Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Blog Recap...What Happened to Summer?

Give Me My Summer Back!

 , animals, baby, cat, angry, face, cartoon, mammals, cute
Public Domain Image

Hey there blogland friends! I guess you could say I'm not a happy cat today! It's already the end of has started back.....and although the temps are still warm, I know what's coming. What's a blogger to do? May as well accept that tomorrow is September and just be thankful for such a great summer.... and....a terrific August of blogging! So let's just dive into the monthly recap, shall we?

Most Viewed Post

No doubt about it, folks loved the butterfly top I modeled in this post. I do too! One reader commented that this had been their most favorite style post of any I had done. Wow! 

There's just something about wearing butterflies that makes you feel good all over!

And The #2 Spot Is....

And in second place for the most viewed was the post in which I invited readers to vote on their favorite accessory choice to go with my blue t-shirt dress. You can see the winner in the above picture. 

This was a really fun post for me to do and it garnered a lot of attention. Who knew that trying different accessories out on a dress hanging on your closet door would attract attention? I'm always amazed when I stumble onto something that's a winner with blogging. I still have so much to learn! Style has definitely taken a front seat on this month's posts!

But I've Gotta Share My Favorite...

I have to say, though, that this post about our Colorado Travels was my fave of the month. Can you tell I was happy about being in the Rockies? There's not a bad view anywhere you look! 

How can you not love this face? 

And if my travels in the Rockies weren't enough beauty, I got to enjoy more lovely scenery a week later when I traveled to West Virginia and Pennsylvania and enjoyed spending time with my family!

Just makes me smile all over thinking about all of the fun times!

Image result for public domain cartoon images of happy cats
Public Domain Image

So, I guess I'll just turn my frown upside down and become a happy cat once again and look forward to September and all of the beauty that Fall brings with it! And...I'll look forward to more blogging adventures to come!

Until Next Time,

How about you? How was your August? Are you sad summer is ending or are you eagerly anticipating all that Fall brings? Hope you'll take a moment to leave your thoughts. I so enjoy hearing from you!

Linking With:
Running in a Skirt

TFT 8-24

Saturday, August 27, 2016

How My Style Choices Have Changed Over The Years

Have Your Style Choices Changed?

I was pondering, this morning, as I prepared for this photo shoot, how my style choices have changed over the years.

Woman In Business Suit
As a young teacher starting out over 30 years ago, I went for the polished professional look.  Streamlined suits and tailored pants outfits were my standard, usually in navy blue, grey, brown or black. I wanted to present myself as being confident and in charge (whether I felt that way or not). I also worked, early on, for a principal who could instill fear in my heart with a mere glance and who gave the teachers the "up and down" look when we arrived for school. After the inspection, this principal had no problem with letting us know if our outfit was not "school proper" and would even send a teacher home if they didn't cut the mustard. (This never happened to me, by the way!). So looking professional, as I viewed it then, was very important. I was starting out in a career and wanted to be viewed a certain way. 

In recent years, though, I find myself being attracted to more flowy fabrics and bolder colors. This outfit is a case in point. This dress definitely does not have the streamlined look of a suit, although I would argue this could still be a professional work look if I added a jacket. However, I chose to style the dress with a filmy scarf-like top in blue/green with lovely flowers dotting the scarf. I am drawn, of late, to these scarf tops and have several in my closet now. I modeled a similar filmy top covered in butterflies in my last post. Click here if you missed it. The fit and flare dress is a classic style that also compliments most figures. Although a bit short for me, it does come to the knee, and I feel the length works because it is, after all, a summer dress. 

The flowers on the scarf match well with the dress color and the blue/green adds an extra pop of color that I enjoy. I have read that adding color next to our skin is important for us ladies as we age. To me, this addition of bolder color and flowy fabrics represents a freedom that I feel as I have grown older. I no longer have to prove myself to anyone. I am more confident in who I am. I certainly want to still be considered "professional" in my career. But, I don't need a business suit to prove that. Rather than hiding behind my clothes, I am allowing my clothing to express my personality more. Don't get me wrong....there is nothing wrong with business suits!  And if you feel confident in one and they express your style, then by all means wear them! I'm talking about me here and how my tastes have changed. There is no right or wrong here with style as far as I am concerned. 

I also enjoy the pretty pattern on this dress. I haven't worn this outfit enough this summer and I need to wear it more before cooler temperatures arrive! The dress was purchased a couple years ago at Walmart and is by No Boundaries. I cut the tags out of the scarf top and thus don't know the brand, but I purchased it at.....wait for it....Walgreens Pharmacy. What? Doesn't everyone buy their clothes at drugstores?! Walgreens actually had several of these cute scarf tops at very reasonable prices. Check out drugstore clothes the next time you shop!

The bracelet and earrings I am wearing belonged to my mother. The cuff bracelet is mother of pearl and is so lovely. The ring was an anniversary gift from my husband, who was my photographer today, by the way. 

You've seen these shoes before, but they bear mentioning again as they are very comfortable and a great summer shoe! The block heel is the perfect height and gives added stability. 

How about you?  Have your style choices changed over the years? Hope you'll chime in and share your thoughts. And do you like to add bolder colors to your looks?  Do you rock a business suit or love a flowy look?  Maybe a little of both?  Looking forward to hearing from you! 

Until Next Time,

Linking With:
Not Dressed As Lamb
Sydney Fashion Hunter
Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
The Blended Blog

Over the Moon Link Party
The FABulous Journey

TFT 8-24

Monday, August 22, 2016

Styling A Butterfly Top

My love of butterflies is well documented on this blog. So, naturally, when I saw this filmy butterfly tunic, I fell in love immediately!

I first saw and admired this top at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant during my recent trip to West Virginia, but talked myself out of buying it.  When I saw it again, today, at a Cracker Barrel here at home, those butterflies just wouldn't let me talk myself out of it again. They kept calling to me...."Buy me, buy me, I'm 40% off..." So, I caved in and am happy with my choice.

The beautiful colors on this top make me happy as does the lightweight feel of the scarf-like material. The tiered sleeves and the longer side lengths add elegance to the look. This is a top that can be worn casually with jeans or leggings or dressed up with a dressy pair of slacks or skirt. 

And I like how my pink Paparazzi necklace and pink ring from Dakota Jeweler's accent the look.

This versatile tunic will take me through the hot days of August into the cooler temperatures of Fall.  I can picture adding a turtleneck underneath when the temps cool to keep these beauties right by my side. No migration allowed for these butterflies!!

I've actually bought several articles of clothing from Cracker Barrel over the years. You can view a couple of previous purchases that I have styled on the blog here, here and here. How about you? Have you shopped for clothes at Cracker Barrel before? Do you enjoy clothing with butterflies or other insects or animals on them? Hope you'll take a moment to share.

Until Next Time,

Shop A Similar Look:

Tunic Top: Indigo Soul  (Somewhat Similar)
Leggings: Rafaella Comfort Skinny Capris (Similar)
Shoes: Andrew Geller (Couldn't find a link. Bought mine at Shoe Carnival).
Over the Moon Link Party
Pumps and Push-Ups

Friday, August 19, 2016

She's Baaaaack...Travels in West Virginia and Pennsylvania

(All images and writing property of excepting the map image below)

On The Road Again

Map of West Virginia

Hello dear readers!  I mentioned in my last post, almost two weeks ago, that I would be taking a break from technology. Well, I was actually on the road traveling to see family in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Mr.thisandthat and Gracie held down the fort at home while I snuck away for a family visit! It was great to see my sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews and family pets. I covered a lot of miles on this trip and, although it was wonderful to see family, I breathed a sigh of relief when I drove into my driveway last evening. A nine hour drive home, including being stuck in a traffic jam for over an hour, was very tiring.

A highlight of the trip was visiting the The Waterfront portion of the Steel Valley Trail in the Historic Steel Valley area of Pittsburgh. The section I visited is located in the Burrough of Homestead and is where the US Steel Homestead Works used to be located. This is also the site of the 1892 Homestead Strike and Lockout.

This section of the river walk is located next to the Monongahela River and is actually part of the Great Allegheny Passage, 152 miles of trail between Cumberland, MD and Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo snapped from car, thus pole in the way).

The day began with a delicious breakfast at Eat'nPark. 

I tucked into scrambled eggs, turkey sausage, home fries and toast.

While my nephew enjoyed this delectable smiley face waffle covered in strawberries and whipped cream.  Decadent!!

This fine fellow greets you when you enter the restaurant. So cute!
Smiley face cookies are the symbol of Eat'nPark Restaurants. 

After eating, we walked off a few calories by walking on the River Walk trail.  To the right of the fence is the river. To the left of the trail are restaurants and greenery.

As you can see, the river scenery is beautiful.

I understand that this is where the steel used to be melted down at the steel mill that sat on this site.

These steel mill stacks are a landmark of the area.

I really missed blogging during this vacation even though I think it's healthy to take a break now and again. I think I'm done with travel now for awhile. I'm sending love to all my family and also to you, dear readers, who were patient with me while I traveled. Hope you are enjoying these last days of August!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, August 7, 2016

And The Winner Is......

Results of Accessory Vote

Well, here is the result of the voting yesterday.  Did your vote win?  I have to say you ladies didn't make it easy on me!  There was actually a tie between Pic #1 (the necklaces) and Pic #2 ( the blue scarf). Since Sweet Nikki had given a second choice (the blue scarf) I used her vote to break the tie. Whew!  What fun, though, to have my dear readers chiming in on the look they liked best. I'll have to try this again sometime. And thank you, Fabulosa, for choosing #4 (the pink scarf) as a bold choice!  I like that hot pink infinity scarf a lot. I think the blue scarf added just the right touch, though, for Sunday morning. 

I loved hearing your thoughts dear readers and want to let you know that I'm going to be taking a little break from "technology" for about a week and a half. But, I'll be back soon with more posts and look forward to connecting again soon. Hmmmm..what could I ask you to vote on next....

Until Next Time,

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Vote on My Accessories for Tomorrow!

Blue T-Shirt Dress Styled Four Ways

Sometimes I like to look at my clothing hanging on the door with different accessories. It gives me a good idea of how the outfit will look styled a particular way. So today, I'm sharing a blue t-shirt dress accessorized four different ways. Which way do you like best? The above pic is #1. Here, I've added a new blue bead necklace with a longer silver toned tassel necklace for more of an elegant look.

This is Pic #2. I added a patterned scarf which looks more casual, yet classy, to me.

Pic #3 adds a pop of color, but in an understated way. This necklace is one of the "woven" style ribbon necklaces that are popular right now. The pinks and purples in the ribbons add hints of color which add interest to the look. 

And, finally, with Pic #4, I have added a bold color statement with a hot pink infinity scarf. 

Which do you like best?  Leave a comment with your choice, please. I plan to wear the accessory that gets picked the most to church tomorrow. So, get your vote in!  Let your voice be heard!  
I'm waiting to hear.....(If nobody votes, I'll just have to choose myself and how much fun is that??!!)

Until Next Time,

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Colorado Food, Shopping, Wildlife and Downtown Denver

A Little Bit of This and That with Travel

(Not a sponsored post. All images property of Debbie Ross/

If you read the title of this blog post, it sounds like a lot of info to cover, doesn't it?  Today, I will be sharing more about our Colorado trip focusing on several aspects of the fun. Namely, some of the great food we enjoyed, shopping we did, wildlife we saw and our excursion to downtown Denver. Whew....let's get started! If you happened to miss the first post I did about our Colorado trip to the Rocky Mountains, you can catch up here.


What's a vacation without great food?  Although the focus of our trip really wasn't about eating....we did manage to get in some good eating along the way at some fun dining spots! 

One day we drove the entire length of Trail Ridge Road from one side of RMNP to the other going from Estes Park to Grand Lake on the other side. We ate at a restaurant we had visited before called, Sagebrush BBQ and Grill. It is on the site of the former 1800's courthouse and jail. We were seated next to an antique jail cell door. The whole restaurant is designed around an old west theme.  

I indulged in a yummy burger while Mr.thisandthat enjoyed the chicken sandwich. Of course, what's a sandwich without fries?!

Our first night in Estes Park, we chose to eat at Peppers Mexican Grill. We had eaten there during last year's trip and wanted to return for another delicious meal.

I tucked into a veggie quesadilla......

While hubby enjoyed a vegetarian salad. 

All of the ingredients were so fresh and delicious. Definitely worth a second visit!


Now, you didn't think I would go all the way to Colorado and not do at least a little shopping did you? I dedicated one day in downtown Estes Park to visiting some of my favorite stores.

Purchased this lovely reversible table runner at Granny Gingham. Love to shop in this store. Can always find something I like!

Also found some new bling at Dakotah Jewelry. This pink bracelet is a wrap around style and will match perfectly with the ring I purchased at the same store last year. They don't have an online website that I could find, but you can Google them for more info.

And you know I had to do some thrift shopping while I was traveling! The hubby and I discovered a local community thrift store in Estes Park last year and returned to it this year after eating at one of our fave restaurants in Estes Park, The Big Horn. Couldn't believe it when I found this Vera Bradley purse for a mere three dollars!! The thrift store is located in the same shopping plaza as The Big Horn.

I came home and researched this particular pattern. Evidently, this pattern is called "Maison Blue" and is a rare, retired pattern that was manufactured between 2002-2004.  Score!!!


This fella greeted us as we came into Estes Park so I snapped a photo. Then he took off in flight....

The wildlife we saw was varied and exciting to see....although, alas, no Bighorn Sheep! I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

The picture above was taken with my phone and doesn't do justice to this beautiful herd of over 100 elk. (My regular camera battery had died). The elk were calling to one another as family units gathered together in the field just inside the park. There were tiny baby elk in the center with one male sitting with them while the females surrounded the babies in a circular fashion. One head female placed herself between the herd and all of the human onlookers. When the herd decided to move on, they lined up in family units and walked together in a line up and over a knoll. It was a gorgeous site to behold!

Downtown Denver
Although we have visited family each year in a suburb of Denver, I have never been to downtown Denver until this trip. We rode the train into downtown which was a lot of fun and avoided the crazy traffic and trying to find parking. 

Our final destination on the train was Union Station which was HUGE and filled with people. 

Downtown Denver was bustling with people, tall buildings and a street fair going on as we walked around.

It was also EXTREMELY hot.....must have been 100 degrees....I was pretty uncomfortable.

I thought this huge chess set was kind of fun.  People were playing as part of the street fair.

There was a giant checker set also. 

It was so hot downtown, though, that it was with relief that we boarded the train and headed back to the suburbs. I have to say that although it was great to see downtown Denver.....I'll still pick the mountains as my favorite spot every time!

So, those are some highlights from my most recent travels. Hope you enjoyed coming along with me. It's great to be back home!

How about you?  Been on any travel adventures of your own lately? Eaten at a great restaurant?  Suffered from the scorching heat of summer?  Hope you'll take a moment to share. It's always so great to hear from you!

Until Next Time,

Linking with:
thursday favorite things