on lots of things. Especially how time passes so quickly. How can it be five years since we last traveled together to this beautiful place? Our travels have taken us to Colorado over the last four years but for other reasons. Family visits, the loss of a family member. A funeral. Necessary travels to be sure, but still....we need to return to this place of beauty that refreshes our souls and revives our spirits as only a place of great beauty can do. 

We had hoped to do more traveling when The Mr. retired. And then Covid came and all travel stopped. What a year it has been! But, there is hope on the horizon and things are rapidly improving and I am dreaming of more freedom in the future to take some of those planned trips. And to just resume doing things locally that we always enjoyed like going into restaurants for lunch and whiling away the hours in used bookstores. And doing these things without feeling fearful of getting sick. Little things for sure (the activities not the getting sick part) but they mean a lot to us. 

For me, this has been a year of holding my breath and waiting for the next shoe to drop with Covid going on. Worry for family members who got the virus and, thankfully, recovered. Not so for The Mr.'s family who did lose two family members to the virus while others were sickened by it. And our church family lost members to Covid as well. I was thinking the other day that I never thought I would be living through a pandemic in my lifetime. I had read and heard about the Flu Pandemic of 1918 but, like much of history, it was something in the past. Horrible, of course, but it didn't have the feeling of being real. This year has been REAL. And, I will be more than glad to see the end of Covid-19. Hopefully, enough people will get vaccinated so that will happen. But many are choosing not to. I won't go there in today's post. 

Revisiting Burnsville on a Sunday drive

One thing that I will treasure from this past year are the Sunday drives we have taken. These drives were a safe way to get out of the house and be outside when we arrived at our destinations. We usually didn't know exactly where we might end up and we have so enjoyed the delightful places we ended up driving to such as nearby small towns and hiking areas. I loved becoming re-acquainted with places that I have not visited in a long time. 

A local hike next to the French Broad River

We even explored hiking locally around our town and discovered areas that I had not seen before. And we became experts at having "car picnics" with our favorite foods eaten in take-out style. It's amazing how we managed to turn lemons into lemonade during the pandemic this past year finding things to do in a safe manner. But, I'm ready to get back out there and do more in-person type things. I don't want to give up our Sunday drives, though! 

I guess making lemonade from lemons is something that most people do when the going gets rough. This past year brought tough times to be sure, but nothing like what some people had to get through. Being retirees, we didn't need to worry about lost jobs or teaching during a pandemic. I am grateful for that. I can think back, though, on our earlier years as young marrieds when job losses did occur and we worried about how to pay the bills. We had to make lemonade from lemons every once in awhile during those days. It taught us to stand on our own two feet, to economize, to make changes, to work hard and, most of all, to not give up. Better times came with better jobs. And we were able to look back and see where we had been. Where we had come from. And how life had changed for the better. And that is what I am looking forward to now. Looking back at this past year and a half when things seemed so scary and different and seeing where we were then and where we are now. Thinking about the lessons learned during this time of pandemic. Things to never take for granted ever again. I wonder if people had these same thoughts after the Flu Pandemic of 1918 was over? I wonder what lessons they learned?

These last four years have brought many lessons to me as I have learned to live in retirement. I still can't believe it has been FOUR years! How have those years passed so quickly?! In a post written after I first retired I spoke of trying different things in retirement as "trying on different coats to see what fits and what doesn't fit." I still feel that is a great analogy for life in retirement. Part of the fun of being retired is trying new things. And what I have tried so far have been pretty simple things. I haven't gone in for sky diving or cliff jumping to be sure! But, I have tried simple sewing projects, card making, painting home decor signs, traveling to the beach with a dear friend and traveling on my own to visit family in WV and PA. I've taken classes on Zendoodling and watercoloring and offered online classes on serenity and faith, hope and love. This last year hasn't been a big year for trying on many new "coats" but I'm hopeful that the days are coming when some new coats can be tried on once again. Don't expect to see me jumping out of airplanes or hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. BUT, you just might see me flying on an airplane to a fun spot or taking a day hike on the Appalachian Trail! And if I do, you can be certain that I'll be sharing it with all of you right here on the blog. After all, that's what this blog is about. Styling life and sharing a little bit of this and that with all of my readers! 

So tell me....what are you reflecting on these days? Be sure to let me know in the comments and if you want to share a little armchair philosophy with me that's OK too!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Bears, Turkeys and Flowers, Oh My!

 Backyard Visitors and More


Hey Everyone!  I know that it is has been many days since I've posted.  But, I'm back today sharing some recent backyard visitors, my Spring flower planting and a little more. Hope you enjoy!


As you can see, the bears have returned to visit!  These are two cubs that stopped by the other day with their Mama Bear.  Mama didn't stick around but the cubs stayed a few minutes. In this pic it looks like the bears are looking at each other saying, "Uh, Oh, I think the lady in the window is lookin' at us...."  These cubs are yearlings but we have seen another Mama on up the road who has three teeny, tiny cubs.  They are so precious!


We also had a big turkey come through the backyard today.  This guy was pecking at the grass seed The Mr. had just scattered on the hillside so we were glad when he decided to move on fairly quickly!


In other backyard news, we managed to get the flowers for Spring and Summer planted on our back porch. Hopefully, they will bloom and grow and really become full this Summer. We are only doing container flowers for the most part. And only flowers this year, not any vegetables! I gave up on planting veggies after last year's planting that yielded very little. I just don't have a green thumb in that area!




So, in addition to the purple verbena you saw in the first picture, we also planted two different colors of lantana and some sunpatiens. They don't look full right now but should really fill out as June approaches. 


And in our backyard in-ground garden that is surrounded by a stone wall, we planted these pretty leafy plants. I think these are called caladium but don't quote me on that. We have a hard time getting anything to truly flourish in this back garden but we keep trying! Perhaps this will be the year for flourishing!! Planting flowers in the Spring always reminds me of seeking growth in my faith. I always want to be flourishing with growing closer to God. Psalm 92:12-15 speaks to flourishing in faith. I especially like the idea of bearing fruit in old age and staying fresh and green. 

"The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 
planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 
They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
15 
proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

In other news, The Mr. and I got our second Covid vaccines last week. I am so thankful to have the vaccine. We want to be rid of Covid-19 as fast as possible! 

I also had promised in my Easter tablescape post to share with you how I was using the faux pansy blooms that I had purchased at Dollar Tree. So, here is a pic of how I am decorating with them. 


Remember this Farmhouse metal bucket that I was uncertain what to fill with at Christmas time? Well now it is filled with flowers!  I love the look and it brightens up the view down our hallway tremendously! I think I bought around 17 stems to fill this size bucket. Some I have used in vases around the house but this bucket is still pretty full. Real flowers would be gorgeous also but, of course, wouldn't last long. These pretty faux flowers will be fresh all summer long until I'm ready to use the metal bucket for something more Fall-like! BTW, at Christmas time I took the advice of my friend, Sharon, and filled the bucket with a red plaid throw which gave a quilt-like effect. These buckets are so very versatile!

And that's it for today, dear readers.  I hope to be back with another post on Friday. I've had a bit of writer's block but, hopefully, that is behind me. Take care and I look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

Until Next Time,
Debbie