Friday, May 17, 2024

A Little Bit of This and That

Foyer Table, Goodwill Haul and More


Hello friends! This is actually my second attempt at writing this post and I certainly hope I don't accidentally hit the same buttons I did on the last one that deleted the almost finished post! So, here I go again! In today's post, I'll be sharing a little bit of this and that with you to catch up on some of what I have been doing the last few days.


I spied some fun hiking/outdoor items at Target the last time I was there and decided to create an unusual "hiking/walking" vignette on the foyer table. Since The Mr. loves hiking and I enjoy gentle walks/hikes, I decided this vignette would fit right in with our home. It's also a good reminder for me as I walk past it each day to get up and move! BTW, I love those Leki poles. They were a gift to me from The Mr. a year or so ago and I use them whenever I walk or hike. They are easily adjustable and I appreciate that, a lot. 


I haven't tried solving this puzzle as yet but I'm sure it will be fun when I do! Tell me, do you create any unusual vignettes in your home?


We also stopped by one of our favorite Goodwill stores this week and I scored some great seasonal items to use for Winter, Valentines and Easter. Plus, I found two nice tops and The Mr. found a great shirt in a brand he really likes. So, all in all, we did very well on this excursion. I haven't thrifted in quite a while so it was fun to find great items!


And, of course, I have to share some good food with you before I go! My church hosted an Italian dinner last weekend and roasted vegetables was one of the vegetarian menu items. They were so delicious that I decided to roast some of my own veggies. This pan of tomatoes, squash, green pepper and onions roasted up beautifully and were very yummy! I will definitely be roasting more veggies. 


And, I enjoyed this delicious meal at Cracker Barrel last week. This meal is what you have heard me call an "Aunt Beulah special" as it mimics the foods I ate at my aunt's house growing up. This is my typical "comfort meal" when I go to CB and I definitely needed comfort as I had just gotten my Covid booster shot. The shot always makes me feel miserable for a few days so I enjoyed this meal before the side effects set in. Do you have a favorite comfort meal that is your go to when you are in need of some food love?


I saw this quote recently and wanted to save it as it fits how I have felt this past week. I found myself really missing my oldest sister this past week and the tears felt as fresh this week as they did 1 1/2 years ago when she passed. While I am so very grateful for all the blessings God has given me, I also still experience grief for my losses. I think that, as humans, we can feel both blessings and grief at the same time. 


Even in the midst of grief there can be joy. This final pic depicts the joy I felt a couple weekends ago as my women's group came together for our annual weekend retreat. This year we gathered at the Blowing Rock Conference Center in Blowing Rock, NC. What a lovely weekend we shared together as Christian women! Some members weren't able to be there and we missed them so much. 

So that's a little bit of this and that in my life lately. Hope you enjoyed the post and that you share a little bit of this and that in your life with me in the comments! 

Until Next Time,
Debbie This and That





Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Looking Back At My Fashion Photos Over The Years

 


Hi friends! I've spent some time looking back at old photo shoots that produced style pics for the blog over the years. Parts of these outfits I don't own anymore and parts I still do own. Some items just didn't make the cut when I did some closet cleaning and gave away items I just didn't think I would continue to wear. To be honest, some of these outfits still look pretty good to me and I'm wondering why I gave some articles of clothing away! Isn't that the way it always is?! You give something away and then think to yourself, "maybe I could have used that shirt, skirt, pairs of shoes after all?!" Anyway, I thought you might enjoy a trip down memory lane with me. Maybe you will see one of my photos and recall an article of clothing in your own closet that you might enjoy styling in a similar way. 



You may have noticed that I don't do many style posts anymore. I kind of reached a stage where I was beginning to feel a bit silly and wondered if I just looked like a foolish aging woman smiling at the camera! Plus, it's really hard to come up with new style ideas and new clothes to share all the time. So now, if I have a style idea that I feel might be useful to others I will do a style shoot but they aren't a regular part of the blog anymore. Do you miss them? 


So much of my time is spent wearing jeans and it's nice to have a fun top like this one to dress the jeans up a bit. While this color works best in the Fall I still wear the top during other seasons.


This pic is one of my all time favorites for style. The black and the white pair so well together. 


Here's a blast from the past with my Debbiethisandthat logo on the pic! The bright red sweater paired so well with the white of the vest. Alas, I no longer own the sweater. Loved it, though, and wore it for many, many years!


Here's another black/white with gray style pic. I just love this color combination and feel I look good wearing these colors. I've kind of gotten over the idea of always wearing colors that are in my palette. While color around the face is important it is not the final factor for me. If I love a color and want to wear it, I do! 


I do love pinks, though, and wear this color often. Pink is a great color to wear next to my face.


Remember this top? I still own it and love it. Don't own the black skirt anymore, however. Those earrings are big! But, I still own them as well and actually like how they look. 


I think every woman looks good in a little black dress! And, oh, how I loved these shoes but, alas, the heels were just too high for me to continue wearing them. I gave them away. 


And I'll close this look back at fashion with this casual, green summer dress that I dearly love. The color green has really grown on me the last few years and I have a few pieces of clothing that are green. Funny how we get away from certain colors. Years ago, I wore green frequently but then went in more for blues and pinks. Now, I'm enjoying greens once more. It's fun to experiment with and revisit colors just to see what you enjoy and look good wearing.

So, I hope you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane as much as I have! And maybe something you saw prompted an idea from your own closet. I hope so. I want to close with one final style pic and it is in memory of Iris Apfel, the nonagenarian style icon who died recently. 


Iris Apfel was always one to wear multiple types of jewelry and the boldest colors she could find. She was a great believer in wearing what she loved and not worrying about what anyone else thought about her style. I think we could all learn some lessons from her. If you would like to revisit the post my old Match Made In Seven group did about Iris Apfel you can visit it here. 

Hope you are having a good week so far. My apologies for not getting another post out late last week. Life got in the way. I would love to hear your thoughts on today's retro style post!

Until Next Time,

Debbie



Monday, April 29, 2024

Guest Bathroom Refresh

 Gray and White Bathroom Refresh


Hello friends! It's been a few years since I gave our guest bath a little refresh and so this past week I have been working on doing just that. Since there is a lot of gray color in both the floor tiles and shower area tiles, I decided to go with gray accessories this time rather than blue.


New towels, washcloths and floor rug. How fortunate that I already owned the gray and white basket which looks like it belongs in the bathroom now!



I found this pretty shower curtain that is clear with embossed gray stars that have a bit of sparkle. I just love this look!


And I ordered this wooden sign from Amazon. It's wonderful to see this message each time I enter the bathroom. Very inspiring to read! I may add more items to this shelf as time goes on and as I find things I like but, for now, this sign is perfect and leaves room on either side for washcloths.



I'm not planning to replace all of the wall pictures just yet. I'm trying to move away from the "beachy theme" I had in this bath previously but I think it's okay to leave the wall pics for now. The serenity sign is staying until I find a sign in gray that conveys a message I like. It doesn't clash with the gray theme, in my opinion.


I did switch out the two photographs that were on the wall next to the tub for my black/white zendoodling mosaic that I created. I'm proud of that piece of artwork. And I'm quite happy with how this guest bathroom refresh turned out. I enjoy the cool look of the gray accessories against the white of the tub, sink, toilet and walls. 

Have you done any refreshing of rooms at your house lately? Do you like gray and white together? Be sure to leave a comment and share anything you like. And be sure to stop by later this week for another post. 

Until Then,
Debbie


Friday, April 19, 2024

Hiking with River, Spring flowers, Soup and More

 A Little Bit of This and That


Hello friends! How has your week been? Mine has been busy with little bits of this and that thrown in. And that's what I'm sharing today. The little bits of this and that which make life enjoyable and fun each day! The Mr. snapped this photo of some beautiful Spring flowers in the woods on our property. We were hiking on the trail that The Mr. created on our land and River loves to hike on it. We call it the "C &G Trail" named after Cassie and Garden, of course! Does anyone know what these flowers are called? I thought they might be Trilliums but The Mr. doesn't think so. Any guesses? 


River had a longer hike yesterday with The Mr. but today we enjoyed a shorter hike and I joined in. River is doing really well with walking on leash and listening to commands. He's not perfect but, boy, has he come a long way since we adopted him last July! I'm very proud of his accomplishments since then! 


We joke with people that River is also doing well with training us! And he is very consistent with the training of his humans! But, I guess that is the way it goes when a pet is brought into the home. The training goes both ways and the family and the pet can shake down together pretty well together! We certainly enjoy our "fur family" of River, Cassie and Garden. Although, if I'm truthful, some days I do feel like pulling out my hair! Especially when River gets us up at 2:30 a.m. to go outside!


In other news, I'm continuing to make some yummy soups even though our days are getting warmer. This is my version of potato soup which turned out to be quite tasty. 


My version of potato soup started with sauteed celery and carrots with one can of diced potatoes. I added spices and, finally, milk. I use fat free, lactose free milk although I know whole milk would make it creamier. The ingredients I used made a healthier version of potato soup which was quite tasty!


I also made some vegetable soup for The Mr. This soup started with celery and carrots sauteed in chicken broth. I then added a can of mixed vegetables and my usual spices and let the soup simmer for a long time. It was really delicious and hit the spot, even on a warm day!



It's wonderful to have simple days now in which making soup and taking River for a hike in the woods can bring contentment to my day. Courage and Contentment are my words of the year and I am enjoying contentment in so many ways so far in 2024. It's easy to get too busy or to feel pressured into doing things that I prefer not to do anymore such as attending meetings that I don't really need to attend. I was always told that life abhors a vacuum and that is certainly true in retirement. There are always tugs on your time in retirement and it's important for me to remember that contentment, and not busyness, is my goal in retirement. And that has been paramount in my decision making lately. As for courage.....I was so surprised that this word showed up as one of my words for this year. But, I am having courage as I move forward with playing my instruments in public once more. It has been years since I played my violin in public. And since I began flute lessons only five years ago, I haven't played in public as I was just learning a new instrument. But, at this time, I feel that I want to move forward and have courage with playing in church again. So, for several weeks I have been practicing with a lady at my church who plays piano. It's been enjoyable and I am looking forward to playing violin at my church in a couple weeks. This takes courage as I suffer from stage fright when I play in front of people. I have dealt with this fear for many years and have often chosen simply not to play in public. But, I want to use my talents, such as they are, to serve God and so we will see how this playing goes. More on how I am finding courage later. I'm not a professional violinist but I have played for many, many years. And I love flute and enjoy the fact that I have progressed to the point where I am learning flute repertoire. Music is a blessing in my life and I enjoy my instrumental playing as well as directing the handbells at church. 

So, courage and contentment continue to shape my days and my year so far. How about you? How are your days shaped? What is happening in your life that brings you joy in your days? Please share in the comments section. I love hearing from you!

Until Next Time,
Debbie This and That 


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Easy DIY Springtime Tablescape Vignettes

 Three Different Table Vignettes for Spring


Hello everyone! There's nothing like a Sunday afternoon spent experimenting with different Vignettes for our round kitchen table. I really enjoy creating vignettes out of items I already own and seeing how these items can change up the look of different stylings. The base for each of these vignettes is a colorful felt placemat that I purchased awhile back at Michael's. In this first vignette, I topped a blue stoneware plate with a wooden bunny with blue flowers and ribbon around its neck. Another smaller blue bunny stands guard nearby. This vignette is simple and yet very Spring-like. 


Next up, I replaced the plate and bunnies with some lovely carnival glass pieces that one of my sisters gave me years ago. This sugar/creamer set sits on a carnival glass tray and gives a bit of a vintage vibe to this vignette. Note how both of the vignettes so far carry out the blue theme of the felt. 


Now, in this third vignette, I carry the blue theme through by using a blue Blenko water vase. However, the green silk flowers in the vase pull out the green color of the leaves on the felt base. I really like the green and blue combination of colors which adds layers of interest to this vignette. 


And, finally, in this fourth vignette, I decided to put all of the items together for one interesting styling. I did add an additional small green bunny to balance out the green color of the flowers a bit. Notice the angle of items from left to right with the taller items to the left angling to the shorter items on the right. While I love symmetry, sometimes asymmetrical is the way to go with table vignettes!


Of course, Cassie always likes to lend a paw when I'm creating vignettes. Her opinion always counts when it comes to table stylings. But what is your opinion? Which table vignette do you like best in this post? Have you been creating any Springtime stylings in your own home? I can't wait to hear from you in the comments!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Thursday, March 28, 2024

When Accessories Become Artwork

 Accessories You Can Wear Or Use As Artwork


Hello friends! Something you may not know about me is that I occasionally enjoy accessories and clothing that are a bit on the unique side. Today, The Mr. and I enjoyed walking around Black Mountain, NC and I visited one of my very favorite shops for finding unique accessories. The shop is called Periwinkles. I saw this unique "scarf" hanging in the display window and decided it needed to come home with me. This unique scarf was created by the shop's owner. Because I own several other scarves that are different from what we might expect a scarf to look like, I decided to experiment with ways to use these "scarves" in additional ways other than wearing them. You might think some of these ways look silly but, after looking at shop displays today, I feel that these ways are great and will hopefully get you thinking in some new ways to use your own accessories! 


I think this scarf hints at a unique pastel "Easter egg" arrangement when placed in this woven basket. 


And with the bunnies sitting in front of the basket, the look is just right!


I purchased this unique scarf/necklace last Easter and have enjoyed wearing it throughout the year so much. 


I decided the colors were just right to decorate a Spring/Easter tree on top of my dining room curio cabinet. The pastel colors match quite well with the Spring snow ladies on either side. 


 And, I've had this purple/pink necklace or woven scarf for a few years and love the colors so much. Like the other scarves I'm showcasing today, this one is very lightweight and easy to wear with many outfits.


I decided it might look pretty and add some additional color draped around the woven basket with the bunny inside. The colors all compliment each other in this arrangement which could carry over past Easter and into the rest of Spring and Summer. 

Colorful bunny to add to my Springtime decor

It's fun to think outside the box with what we own and how our belongings can be used in multiple ways. What accessories do you own that might have been purchased to use in one particular way but that you might find lots of other ways to use? Share your thoughts in the comments and have a wonderful and blessed Easter weekend!

Until Next Time,
Debbie


*This post will appear on the blog on Thursday but the subscription notices will announce it is posted on Friday. 

Monday, March 25, 2024

Holy Week and Recent Activities

 Catching Up With My Readers


Good Monday morning everyone!  I've been missing in action from the blog for a couple of weeks so I thought we could catch up today. I am a Certified Lay Servant in the United Methodist Church and every few years I need to recertify by taking a course. So, I have been busy with a course taken through beadisciple.com which is an institution associated with Southwestern College, a United Methodist Institution, located in Kansas. You may recall that I taught for Be A Disciple for quite a few years. 



Anyway, the course that I took was entitled, "The Arts in Worship," and was taught by a wonderful instructor named Cindy Curtis. Cindy brought so much to the course with lots of ideas for using the various arts to enhance worship experiences and I also met many lovely fellow students who also had great ideas to share. I'm looking forward to planning with my fellow staff members at church to see what we can incorporate into some upcoming services. I'm thinking along the lines of liturgical dance and sign language used in conjunction with the handbell choir I direct. Our congregation is mostly retired folks at this point, and it's a bit challenging to find folks who can/are willing/have the expertise to do liturgical dancing and sign language. I have some feelers out, though, so fingers crossed some folks come forward. God always provides, so even though my plans may happen later rather than sooner, that's okay. God's timing is always perfect! And, one of the points that Cindy emphasized, is that adding the arts is meant to enhance the worship experience for the congregation and not to put on a show. So, that is a point to remember in the planning, as well.


I don't know about any of you dear readers, but I'm finding that I can't juggle as many things at once as I used to do. Hence, I haven't been blogging the last couple of weeks because I was doing class assignments. When I combined doing assignments with household chores, social engagements, taking care of our furry family members and church activities, there wasn't lots of time left. 

Do you find there are periods of your life when some things just have to be put on hold? 


And, now, here we are at the beginning of Holy Week leading up to glorious Easter Sunday! I'm looking forward to celebrating Easter with lots of wonderful music, including the handbell choir ringing God's praises. I'm blessed to work with a wonderful group of folks in the bell choir. They are so dedicated in coming out each week to rehearse and we have lots of laughter and fun. One of our traditions in my church is to have Lilies on the altar at Easter in honor or memory of loved ones. I have arranged to have two lilies on the altar-one in memory of my parents and the other in memory of my sister who passed away a year and a half ago. As it looks now, Easter Sunday should be warm and partly sunny. I hope that weather stands as dreary Easters are a bit depressing. But, whatever the weather, we will celebrate that He Is Risen and that is the most important thing!

You may have noticed that many of the images on this post (taken by either me or The Mr.) are water images. As I inserted these water images, I was thinking of this scripture from Ezekiel 43:2

And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the east: and His voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with His glory.

There are other scriptures, such as Revelation 1:15, that speak to God's voice as being the sound of many waters or rushing waters. These scriptures are very meaningful to me. I have always found the sound of water to be calming, soothing, and exciting all at the same time. These scriptures remind me to listen for God's voice in my life. 

How is God speaking to you at this point and time?


The flowers that I planted on the back porch are doing well for the most part. I may need to add a few pansies to a planter or two for fullness. I have to keep reminding a certain four legged family member (River!!) not to eat the pansies. Wasn't there a show or song years ago called, "Please don't eat the daisies?" Well, in River's case it would be please don't eat the pansies!

I will close for now, as I am hungry and want my breakfast. Today is Monday and I will plan another post for Friday of this week so be sure to stop by then. I hope you all are well and enjoying the beginning of a fresh, new week. One of the things I learned in my course was how to construct a simple video using Canva, so I will close with the video I created. 

Please take a moment to leave a comment and let me know what you have been doing or comment on any part of this blog. You may want to give your own response to any of the questions in bold print. I always love hearing from you!


Until Next Time,
Debbie