Friday, September 11, 2020

DIY Fall Wreath and Paisley Pumpkins

 How Do You Make A Fall Wreath and Paisley Pumpkins Using A Too Small Shirt? 


Hello everyone! Today, I'm sharing two easy craft ideas with you. These are both diy and great for Fall decorating. If I can do it, anyone can create this beautiful Fall wreath and some fun fabric pumpkins. So, let's get started!


Before starting, I gathered materials I thought I would need on a tray to keep everything neat and tidy. I didn't end up using everything you see on the tray. Sometimes, I create as I go along. Of course, as you can see, I always have my fur assistant nearby. Cassie always stands ready to lend a paw if needed! 


To fashion the wreath, I took some pretty wide brown ribbon with snowy branches and wrapped it around the styrofoam wreath form. When I had wound the ribbon all the way around I secured the end in place with a pin and split the remaining ribbon down the middle and tied it to create the hanger for the wreath. I estimated the amount of ribbon I would need and I estimated pretty closely. It's not a problem if you come up short, however. Just secure the end of your first piece of ribbon with a pin, cut a second piece and continue wrapping. I found the brown/orange plaid bows at The Dollar Store and used one of the bows at the bottom of the wreath securing it under the middle section with a pin. I had bought some Fall color leaf picks at The Dollar Store and I removed the leaves from the stems (easy to do, just pull up on each leaf) and tucked them behind the plaid ribbon, pinning where the pins won't show. The final touch was to tuck in the faux berries (also taken from the leaf picks) into the middle part of the bow. I really like this wreath and am enjoying looking at it hanging in our kitchen on the brick wall! Because the ribbon has branches with snow on them, I can use this wreath through Christmas and the winter. I'll simply remove the leaves and berries and add other touches that fit those seasons as we go along. It may move from the kitchen wall to another part of the house along the way. I love being able to change decor up! Now, let's talk about some paisley pumpkins, shall we?


So, this story begins with a Cha Cha Vente paisley top I had ordered from Poshmark in a size medium. Now, I must tell you that I have tried on Cha Cha Vente shirts many times at Stein Mart that were incredibly loose on me. This brand always tends to run large. And, I was sooo excited for this paisley top to come. I had big plans about wearing it! Well, when it arrived and I tried it on it was so tight I could hardly breathe! It fit more like an extra small and yet, the tag said medium. Bummer!! I thought about just putting it in the bag for Goodwill (no returns at Poshmark because something doesn't fit) but I decided, you know what, I paid for this top and I might as well use the material for something I like. So, the idea entered my head to create some paisley pumpkins!


I started by cutting one of the sleeves about one third of the way up from the wrist hem. I learned from my first attempt to turn the sleeve inside out and accordion folded the hem end and sewed the end shut. Then I turned the sleeve inside out and flattened the sewn end as much as I could.


The next step was to fill the pumpkins with polyfil. I kept filling until there was a bit of firmness and the material took on a ball shape. The first pumpkin I made, I secured the top by twisting and fitting a rubberband around it and kind of messed with the fabric to hide the band. The second one, I twisted the top and fashioned a kind of stem and sewed the top closed. My second one looks better than the first but that's true with anything you make. You have more experience! 


Next, I took thin ribbon and began wrapping around the ball pulling the ribbon tight on each wrap so that the round ball began taking on a pumpkin shape. I roughly divided the ball into six sections and tied off the ribbon. You can then kind of push down on the pumpkin to shape it a bit more. You can see the difference in the pic above between my first and second attempts at these pumpkins. 


And then, it was time for my paisley pumpkins to join the pumpkin patch in my living room! I had fun making these pumpkins and finding a use for my too small top! When life gives lemons make lemonaide, right?!

Hope you have enjoy my easy diy crafts. Let me know what you are doing in the comments!

Until Next Time,
Debbie










 


Saturday, September 5, 2020

Transition To Fall With Tunic Dress and Leggings

 Transition Into Fall With Tunic and Leggings


Hello, Hello!  Here we are into September and I can't believe I haven't shared this tunic/dress with you before. So, let me do that right now. This tunic/dress by Cupio features a high-low hemline and beautiful multi-colored flowers against a blue background. It's a perfect look to wear as we head into Fall.


For some reason I think of a grape popsicle when I look at this outfit. And I like grape popsicles a lot! I'm just enjoying the colors so much! Sometimes, I feel that lots of "busyness" on a top can overwhelm me but I don't feel that way with this tunic. I picked this up on a whim off of a clearance rack at Stein Mart about a year ago and originally intended to wear it as a summer dress. It can be worn that way but I feel that the black leggings allow the pretty colors to really pop!


I've mentioned before that V-shaped necklines can be very flattering. I like ones that don't dip down too low. With so much going on with brightly colored flowers on the fabric, I went with simple bracelets in pink and aqua blue colors. 


I kept the shoes pretty simple with this outfit as well. I'm just loving these Croc Jelly sandals that I bought from Poshmark. So far, I've had mostly good luck with my Poshmark purchases and these shoes are definitely a winner! These are so comfortable and flexible. I worried a bit that the straps might be stiff and hurt or squeeze my foot and toes but no worries there. The material is quite soft and I couldn't believe how well they fit my foot. Because they are a clear neutral color they fit perfectly with this colorful outfit! See similar Crocs here. 


Here's a close-up of the bracelets. Both are Paparazzi pieces. Anymore, I tend to wear bracelets more than necklaces. I'm sure that will eventually change and I'll be back to wearing more necklaces. I go in phases with fashion, how about you? 


You know, some days you just need a little more color to put a pep in your step and a smile on your face and this outfit does that for me. What do you have in your closet that is bright and cheerful and makes you feel great when you wear it? Go look for it and put it on and let that great feeling carry you into Fall! I'm going to do just that with this grape popsicle top! And maybe, I'll eat a grape popsicle while I'm at it. Hmmm...are there any in the freezer?!

Until Next Time,
Debbie





Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Fun, Easy DIY Dollar Store Fall Tablescape

 A Fun Fall Tablescape


Hello everyone!  I haven't done a tablescape in quite awhile and so I'm changing that today by sharing a fun, easy, DIY, Dollar Store Fall tablescape. There is also a video so be sure to watch that after you have read this post!


My color theme for this tablescape is green with Autumn gold. I purchased the placemats, Fall scarecrow beanbags, faux sunflowers and the wooden pieces all at the Dollar Store the other day. It was a quick run in and out since I knew that the Dollar Store always places their seasonal items right next to the entrance door. Of course, I paid for the items before running out, LOL!


The green tomatoes are the harvest from my back porch garden. I'm afraid my tomato and cucumber plants haven't fared so well. The vines began getting brown and sort of shriveling and then a storm the other night bent the tomato vines down. These little guys were hanging on and I picked them and brought them into the house in hopes that they might ripen and we can eat them like cherry tomatoes. Since they are green, however, they fit right into my Fall tablescape decor!


The really nice thing about all of the elements of this tablescape is that the pieces can be used all throughout Fall and into Thanksgiving. The green placemats can be used year round. I always like versatility with everything I buy! To be honest, I can't really believe that September is here and Fall will be arriving officially in just a few weeks. Time really seems to fly by these days. Before we know it the trees will be chaning color, the temperatures will get cooler and Autumn winds will be blowing! I'll be bringing out my pumpkins to display and there will be more opportunities for future Fall tablescapes! Let me know what aspects of today's Fall tablescape you liked best! Look forward to reading your comments. 



Until Next Time,
Debbie

Friday, August 28, 2020

A Drive On The Blue Ridge Parkway and A Chico's Pink Top

 In The Pink On A Parkway Drive


Hey Everyone!  The Mr. and I took a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway today and I thought perhaps you might want to drive along with us. There was some beautiful scenery along the way and we enjoyed getting out for a bit. I'm also combining a bit of fashion in this post. The pink top is one I bought at Chico's about a year and a half ago. I bought a blue top in the same style at the same time. After buying them I decided I didn't like them at all and almost gave them away. Fast forward to this summer and I have been wearing both tops on repeat! Go figure! Sometimes it takes me awhile to realize that I actually do like a clothing item. Does that ever happen to you?


We stopped at the Mt. Pisgah parking lot and walked around a bit and snapped some photos. Today wasn't really about hiking so we didn't go far. I have hiked up Mt. Pisgah several times. I even sprained my ankle on one hike coming back down. There is a great view at the top. 


We enjoyed the views from down below. No sprained ankles today!


We did just a little walking. I love when the rhododendron makes a canopy over the trail like this!


The Mr. enjoying the view.


We keep trying to get better at taking selfies!  The clouds were darkening as you can see. 


Time to go and continue the drive. The top I'm wearing is called "the ultimate tee" and the day I bought it is the only time I have bought clothing from Chico's. The top is 60% cotton and 40% modal. There has been shrinkage and I think it fits better now. The top is comfortable to wear. When I wash and dry it, it comes out of the dryer sort of puckered but once it is on a hanger the material relaxes smoothly if that makes sense. I bought this top on sale. I would not pay the prices many of their "tee tops" are priced at but here is a link to some moderately priced tee tops on sale. 


We continued our drive further on the Blue Ridge Parkway. For a Friday afternoon it wasn't too busy which was nice. 


But, with rain coming, I was ready for us to turn around and head back home. 


So, that was our drive on the Parkway today. It was a nice way to spend a Friday afternoon. How about you? Have you ever driven on the Parkway? Are you a Chico's shopper? Are you great at taking selfies? (If so we need some hints!!) Hope you'll leave a comment and let me know. I look forward to hearing from you. 

And, many thanks to those of you who left such wonderful and thoughtful comments on my last blog post about what is happening with blogging. I loved hearing your thoughts!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

What Is Happening With Blogging?

Is Blogging Becoming Passe?

Hey everyone!  I'm just sharing a few thoughts today about blogging and things I have noticed recently about this favorite hobby of mine. First, though, please notice the beautiful flowers that The Mr. bought for me at the grocery store the other day as we shopped. I'm into fresh flowers right now and these are gorgeous!


Anyway, sometimes as I do chores around the house I think about things, like how groups I have recently been a part of as a blogger seem to be closing down. For instance, I think I told you that "Match Made In Seven" is no more. So, no more monthly challenges to help me move outside of my comfort zone with style. It was fun while it lasted and I did get quite the kick out of saying that I belonged to an "international blogging group." Oh well.  And now, another group, one on Facebook, has closed down. No real reason given other than there were only a few of us participating. But, we were participating. And, I'm going to miss that group. It was another chance to not only share my posts to a wider audience but to also see other bloggers that I like to follow. You may have noticed that I have added some new blogs that I follow to the sidebar on my blog. Check out my list and you might find some other blogs you would enjoy reading. But, hey, be sure to keep coming back to mine, OK?!

Change Profile Photo

Surely to goodness Instagram isn't taking over the blogging world that much! Or is it? I am on Instagram as debbiestyleslife and the above pic is the one I use on my Instagram profile page. You can follow me if you like. But, I certainly am not giving up my blog to just be on Instagram. And, can anybody please explain hashtags to me? I've tried using them and I just don't get what they are supposed to do. I know, I know....old school here. Oh well. 


There are a few things about blogging I don't like very much. The Blogger platform recently changed to the "NewBlogger" and I have chosen to stay with the classic platform. I hope they don't force me to go to the new one. I don't like change and I will go kicking and screaming if I have to! But, I will still continue blogging. I guess this old dog will just have to learn a few new tricks! I also get very annoyed at blogs that have lots of ads on the page and you can't read the blog post for all of the ads popping up all over the screen! That is so annoying and it has turned me off of more than one blog! I understand that some folks monetize their blogs to make a living and/or to drive down the costs of what they pay for on their blog but that doesn't take away from feeling annoyed when I'm trying to read a post. 


So, just a few thoughts about blogging today. Do any of these thoughts resonate in some form or fashion with you? 

What do you think of when you do chores around the house? 

Oh, and hope you enjoy the pics of the fox. He was a recent backyard visitor. 

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Remember to keep smelling the roses each day!



Saturday, August 22, 2020

My First Experience With Poshmark

Thrift Shopping Online

*I am not a seller for or representative of Poshmark. All writing and opinions are my own. 

Hello, hello everyone!  I don't know about you but Covid-19 has really put a stop to the thrifting that I love to do at Goodwill. Spending an hour or two looking through the racks and finding something wonderful for a few dollars has always been a fun outing in my opinion. But, even though the stores are now open, I just don't feel that I want to go in right now. So, I was kind of excited when I found Poshmark online and decided to scoop up a few items and give it a try. My very first buy from Poshmark is the lovely Alfred Dunner red top you see above. 


For those readers who may not be familiar with Poshmark, it is an online buying and selling platform for clothing, jewelry, shoes and selected makeup and beauty products. I have heard Poshmark spoken about on other blogs I read for quite awhile but had never looked into what it offered until about three weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of gently used and new-with-tags clothing that is offered by different sellers. You must set up an account to browse (email, a user name you select and a password you invent) and then you can create your "feed" on which you can select brand name clothing you like. You can also search for any brand using a huge list of brands already listed in A-Z order. If you see an article of clothing you are interested in you can either buy it at the sellers price or you can "make an offer" for the item and wait to see if the seller counter-offers or accepts your price. If they accept your price it is automatically sold to you. I have found it fun to make offers to see what happens. The red top was listed for $16 and I offered $8 which the seller accepted. I use paypal for purchases on Poshmark but I believe you can also use other forms of payment as well. I'm still learning the platform. There is a standard $7.11 shipping fee which, in my opinion, can take away from getting a bargain. So, I take that into consideration when making a purchase. If you buy from one seller only, you can "bundle" items and get a discount on the bundle. I have also learned that if I "like" an item the seller will usually come back with an offer of a lower price and/or a lower price for shipping (usually $4.95). 


This striped top with bell sleeves by "A New Approach" is another item that I bundled with a pair of sandals. I actually messed up a bit on my first order because I didn't understand how to do "bundling" from one seller. The red top, striped top and sandals were all from the same seller and I ended up buying the red top first and getting free shipping (which you get for your first order) and then I saw the striped top and sandals and made offers on them but then realized that I would be charged for shipping. Oh well, it took me awhile to learn the platform and how everything works. The Crocs sandals (not shown in this post) were marked by the seller at $19 and the striped top was marked by the seller at $13. I offered lower prices on both and the seller offered me a bundle price of $11 for both items together! I had to pay the shipping costs and tax which brought the total up to $19 but I still think that's a pretty good bargain!


So, here is my list of pros and cons for using Poshmark. 

Pros: 
  • There are many, many sellers offering a plethora of clothing items and brand names
  • You can search for items by brand names or "follow" a particular seller that you like to "shop their closet."
  • If you are so inclined, you can sell on Poshmark as well as shop for items. I am not interested in selling items at this time. 
  • It is possible to make lower offers for items. The offers may or may not be accepted by the seller.
  • The buyer is able to "decline" offers that are made by the seller.
  • For those who like the social aspect of things, Poshmark can be an avenue for social commenting on items and "parties" offered to shop clothing online. I have not taken advantage of the social aspect of Poshmark.
Cons:
  • It takes awhile to learn the platform. It's not difficult but I recommend exploring for awhile before diving right into making purchases. I missed out on free shipping for all my items because I wasn't quite sure what I was doing.
  • The shipping fee is at a set price of $7.11 whether you buy one item or multiple items from one seller. And, if you buy from multiple sellers you pay the shipping fee for each seller. Plus you pay tax for each purchase. So, in my opinion, the shipping fees can take away from the bargain aspect of buying an item. 

I have enjoyed browsing Poshmark and seeing what they offer and I am enjoying my new purchases. I also have a couple pairs of pants on order right now so I will have some more Poshmark items to show you in future posts. I have found that Poshmark is not as good a bargain as Goodwill, due to some of the seller's prices and the shipping costs, but I like what I have bought so far and it is possible to find some really quality, name brand pieces on Poshmark so I recommend giving it a try! 

Have you bought from Poshmark before? Are you a bargain shopper like me? Hope you will leave a comment and let me know! 

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Pink Top, Hiking Trail, Harvest Time and Good Eats!

Food, Fashion and Fun!


Hi Everyone! In true this and that fashion, this post has a little of everything so I hope you enjoy and gain some inspiration. First off, I'm sharing a pink top that I am wearing a lot of late. It's a very simple solid pink top by Time and Tru which is a Walmart brand. I like the square neckline and the smocking along the sleeve and neckline which adds a little something extra to this casual shirt. I'm wearing a medium for size reference and it's quite roomy. This brand tends to run large. 


The Mr. took these pictures on the "Point Lookout Trail" which is a hiking/biking trail which connects Black Mountain, NC to Old Fort, NC. It is a distance each way of about 3.5 miles.  We were scouting this trail as the Mr. is interested in possibly hiking or biking it. We walked awhile and it is a lovely and quiet trail which I think I would enjoy hiking also. It's an old highway that is closed to motorized traffic so only foot traffic and bikes are allowed. 


And ta-da!  Here I am harvesting the first cucumber from my container plants I have been babying along since February!


This is what it looked like before I pulled it off the vine. It was delicious!


And in other food news, here is a vegetarian skillet meal I created recently. It is loosely based on a favorite fried rice with pineapple dish that my friend, Sharon, and I always order at a local Thai restaurant. I was craving the dish and invented this one myself to enjoy at home.


Here it is on the plate. It was incredibly easy to make. I started with a package of steamed brown rice and sauteed the rice in some olive oil in a skillet. I then added leftover steamed mixed vegetables and cut up two Morningstar Farms vegetarian chicken patties and added that to the mix. As a final touch at the end, I stirred in some pineapple chunks and Durkees onions for a little crunch. It was delicious and satisfied my craving for the Thai restaurant dish. 


I enjoyed a really delicious salad for lunch today, also. I like my salads chopped so I chopped up iceberg lettuce and baby spinach and then topped it with chopped celery and carrots. I added roast turkey slices and 2 tablespoons of a nut/raisin mix I get at the grocery store called "No Salt Added." It's a mix of almonds, cashews, walnuts, raisins and sunflower seeds. Topped off with Ranch dressing it was a crunchy delight. Yumm!!

So that's it for now. Just a little bit of this and that from my house to yours. Stay well and happy!

Until Next Time,
Debbie