Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Life Lessons From A Year of Blogging

Happy Birthday to debbiethisandthat.com...
               My Blog is One Year Old!

Chocolate Cake With One Candle Clip Art
clker.com free clip art

If someone had told me one year ago today, that I would be celebrating a one year anniversary of my very own blog in a year's time, I wouldn't have believed them. But, as of this Saturday, July 30th, this will be true. I will be celebrating the one year anniversary of Debbiethisandthat. 

And here is the most exciting part of the blogiversary......
quotes about time passing and memories

It's a great feeling to know that I made the right decision to start my blog. It's also a great feeling to know that, one year later, I still take great delight in the writing, the ideas, the learning that have come over the course of this year. But, this didn't come easily to me. I must have started creating a blog two or three times before I got my courage up to just do it that Thursday last year as I sat on my couch. I was pretty well convinced that my computer would explode or that I would somehow get in over my head with computer glitches that I couldn't figure out how to solve. But.....as in most cases where we fear the worst.....none of that ever happened. 

Angry coder by ousia

And so, here I am, one year later, reflecting on all that I have learned, where I'm at as a blogger, and where I hope to be in the future. Today, I'm focusing on life lessons I have learned as a result of blogging. 

Drum roll please.........

1. Don't be afraid to try new things. And along those same lines.....

2. Don't expect perfection from the get go.

3. Learning is part of the fun!

4. Relax in front of the camera.

5. Get Mr.thisandthat to take pictures whenever possible!

6. Blogging can be a hobby and blogging can be a job, but either way.....it's a WHOLE lot of work!

7. Blogging opens doors to community and to friendships that are worth their weight in gold. 

8. Bloggers are really KIND people! If you ask questions.....they will help you!

9. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

10. And.......if all else fails........get the cat to write your post for you!

I also owe a debt of gratitude to the bloggers who came before me. The folks who I have followed and enjoyed reading over the years. The folks who inspired me to become a blogger myself! Thanks to all of you! (You know who you are!!)

It seems like many of the life lessons from a year of blogging are lessons that can be applied in many aspects of life. How do I sum up the lessons in one sentence?

Sometimes, you've just gotta DO IT!

Have a great day, dear readers! And many thanks to you who have supported Debbiethisandthat from the beginning. Hope you'll leave a comment.

What has been your favorite post?  What is a life lesson that you have learned?  When have you tried or embraced something new? 

Until Next Time,

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Creative Nail Polish Colors and Nail Art

        Getting Creative With Nail Art

Nail Art
Public Domain Image

I've always been a little late to the party, as it were, with some fashion trends. And that has certainly been the case with bold nail color choices and decorative nails. As a mostly clear, frosted white, pink and light red nail polish wearer of many years, I haven't been very adventuresome in the nail department. But, lately, I have decided to go boldly where I haven't gone before (Star Trek talk) and experiment with some more modern nail color choices. And there are so many to choose from!
Free Clip Art

My first foray into the wide world of nail polish colors was shown on this post when I styled my white Skechers sandals with a striped dress. You can read the whole post here.

Since blue is one of my fave colors anyway, I decided to go with that color for a "trial run" of a new toe polish color. And I decided I really liked the look! But then, I decided to go even bolder! Why not try another new color (like purple) and just go for broke and add some cute sparkly nail decals, as well!  (I'm such a wild woman!) So, here is my latest look. The two decals don't show up as well as I hoped in the photo. They are simply stick on decals that I covered with a clear topcoat to keep them in place. 

What do you think?  It's fun to try new nail polish and experiment with being a little bolder with style and color. One of the joys of being over age 50, for me, is feeling more confident in trying new things. Keeping my style fresh is part of that confidence. Hmmm....I've tried some bold new nail polish...I wonder what I could do with some of those bold hair colors? (Maybe I'm not quite ready for that ....  yet.......)

How about you? Have you tried bolder nail polish colors? How do you step out of your comfort zone with style? Hope you'll leave a thought.....

Until Next Time,

Linking With:
Sydney Fashion Hunter

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tall Tails...As Only A Cat Can Tell It

Blog Central Headline News

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog with this bulletin: While Debbiethisandthat takes a brief rest from the computer, Ace Reporter, Gracie the Cat, will be filling in as host writer. Although encouraged by "Fur Mama" to keep the blog post simple, Gracie has decided to wrap her paws around a delicate subject of interest to felines and humans everywhere......

Gracie the cat, here, coming to you live from the back door bureau with several topics of catly interest. I promise a purring good time will be had by all while Fur Mama takes a break and I take over....er.....have this opportunity to, once again, write on the blog. Although I was given several topics to avoid writing about, I have decided to ignore these rules, like a good cat should do, and write about them anyway. First off on the forbidden agenda: 

Why shouldn't a cat write about politics? It's all over that window thing called a TV right now. I can't understand why humans are so interested in this topic. Personally, I'd rather watch my Videos for Cats on YouTube. A squirell hunting nuts is much more exciting. It's obvious to me as a card carrying member of the Furball Party that a cat should be in the White House. Enough with this dog business. Everyone knows that cats know how to get things done. In fact, I'm thinking about campaigning myself. Didn't I manage to establish Tuna Tuesdays and Chicken Thursday treaties with the humans in this house? And how about the Two Sandbox Rule that I spearheaded with great success? And not just two sandboxes, mind you...but one upstairs AND downstairs. Uh-huh....you're listening now, aren't you?! You know I mean business when it comes to catmanship! Why all I had to do to whip things into shape around here was to let my humans know that I did not intend to just eat dry food anymore. It took awhile, I'll grant you. But, I'm a cat. I'm patient, cunning and a great actor. You should see my "poor kitty" look that I give them when I want the good stuff. Heh, heh. Plus, it's amazing how walking on top of your humans at 3:00 in the morning and chewing their hair can get results! This is what I'm talking about....just put your paws down and let them know you mean business! That's why I think there should always be a cat in the White House! And furthermore....

"Hey, hey...give me back that computer. I'm not finished with my post yet...hey....fur mama....do I still get tuna? It's Tuesday..."
                                      (sad kitty face)

Until Next Time (If there is a next time...)
Gracie the Cat, Ace Reporter
Old Typewriter           The Cat's Life 14

Above two images courtesy of Public Domain

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summer White Skirt with a Bold Color Top

Closet Shopping...and Post #100

Today's post is showcasing the crisp and classic look of summer white paired with a bold color. This white pleated skirt is fully lined and ultra comfortable for a hot July day. 

The bold color top adds just the right pop of color needed to make the outfit sizzle. I'm not sure of the correct color name to give this top. Is it orange, salmon, red? It tends to take on different hues depending on the color I compare it with. I like the look of solid color against solid color and the ruffles on the top add some extra "oomph" to the look. I do think the horizontal ruffle pattern tends to make me look "wider" at the waist, though, so boo on that point.

I like the combination of two textures together....pleats and ruffles. I've already styled these shoes in another post. They are by "impo" and add a dressy and contemporary vibe to the total look. See the exact shoe on sale here. Great price!

The right jewelry also adds to the classic look. I'm going with all pearls today. You can see my multi layer silver and faux pearl necklace in the previous images. Here, I add two faux pearl dangle earrings and the pearl ring my husband gave me for my 50th birthday. Kind of took the "sting" out of turning 50!

This outfit makes me feel happy to look at!  For some reason, the white skirt reminds me of childhood summers when my mother would hang sheets out on the clothesline to dry in the summer sun. When we would remove the sheets from the clothesline they would be crisp and clean and have that delicious summer smell that was a mixture of sunlight, summer breezes and flower petals. Remember that? It's a happy memory to me. We've lost something, I think, with newer technology....like dryers. Although, I'm not planning on giving up my clothes dryer anytime soon!

I also want to take a moment to celebrate my 100th post today! I arrived at number 100 just a little bit before my one year blog anniversary which comes at the end of this month. I'm proud of my blog and the fact that I have made it to number 100....with, hopefully, many more posts to come! Thank you to all of my sweet readers....I appreciate your spending time with me so much.

Hope you will take a moment to leave your thoughts....about summer white outfits, or sheets hanging on a clothesline, or my 100th post, or anything else that you feel like sharing.....

Until Next Time,

(Top was purchased at Stein Mart, but I removed the tags and don't know the brand. The skirt was thrifted and is by Focus Lifestyle.)

Linking With:
Katherines Corner

Over the Moon Link Party

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Wearing Skorts For Hiking Wear

(No compensation of any form has been received for brands/links/vendors mentioned in this post. All writing/opinions are my own.)
Hiking At The Lake.....Or Not
I'm happy to report that it finally stopped raining in our part of the world today. We've had torrential downpours and nasty storms for several days. We even lost power for over 24 hours. So, feeling the need to get outside while the gettings good, I decided to dust off my hiking shoes and take a hike.  I invited Mr.thisandthat to accompany me so we could enjoy walking together. (And, I could cajole him into taking pictures of me, hehe).

We're fortunate to have a nearby lake that we enjoy walking around and we headed to our favorite spot. However, when we got to the trail we discovered it was closed. A ranger told us that a woman had been attacked by a beaver yesterday! Have you ever heard of such a thing?! I sure hope she will be OK. So, since we couldn't hike around the lake, we changed plans and walked around a nearby neighborhood with a golf course. 

The scenery here was quite beautiful. Lots of green grass and sunshine. And, I'm loving seeing that blue sky! Aren't those Weeping Willow trees in the background just lovely? I've always had a "thing" for Weeping Willows. They are such a dramatic tree. 

As it turned out, I had chosen the perfect outfit for hiking/walking. The Royal Robbins olive green skort is so comfortable and allows for easy movement. Because it is a "skort" and has attached shorts under the skirt, I don't have to worry about bending over or kneeling down to look more closely at a flower. I know I am "covered." Plus, wearing a skort keeps me cool. 

I paired the skort with a basic yellow t-shirt underneath my Patagonia green/brown striped shirt. The t-shirt sleeves were a tad longer than the shirt sleeves so I folded them up and over the shirt sleeves for a colorful, unique look. My stone necklace pulls the look together with more of an "outdoorsy" feel. 

The yellow t-shirt also pulls out the touch of yellow on my New Balance 680v2 running shoes. Now, I'm not a runner, but I typically wear running shoes for walking/hiking. And these shoes are great! I tried these on in a local shoe store and loved them right away but wanted a wider size which the shoe store didn't carry. So, I ordered these from Amazon. Perfection! These shoes have really terrific heel padding which is exactly what I was looking for!

So, even though the hike didn't quite turn out the way we planned, it was still fun to be outdoors....and to be together.....and because I had dressed for comfort, I could walk off in style. 

How about you?  Have you been able to enjoy the great outdoors lately?  Do you walk, run or hike?  What is your favorite exercise clothing?  Hope you'll share!

Until Next Time,
Looking for some similar styles? 
skort-similar here
shirt-somewhat similar here
shoes-exact pair here
sunglasses-Juicy Couture (mine are prescription) many choices here
hat-Steve Madden Chevron Fedora-exact hat here

Today I am linking up with Tania on Wednesday’s Wardrobe.
Marilyn's Treats
Not Dressed As Lamb
Sydney Fashion Hunter

Friday, July 8, 2016

Feel The Heat...NASA Space Weather and Toys in Space

How Hot Is It?

Public Domain Images

It's mid-summer and the temperatures are rising.  The sweat is pouring off our necks as the mercury rises....85 degrees....90 degrees....95 degrees....10,000 degrees....wait a minute!  What?!
Where on Earth is it that hot? Well, that's the point. It's not that hot here on Earth, but it sure is on the Sun. And that's the topic of today's post. Weather on the Sun is one of the most interesting topics of study that I have done with students over the years. As I have watched the temperature continue to rise in my part of the world over the last week I have been reminded of this unit and my own interest in the Sun, planets, solar system and everything NASA.

Sun in February.jpg
Image from Wikipedia Courtesy of NASA
I truly took the Sun for granted for many years.  I knew that it provided warmth for our Earth and was important to the growth of crops and that as Earth moved around the Sun in our orbit the change of our Earth's tilt on its axis would affect which season we were experiencing. But, I never thought much about the Sun having weather. That all changed about six years ago when my dear friend and colleague, Sharon, and I took advantage of a fantastic opportunity to travel to Raleigh, NC and actually study with folks from NASA! The educational specialists that we worked with over the next couple of years couldn't have been more knowledgeable as they taught us how to use free online NASA technology to teach our students about locating solar storms and flares on the sun's surface and predicting when these flares or "coronal mass ejections" could fling magnetic particles out into space which, depending on the direction of the flare, could head toward earth as a solar storm. Luckily, we learned that the Earth is surrounded by a sort of magnetic force field (my terminology) called the "magnetosphere" which, most of the time, simply repels these magnetic storms away from the Earth. Some of the magnetic particles tend to gather at the poles and cause the beautiful "auroras" that create such lovely light shows in the sky. Occasionally, a strong magnetic storm can cause disruptions to power grids, cell phones, radar equipment and satellite systems. So, NASA has scientists that are on the lookout for solar storms 24 hours a day in case a particularly strong solar storm is headed our way. The power grids can then be adjusted to compensate for the magnetic interference. 

sun sun 21
Courtesy Public Domain Clip Art
The sun actually operates on an eleven year cycle for sunspot activity. We are nearing the end of an eleven year cycle, presently, and you may have noticed that there is more press about sunspot activity and solar storms than previously. There has also been a lot of NASA news recently with the Juno Spacecraft mission to Jupiter. Have you been following? So far, the Juno Spacecraft has done just what the NASA scientists want it to do and it will be sending back information about Jupiter to Earth for many months. 


In addition to learning about Sun-Earth connections during our NASA training, my friend and I also learned about toys in space! Did you know that astronauts have taken toys up to the International Space Station in order to experiment with how the toys react in "microgravity?" Microgravity is the relatively small amount of gravity above Earth's atmosphere. The International Space Station is about 220 miles above the Earth's surface in orbit around Earth in a constant state of free fall. This is why the astronauts experience "weightlessness" on the ISS and float around. The NASA educational specialist provided us with some of the toys the astronauts took into space; toys such as climbing bear, soccer balls, kendamas (ball in cup), and yo-yo to name just a few. We were taught how to engage students in exploring with these toys, thinking about how the toys work in Earth's gravity and how they would work differently in microgravity. We would experiment with each of the toys, have discussion and then watch the videos provided online by NASA actually showing what happened on the ISS when the astronauts played with the toys there! 

old spaceman drawing

And do you think the students enjoyed these two units on Space Weather and Toys in Space? You bet they did....and so did the teachers! And what is really awesome, is that the sites for these cool topics are available for general public use! So, if you are interested in learning more about Solar Storms and near live time sun images, go here. If you are interested in learning more about toys in space go here

Now, you know I always enjoy a good trip to Colorado. So, how wonderful was it last summer when Mr.thisandthat and I just happened to stop at a Rocky Mountain National Park ranger station and lo and behold NASA was there!! I couldn't believe my luck! I had such a great time talking with a real NASA scientist and a NASA educational specialist. I got to learn about and hold a model of the James Webb Space Telescope which is the new "Hubble" telescope that will be sending space information back to Earth. And......wait for it.....I got pictures! 

Can you tell I was in awe and thought this was exciting?  I'm such a nerd!!  I've had these pics on display on my classroom door at school so what you are seeing is a "picture of a picture." That's why there is purple around the edges. Anyway, thanks for indulging me today as I dish on my love of space and all things NASA. I have a secret desire to take astronaut training. But....at my age....nah! It's fun to dream though....and watch lots of science fiction movies.....(Star Trek anyone?)......and dream.....

Until Next Time,

Are you interested in space?  Do you keep up with what NASA is doing?   What's new with you?   Leave a message.....I love to hear from you!

Clip art images courtesy of Public Domain Clip Art.  I am not an employee of NASA and received no compensation of any kind for writing this post. All writing and opinions are my own. 

Linking With:
Katherines Corner
Marilyn's Treats

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Red, White and Blue...Fashion, Table Decor and Porch Vignette

Red, White and Blue Spectacular

Getting ready to celebrate the 4th? I'm showcasing red, white and blue today as I share some fashion, table decor and a porch vignette with you in true "this and that"style!  Let's begin by looking at styling for any outdoor activities that come my way this 4th of July weekend. I'm pairing a comfortable pair of blue shorts, with a white pullover top and a vest that adds some "bling" to the look. The scarf adds just the right amount of red to the look. Jean vests are pretty popular right now and I have to admit that I like the look with the shorts and top. 

Here's a look at the outfit without the vest. Which do you like better-vest or no vest? I typically wear capris or knee length shorts but I felt like this pair of shorts was long enough without looking "improper" on a lady of my age. Hope I hit the mark OK. Since I'm 5'4", I sometimes think that knee length shorts cut my legs off and give me a "dowdy" look, especially if I'm wearing tennis shoes. At my height, I border right on the line between petite and regular lengths in clothing. Now, enough of looking at me....let's move on to some table decor, shall we?

I picked up this cute reversible placemat and the two blue goblets at Dollar General the other day. This looks perfect on our little back porch table and adds a festive 4th of July look to the green porch furniture. And, should my glass of iced tea go tumbling it's no problem...the goblets are plastic!

Thought you might like to see the other side of the placemat. Cute, huh? You know I like butterflies!!

And, finally, here's a little front porch vignette I put together using our ancient front porch rocker, ferns and Impatiens. The Americana welcome sign was a gift from my last year's Secret Pal at work. Here's a little interesting trivia about the rocker....we found it on an abandoned airport runway MANY years ago when we were helping some friends move out of their house and it has been a part of our furniture ever since. You can see it needs re-caned on the seat, but that is not part of our expertise. BTW I do usually remove the basket hangers on the ferns, but since I have tended to move them around a lot this summer, I just left the hangers attached. Do you always remove your hangers from plants? 

So, that's a little bit of this and that for today! Hope you and yours enjoy a safe, happy and fun 4th of July weekend! 

Until Next Time,

Clothing Details: (This is not a paid or gifted post)
Vest: Baccini purchase at Stein Mart  (similar)
White top: Purchased LONG ago at Walmart
Shorts: erika brand from Walmart (somewhat similar)
Sandals: BM Bernie Mev,  I think purchased at Stein Mart (not similar but cute)

Not Dressed As Lamb
Living On Cloud Nine


Over the Moon Link Party