Monday, November 11, 2019

Not Posting for a Few Days

News From Debbie

Dear Readers: I will not be posting for awhile due to a family health emergency. I will be back but don't have a timeline at this time. Prayers are appreciated. 

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Things I'm Loving Right Now

Some Loves and Some Likes


It's been awhile since I have shared some things I'm loving with you and I thought today would be a good day to catch up! First up are some books that I'm currently reading. One I'm loving and the other.....well, I like it somewhat. 


The book I'm loving is, "The Cats Came Back" by Sophie Kelly. This is one of the latest entries in the Magical Cat Series. I absolutely adore the two cats in these books! Owen, the tabby, and Hercules, the tuxedo, are more human-like than cat-like in so many ways! Kelly has a way of describing their behaviors, facial expressions and oddities that just makes their personalities come alive! These books are gentle mysteries with Owen and Hercules helping their owner, Kathleen, solve the mystery with a little help from their "magical" ability to walk through walls and disappear at will. I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves gentle mysteries (meaning there is always a death to investigate but no gory stuff) as well as cats and libraries. All of those items are right up my alley!


The other book I'm currently reading is also part of a series, the Agatha Raisin Mysteries by M.C. Beaton. I'm a bit disappointed in, "The Dead Ringer," however. I was drawn to this book because I have always found Agatha Raisin to be a humorous character and the fact that this story centered around bell ringers in a church also caught my eye. I have read so many books in this series, but I have found recently that the writing just isn't as good as it was at the beginning of the series. I found the same thing happening as the last books of the "Cat Who" series by Lillian Jackson Braun were being promoted. It just seemed like the writing wasn't the same, and the characters were not doing things that were true to their earlier selves. I began to suspect, as I am doing with the M.C. Beaton books now, that either a ghost writer was doing the writing or the author just didn't have her heart in the process anymore. So, while I'm not hating this book, I'm not loving it either. It's more of a "like" situation. I'll finish it but I don't know that I will bother to buy more in the series. Perhaps I'll just check the book out at the library if I want to read another in the series. 


Now, I'm definitely loving hot soups right now! November is the start of soup season at our house and whether it's a vegetable soup served with cornbread.....


Or a mushroom soup served with a green salad, I'm all for soups which are super simple to make and healthy and tasty to eat. I'll give you a hint for how to handle soups when they are too thin which is what happened to me today with the mushroom soup. I usually add a potato to the soup mixture (mushrooms, broth, carrots and onion) which helps with thickening it but, today, I forgot! No worries, though. I just opened a package of instant potatoes and added a little bit to the soup. It thickened it right up. Just add a little, not the whole package or you will have mushroom mashed potatoes!!  I also used an immersion blender to make this soup smooth and luscious!


Now, I hate to admit that I love new eye shadow, but I can say I really like it! There is just something exciting about choosing a new eye shadow palette that I just love! These colors caught my eye for Fall along with a pretty nail polish that promises high shine. I'm a girly girl and like to play with the make-up from time to time even though I don't wear eye shadow or nail polish every day. 


And, finally, I'm still loving the Fall colors even as they become more and more muted. I love seeing leaves on the ground and when I walk around outside and smell that leafy, earthy scent of the leaves I feel happy! Although we do some raking/blowing of leaves my husband mostly mows over the leaves which mulches them up and they just disintegrate into the soil. It works for us better than all the raking and blowing that goes on around us in the neighborhood. 

I hope that you are finding lots of things to love (or at least like) as the week progresses. Leave a comment and let me know what you are enjoying, OK? Can't wait to hear from you!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Saturday Scriptures Devotional:Finding Our Purpose In Christ

Finding Your Purpose



We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels--everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him.  (Colossians 1:15-17, The Message)

When I read this scripture this morning it really touched my heart. Finding your purpose is so integral to knowing who you really are in this life. And sometimes, I think, I can easily confuse job descriptions or things that I do with my purpose. How about you? 

I have long identified as a teacher and, even in retirement from the school system, I find ways to be a teacher. Is that my purpose? 

I'm also a musician. I have spent long hours over many years learning to play instruments, to read music, to direct musical groups. Is that my purpose? 

I'm a wife to my husband, a daughter to my late parents, a sister to my siblings, an aunt to my nephews and nieces, a fur mama to my cats, a friend to my friends, a blogger online. Are these my purposes? 

Confusing, isn't it?  In our culture we identify so much with what we "do" that it is easy to confuse all of this "doing" with our purpose. There have even been books written about finding our purpose in life. Sometimes, now that I'm retired, I feel uncomfortable when I'm asked what I have been "doing" because I feel like I need to come up with a laundry list of important things to say so that others will know that I still have purpose in this life. 

But, as I read this scripture, I am told that my true purpose lies in Christ. It's that simple. My purpose isn't about a job description...although that can be a place in which I fulfill my purpose through Christ.....and my purpose isn't a laundry list of busyness that I have accomplished.....although those things can be ways in which I fulfill my purpose through Christ. 

I'm not a job and I'm not a list of things on a to do list....and neither are you dear reader. 

Rather, you and I are children of God and we are held together through the love and sacrifice of Christ Jesus. This is our identity. Serving Christ is our purpose. 

Chapter One of Colossians goes on to say the following:

He was supreme in the beginning and-leading the resurrection parade--He is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is He, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that but all of the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe--people and things, animals and atoms--get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross. 
(Colossians 1:18-20, The Message)

This is our purpose. Finding our place in Him who gave His all for us. And, yes, when we accept Him we can serve Him by "doing things" in many ways and places. We find our purpose through Christ who guides and leads us throughout life here on Earth and beyond. Loving Christ and responding to His call on my life is my true purpose. 

May you feel God's purpose in your life this day. 

Blessings,
Debbie

Friday, November 1, 2019

A Little Boho Skirt To Start November

Boho Skirt Styling


Hey everyone!  Happy November! I thought I would start off the month by styling a little bit of Boho with this gorgeous thrifted skirt I wore to lunch the other day. 


What caught my eye when I saw this skirt were the luscious, bold colors of this skirt. What is not to love? I love the longer length and it just seemed to feel right pairing it with a long sleeve tee and denim jacket. Can you believe how great my porch flowers still look? As I write this, however, we are getting strong winds and rain bringing a cold front so this may be the end of the flowers for this season!


Even though it's Fall, I see no reason to not wear the colors in the skirt. The colors are such a mix of reds, pinks, oranges, blues and black that the mixture seems to fit right in with all of the Fall seasonal colors. Enjoying the long pendant necklace, as well. A longer necklace seems to balance out an outfit with a long skirt.


So, would you believe that I began looking through my Christmas decor tonight?  I'm not decorating yet but I did want to look at what I have and start thinking about where I want to display certain items. 


I got excited when I saw a few items I had forgotten about that I bought at the end of last season! I did a major clean out after last Christmas and so I am looking forward to using the items I kept and really enjoying them. 


I can't help but wonder, though, at the passing of time. Here we are already in November and the holidays are just around the corner. How is that possible?! As I look at the leaves falling to the ground I realize that the Autumn colors have already peaked. But, in my opinion, that doesn't lessen the impact of their beauty. There is something truly beautiful in seeing the muted Fall colors; the golds, browns, reds and browns all whirling and swirling and twirling through the air creating a cacophony of color....kind of like this boho skirt I am wearing!

If you enjoy boho skirts like I do, head on over to a thrift store and see what you can find. Or better yet, look in your closet and see what brilliant colors you can combine to create a beautiful cacophony of color all your own! And, you might want to check out another boho skirt I shared on a previous post! Have fun and let me know in the comments if you enjoy wearing beautiful colors in the Fall!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Match Made In Seven Fall Fashion Favorites

 Wearing Your Fall Fashion Favorites



Hello friends and welcome to another edition of Match Made In Seven. I think you will be as excited as I am about this month's challenge! For those of you who are new to this collaboration of international bloggers, here is what we are about.

We are an international group of fashion bloggers who meet once a month. One of us chooses a theme in turn, and that can be anything. A book, music, a color, a movie. And then we style an outfit based on that theme. The theme of this month is chosen by me and is: Fall Fashion Favorites! Also, take a look at the other bloggers and how they have interpreted the theme this month. (See list at end of post).



I think of all the seasons we get to enjoy, Fall is my favorite! It is just so pretty with the leaves changing colors and the air getting cooler and fresher!
God is the best designer in my opinion!



Since our challenge this month is Fall Fashion Favorites I decided to share this pretty paisley dress chock full of Fall colors! I am enjoying wearing this dress so much and I'm showing you the dress with and without a jacket and with higher shoes and lower shoes, so you can think of the possibilities with what you own in your closet!


This dress is from J.C. Penney and the brand is "Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit" and there are many designs if you are interested. I'm pairing the dress with a vintage long chain necklace, gold hoop earrings, shoes with higher and lower heels and a leopard print purse. I love the 3/4 length bells sleeves and the pattern mixing on the dress. For extra warmth, adding my brown jacket is just the right touch! You may also notice that I am wearing hose. I still believe that there are times when wearing hosiery is appropriate and this is one of those times. To me, the outfit looks better with hose on my legs, plus my legs are warmer. I don't know how women go bare legged during the cooler/colder months, not even for fashion! I will also wear tights with this dress and perhaps boots when it is even colder. 


I was trying to blow you a kiss here and my husband, who was taking these particular pictures, said I looked like I was smacking myself in the face!


And that threw me into fits of laughter! My husband has always had the ability to make me laugh. Never let it be said that blogging isn't fun!!

Now, before you go look in your closet to see what Fall Fashion goodness you can put together, be sure to check out the other lovely ladies in our collaboration to see what they came up with this month!


Until Next Time,
Debbie
(Not a gifted or sponsored post. Photography by Debbie Ross and William Ross)

Friday, October 25, 2019

How To Get The Most Wear Out Of All Your Clothing

Getting Double Duty From Clothing


Hey Everyone! If you are like me, you want to get the most wear you can out of all your clothing, right?! That's why I'm excited today to be sharing lots of ideas with you about how I do just that. I did a little playing around in my closet and have come up with what I think are some cute outfit ideas that use elements that may surprise you! First up is the cute t-shirt that I just LOVE (wink!).


This t-shirt is super soft and cozy, easy to wear, perfect with jeans....AND.....(shhh don't tell anybody) it's really a pajama top! Could you guess that by looking at it? I couldn't. With today's casual wear fashion, including many pajama tops, you simply can't tell the diff between them being a cozy top or actual sleepwear. So, yeah, this top does double duty for me. Sometimes I wear it as a top and sometimes it's sleepwear. (Guess my secret's out!)


Next up, I've got my PJ's on, my sleep mask in hand, and I'm ready to snooze the night away! Nothing like a warm top to wear to bed, right? Especially when it's not really a pajama top at all but a long sleeved tee! I love wearing long sleeved tees as PJ tops especially on chilly nights. Cassie decided to photo bomb this picture and roll around on the floor. She says that being covered in fur is the best way to sleep!


So now, I'm wearing the same long sleeve tee, this time as a true top, and I've added jeans, shooties and a very cozy and warm white jacket. 


This jacket is perfect for the chillier temps we are having now. I love the jacket so much, in fact, that I have it in three colors; white, black and gray. Now...would you believe that this "jacket" was actually sold as a bed jacket? Yep, I had been wanting a bed jacket for YEARS and when I saw these for sale a couple years ago I snatched them up in three colors. They work perfectly as bed jackets when you want to sit up and read in bed or watch TV. They also are perfect as jackets or sweaters. I've seen jackets and sweaters sold that look just like these. Who could tell the difference?! 

necklace turned into a bracelet

And the bracelet I'm wearing here? Yes, it's a shorter necklace that I have doubled up to turn it into a bracelet! Double duty!

black and white duster

So, here, I changed to a black top and added a kimono/duster that I've shown you before on the blog. Notice that my bracelet is back to being a necklace? 


You should know by now that I love dusters since I've been showing different ones to you a lot lately! But, guess what else you can do with a duster? 


You can turn it into a scarf!


Yep, I love getting double duty out of my duster. Think of packing to go on a trip and you take a duster that serves two purposes!  And speaking of scarves.....

ways to wear an infinity scarf

Remember my new Paparazzi ring I showed you a few posts ago? Well, I'm using it as a scarf holder in this picture!


The scarf I'm wearing is actually an infinity scarf but rather than wrap it around my head twice I left it long, pulled up the bottom partway and put my ring on to hold it in place. So, I got double duty from both the ring and the infinity scarf!

Now, go get in your closet and see what items YOU have that can do double duty for you! It's so much fun to play dress up and see what new outfits you can come up with! Plus, getting double duty from your clothing can be a real money saver. It's a win-win thing! Let me know what new ideas I gave you in the comments and please share your ideas for getting double duty from your clothes!!

(Many of these pics were taken inside due to it getting dark and being cold outside! Sorry they are not super high quality. I did the best I could!)

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Long Gray Cardigan

The Long and the Short of It


Hello Everyone! Is anyone else besides me astounded at how quickly October seems to be going? It seems like time is zooming by for some reason. I'm happy to report, though, that it finally is feeling like Fall around here and sweater weather is in right now. Today, I'm sharing a long gray cardigan that is perfect for those chilly mornings. 


I came across this cardi the other day when I was killing time waiting for a hair appointment and decided to wander into a boutique shop that I had never been into yet. It's called "Pink Regalia" and, if you are local, it is located between Apollo Flame Restaurant and my hairdresser, One Step Ahead, on Hendersonville Rd. 


This cardi was on the clearance rack which brought the price down by 50% to an amount I felt was reasonable. The cardi is long, similar to the dusters I have shown you recently, and I love the fact that it is not too heavy and that the long lines are very slimming!  The brand is one I had never heard of before, "I Joah." I looked up the brand and what I find online is quite expensive. I really got a bargain! 

In other news, we had rain this past weekend and it really brought out the color in the trees! Here is a picture I took today as the Mr. and I were driving down our road.


I've been wondering if we were going to get pretty color this year and it is finally here! This will be peak week I think at this rate. 

I hope that wherever you are, you are enjoying these beautiful Fall days and cooler temps!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Monday, October 14, 2019

How Do You Cozy Up For Fall?

Autumn Coziness


One thing I enjoy about Fall is all of the coziness that goes with this season. There is just something endearing about putting on a fuzzy jacket, sipping a hot cup of tea and soaking in all of life that comes in Autumn! Today, I'm sharing a list of some of my favorite Autumnal things!

Colors

A couple weekends ago I went on my annual retreat with a group of lovely ladies that form a wonderful supportive group. The Fall colors were just starting to peek out as I walked around the grounds taking pictures.


The red colors are always my favorite!


Or, perhaps I like the golds the best? It's hard to choose!

Foods

Fall is the beginning of soup season in my house. I love hearty and nutritious soups like this homemade chicken noodle soup made with organic chicken broth, chunks of chicken, a mix of whole grain and no yolk noodles and flavorful carrots. 


Each bite is guaranteed to make you feel good inside!


Or how about this luscious organic egg frittata that one of the ladies made for our breakfast during retreat weekend? 


As you can see from our table laden with goodness, we ate well during retreat weekend!

Decor

I'm continuing to add bits and pieces to my Fall dining room decor as I see something I like. This tobacco basket from A.C. Moore looks great behind the white mini pumpkins topping the corner shelf. 


I'm also moving a few things around like this bottle lamp. 


And this flower arrangement that was in the foyer now graces the top of the pantry cabinet in the dining room. I find it fun to rearrange items to create a sense of coziness from room to room. Sometimes I discover an object looks better in another spot. Finding a new space for a lovely object is part of the coziness!

Reading

I love a good book any time of the year, but somehow in the Fall, I go back to old favorites like "Tyler's Row" by Miss Read.


I love the illustrations in this old book which tells the story of a retiring schoolmaster and his wife who buy a set of four row houses in Fairacre and work on renovating the houses while two tenants are still in residence. 


Here's a little bit of page one if you are interested. I found this book in a bookstore years ago and just smelling the "old book" smell makes me happy!

Crafting


Fall is also the best time for doing a little crafting, especially with the holiday season coming up. Here's a sneak preview of a craft I have been working on lately. More on this craft in a future post! 

So, what's on your list for Fall coziness? Hope you'll leave a comment and let me know. 

Until Next Time,
Debbie