Saturday, March 30, 2019

Match Made in Seven: Accessories

Accessories Make The Look!

Welcome to the monthly edition of  Match made in Seven! 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 Debbie and is: Accessories Make The Look! Also, take a look at the other bloggers and how they have interpreted the theme this month. (See list at end of post).

I'm excited to be able to choose the theme for this month because accessories are near and dear to my heart! I am definitely an accessories girl who believes that the right accessory can bring a little extra "oomph" to any outfit. I'll be taking a very basic outfit of jeans and a brown long sleeved tee and showing how it can be styled to look very different depending on which accessories are worn. 

Here, I'm keeping it simple with a necklace, bracelet and brown flats. Pretty low-key styling. 

Adding brown heels and a cute peach color tassel clutch brings the style up a notch, don't you think?

Heels have a way of always making any outfit look dressier, don't you agree?

Nothing like adding some bold pops of color with a flowered kimono and red booties. 

And some extra red with the addition of the straw purse. To me, the outfit looks totally different than in the first picture. 

And, look at how the outfit instantly changes with the addition of some bright shades of pink. I love this Spring-like look!

Which styling was your favorite? Please take a moment to leave a comment. I love hearing from my readers! And be sure to visit all of the other lovely ladies and see how they styled this month's theme!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Boho Style Skirt and Weekend Happenings

Boho Style

I hope you are having an awesome first weekend of Spring! I'm popping by to share a thrifted boho skirt that brings some "spring pink" color and also sharing some weekend highlights. Let me know how your weekend is going at the end of the post, OK?

I've been hunting for a feminine style, swishy skirt to wear and I found this pretty one at Goodwill a couple weekends ago. I like the brown, creme and pink tones of the skirt and the little pink designs have sparkly adornments on them to give a little extra "oomph" to the look. I figure this skirt can easily go through all seasons just fine. I didn't start out to specifically choose a boho style skirt, but I do like this particular one.

It's very lightweight and comfortable to wear. I did a little pattern mixing with the checked blouse under the sweater against the paisley print of the skirt. I think it works. 

I have priced these boho style skirts online for around $38, so I figured the $4 price tag at Goodwill was a real bargain! What do you think?

In other news, it has been an interesting and unique Saturday for the Mr. and I.  We stopped by our local university to cheer on the Robotic Teams that are competing. This was a new experience for us and it was enjoyable. Here, we are standing next to the "Macon County Bot's" robot. One of the Mr.'s friends is a mentor for the group. It was fun to see high school students getting enthusiastic about robot science! We are standing in the area known as the robot "pit" and therefore we had to wear safety glasses. 

Here, our friend explains the robot's inner workings to the Mr. 

After lunch, I dropped off the Mr. at a trail and I went to walk at the N.C. Arboretum. Some of the flowers are just beginning to get blooms so there weren't many flowers to snap photo of. Instead, I took pics of the some of the architectural displays like this one at the entrance to the educational building. 

I tried to get artistic with an interesting viewpoint. These pics were taken with my phone camera by the way. 

I like the mountains and wheat in this metal sculpture.

Like the butterfly on this metal archway that covers the path up to the educational building.

Buds just coming out on what I believe is a tulip tree. (Correct me if I'm wrong. I'm not a tree expert!)

Such a unique metal sculpture in this garden area! 

And this is how Debbie has spent the weekend so far. How about you? How are you spending this first weekend of Spring? Hope you will leave a comment and let me know. Whatever you are doing, make sure to enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Things I'm Delighted to Share Spring 2019

Sharing With My Readers

Hey friends! I haven't posted a "delighted to share" post in quite awhile so, today, I am going to fix that right up! I'm writing about several things I am truly delighted to share with you and I hope you enjoy reading! Let me know at the end of the post, OK? By the way, this is not a gifted or sponsored post at all. I paid for all of the products/services/books/foods I am sharing in this post. Let's get started, shall we?

Pampering Myself with a Manicure:

Oh my goodness, it has been a looong time (as in years) since I have treated myself to a manicure! But, today, I rectified that by visiting my sweet hair stylist, Teresa Case, and enjoying the most awesome of warm lotion manicures! I had forgotten how self-pampering and relaxing a manicure done by someone else can be. I came away relaxed, smelling luscious from the mango-scented cream and with very pretty and colorful nails! While there, I also enjoyed meeting and talking with sweet Linda who does the pedicures at the salon. I have never had a pedicure at a salon and I am now putting it on my "pamper list" for the future! Teresa also sells Paparazzi jewelry, which y'all know is one of my favorites. So yes, I came away with a $5 treasure after my manicure!

Can't wait to style this pretty necklace and earrings with an outfit!

If you are local to Asheville, you can find Teresa at her salon, "One Step A Head," at 485 Hendersonville Rd. (same shopping center as Apollo Flame). Whether you are local or not, I highly recommend you pamper yourself a little. Go get a manicure (or pedicure) ladies!! 

Enjoying Reading:

One of the true joys of my life is reading. Some of almost everyday is spent with my nose in a book. Sometimes, I read during the day and sometimes I read at bedtime. It just depends. But, I get grouchy when I can't have my reading time! I still love to hold a "real" book, as opposed to an online book, in my hand. We recently purchased book shelves for our downstairs family room and the Mr. and I have been moving books downstairs to our "library." I find that I enjoy just standing inside the doorway and smelling the scent of books. Does that sound strange? The scent of books makes me happy. I hope we never get to the point in this world where children don't have the opportunity to hold a real, live book in their hands and smell its heady scent. 

Anyway, in the picture above you see several books that I am presently reading. I've mentioned before that the way I roll is to have several books going at once. Some of these are re-reads and some, like the Jacqueline Winspear "Maisie Dobbs" novel, is a new read for me. Upper Room is a devotional magazine that comes out every couple of months. "Miss Read," "The Magical Cat" series and the old Perry Mason book by Erle Stanley Gardner are old friends that I come back to time and again. I'm also finishing up "Becoming Michelle Obama," which a friend loaned to me and I highly recommend. I hope you take some time in your life to do some reading! Bonus points if you hold the "real" book in your hand and inhale the scent!

Loving Pretty Soaps and Shea Butter Cream:

Every winter it seems my skin suffers from dryness. I get terribly itchy and my hands stay dry and chaffed. This winter I have combatted this situation by using shea butter soaps and creme and english lavender soap. Now, every body and skin situation can be different so I can't guarantee that these soaps and cremes will help your skin dryness, but I can tell you that my skin has not been as dry this winter since I have used these products. I love the relaxing and calming scent of Yardley London english lavender soap and use it throughout the year. It is soft on my skin and calming to my senses. I discovered shea butter products back in the Fall when I purchased some soap at a conference I attended. I immediately noticed how wonderful it felt on my skin! It was moisturizing rather than drying. I couldn't find the same soap locally, but I have found other products that contain shea butter like "Dove Purely Pampering Shea Butter beauty bar." This soap smells lovely and is kind to my skin. The same is true of "A Thousand Wishes 24 hour moisture Ultra Shea body cream" by Bath and Body Works. This creme was a Christmas gift awhile back and I absolutely have adored its delicate scent and the way it moisturizes my skin. I'm not trying to promote any specific products here, but I just know I'm looking for the words "shea butter" on future soaps and cremes when I buy them. 

Decorating my Laundry Area:

I've never had a decorated laundry area in any of the other houses we have lived in over the years. And, it has taken me 16 years in this house to get one! But, my laundry area is coming together and I look forward to sharing it with you when it is completed. I have already shown you some of my DIY homemade laundry signs I created awhile ago. The Mr. and I found this laundry sign you see in the above pic at Sam's Club recently and the Mr. encouraged me to get it. So, I did! Sam's Club had quite a selection of laundry area signs at the reasonable price of around $15 so if you are looking to decorate your laundry area, you might want to check out Sam's Club. 

Enjoying Delicious Food

Who doesn't like yummy food?! And one of my food favorites is this delicious looking (and tasting!) Pita Pizza topped with spinach and green pepper. I enjoy this dish at our local Apollo Flame restaurant located on Hendersonville Rd. here in Asheville. If you are local, check them out! If you are not local, I'll bet there is a restaurant in your area that would make a pita pizza for you. I find these pizzas to be "lighter" than the usual type pizza and perfect for one person. I top mine with lots of healthy veggies which makes me feel better about eating pizza! 

And, I get bonus points for eating pizza with pretty nails!

So, these are things I'm delighted to share. How about you? What would you like to share? Please leave a comment and tell me. I love hearing from you! And, I would also love it if you would follow me by email. That way you will never miss a post. Just look in the right-hand column of the blog and you will see where to type in your email. Be sure to respond when you get the verification email. That's it, so easy!

Until Next Time,

*photography, writing and opinions all by Debbie Ross

Monday, March 18, 2019

Style Tips from Debbie Make A List

Make A List of Your Style Words

Hey Everyone! I'm back with a second post in my new series, "Style Tips from Debbie" and today I am sharing a tip that has really filled me with excitement since I learned about it. This tip is not my own at all. I can't take any credit for it. The tip comes from Pam Lutrell over at and I hope that when you are done reading my post you will hop on over to read Pam's post in detail! With her permission, however, I will give you a brief rundown on her fabulous style tip!

Pam introduced me to the "Foundational Five Adjectives" which is a list of five words that basically describe your style. Everyone's list of adjectives will be different because the words are based on you and not on anyone else. Your opinion is the only opinion that counts which is what I love about this hint! It seems like in blog-land everyone has an opinion about what styles we should be wearing and keeping up with what is "on-trend" and while those ideas can have some merit, they should never replace the individual's own idea of their own unique style in my opinion! Anyway, Pam suggests making up your list of five adjectives and then using that list to create outfits, buy new purchases, etc. 

I have to tell you that I feel that this is some of the best advice I have been given since beginning to read style blogs! I was really excited to make up my own list of foundational five adjectives and I can say that it took me awhile to come up with the list. I really had to think about the words that are important to me as I choose clothes. Some words I thought might be added to the list were done away with as I gave more thought to the matter. Finally, I was able to come up with my list of five. I have a copy now that I carry in my purse (another hint from one of Pam's readers) and I will have it with me whenever I shop. I also think about the list when I am pulling clothes out of the closet to wear. I'm happy to share my list with you as an example, but remember, your list and my list will probably not be the same because we are different people. Pam also speaks to how she has done some revision of her list after several years because some of her adjectives have changed as she has changed. That's another important point that makes so much sense to me! I feel like I have struggled since I retired two years ago, to decide what clothes to keep, what to give away and how to "style" Debbie now that my daytime schedule has changed so much. I have found this a bit challenging to be honest. It sounds like it should be simple, doesn't it? But, when one has been used to buying clothing for over 30 years that fit a particular "persona" of work life, it is hard to give up those images overnight. Coming up with my foundational five list, for my life as it is now, has really helped me to invision the particular clothing I want to have at this time in my closet and what I may want to not keep. Anyway, here is my list. 

Debbie's Five Foundational Adjectives for Style:
1. attractive
2. versatile
3. comfortable
4. figure flattering
5. unique

I found that while making this list, some adjectives "felt right" to me and others I thought about adding felt a bit "off" when I put them on the list. I worked until I had a list of five that felt "totally right" and I feel truly reflects my style!

I want anything I wear to be attractive both to look at on the hanger and, most importantly, to look attractive on me. Sometimes, I have found articles of clothing that look attractive on the hanger, but not so attractive on my body. Those articles of clothing either don't get purchased or, if I have bought them on impulse, they get the boot from my closet now! 

I also want my clothing to be versatile, meaning that I can wear the pieces a variety of ways, dressed up or dressed down, mixing and matching with other pieces and useful for a variety of temperatures and seasons. Choosing clothes that are versatile means I can truly get my "money's worth" out of my clothing and that is important to me!

I definitely want my clothing to be comfortable. More and more I find myself drawn to softer fabrics that don't irritate my skin. I cannot stand tags and labels that scratch my neck, so if they are on the neckline area I remove them quickly. I also can't wear jewelry or scarves that are too heavy because it hurts my neck (and ears if it is a heavier earring or too thick of a post) so I must consider all of this before making a purchase. I have given away several scarves and some jewelry that just was too uncomfortable for me. Shoe heels can't be too high, either, and I want plenty of room for my toes in the shoe. So, those pretty red heels you see in the pic above? They have been gone for awhile now, gifted to Goodwill! (Which is where I got them in the first place!) I think carefully about how tight waistbands feel and how tight the inseam is on pants. In other words, I am not being a slave to fashion, or to a particular size or style,  just because something is "on trend" or "in style." I am making clothing choices based on what is right for me!

Like most women, I want to choose clothes that are figure flattering. And, I am realizing that what was flattering to my figure years ago is not necessarily figure flattering on my body now. That's been a tough one for me as I deal with my 50+ post menopausal body. There were dresses that I used to wear that nipped in at the waist that just don't flatter me now. Likewise, shorter sweaters aren't the best for my figure now, although I am struggling to part with some of those because they are my go-to for comfort! So, I'm keeping the ones I feel look best on me. While I think leggings look cute on other women, I don't think they are my best look. I do wear them with longer tunics and dresses, mostly for warmth, but not often. And, I have found that I am very picky about finding the brand of leggings that don't make my legs feel like they are "crawling." Most of all, though, I want to look in the mirror and see an outfit that truly flatters the Debbie shape I am now. 

And, finally, I like for something about my clothing to look "unique." By that, I mean I look for something on tops or dresses or an accessory that gives a little extra "oomph" to the look. Like the ruffles on this top:

Or, the criss-cross ties on the front of this dress/tunic with rolled up sleeves attached with a tab button. These things make the dress/tunic "unique" in my book. 

Of course, we all have basic "staples" in our closet like solid color pants and tops which are great for layering. But, it's always good, in my opinion,  to have something "unique" to put with those basics. 

Unique patterned longer cardigan with a tassel on the clutch purse. 

So, there you have it friends! My "Foundational Five Adjectives" for style as recommended by sweet Pam. I hope that you will leave a comment telling me what you think of this week's tip and if you make a list of your five adjectives and feel like sharing, please do! I love hearing from my readers and we all can learn from one another! And, please do pop over to Pam's blog to read her whole article!

Until Next Time,

Monday, March 11, 2019

Style Tips from Debbie-Take A Picture

A New Series

Hey Everyone! I'm excited to be bringing you the first in a new series I am doing called, "Style Tips from Debbie." In this series I hope to share some helpful style tips that I have learned in my 3 1/2 years of blogging and my 60 years of living and getting dressed! Now, I'll be the first to tell you that I am no expert at styling, but I am interested in doing my best to look good. I'll bet you feel that way too. And ladies always like to share "tips" with one another. Sometimes the tip is a recipe, sometimes it's a great place to shop or a great book to read. Tips can be taken with a grain of salt. You can choose to take the tip and use it right away or you can choose to file it away to use someday. Maybe. That's why I feel more comfortable doing a style series that offers "tips" on how to style and be your best self. Take these tips with a grain of salt and decide for yourself if the tip is useful for you. That's what the blog Debbie Styles Life is all about! Learning to style our best life. So, here's my first style tip: Take A Picture!


A Picture Truly Is Worth A Thousand Words!

I was looking back through photos on the computer today and I was suddenly struck by the volume of photos I have on hand since beginning the blog. I've done a lot of style posts over the years! It's a bit amazing, especially since I didn't start the blog intending to focus on fashion that much. It was fun to browse through the pics and I began to notice that certain photos stood out, at least to me. 

Like this one....

And this one....

And this one.....

What stands out in these photos are parts of my style that I especially like, such as pretty bold colors, a little extra "zing" added with fringe on the shirt bottom and the red/white/black plaid of the poncho added as an accessory to the pants and shirt. These pictures tell me that these are styles I will want to repeat, because in my opinion, I look pretty good wearing these outfits! Now, you may be thinking, why take a picture? Just look in the mirror. It's all the same, right? Well, not really. While looking in the mirror to check your outfit is an important last step in styling, it is usually done in a hurry. You're checking to see if your skirt hangs straight or if your shoes match or if you need to add or remove a piece of jewelry. Mirror checks are usually done pretty quickly and as a last step before you grab your purse and keys and head out the door. Pictures, however, can be revisited over time and given more time to actually study and reflect on your particular style. Case in point, let's look at the outfit I wore to church today. 

I like this outfit combo for the most part. I literally threw this on quickly this morning without too much thinking. Moving the clocks ahead last night made me really tired this morning and I had a hard time getting out of bed. No time to wash my hair so I wore it pulled up with a clip-on hair piece. Quick makeup. Grabbed these easy to pull on black skinny pants and the Magic it Fits pleated blouse that I love because it hides figure flaws like lumps and bumps in the tummy area. Black socks and pink/black flats and a quick check in the mirror and I was out the door. 

When I study the picture of this outfit I confirm that I like most aspects of this outfit. I love the pattern and colors of the blouse and the fact that it gives full derriere coverage. I like the cut of the black pants and black is always slimming. But, do you know what I don't like about this outfit? 

The shoes. I don't think these shoes are the best choice for this outfit combo. Now, notice I said they aren't the "best" choice. Nobody gasped when I walked into church because of my shoes. I actually love these shoes and enjoy wearing them. I actually received a compliment on them today from someone. But, in studying the pictures I feel like the pink of the shoe cuts off the continuing line I created by wearing black slacks and black socks. Had I chosen solid black shoes or boots the line of elongation would have continued making my legs look a bit longer. This is nothing major, but something I can think about the next time I wear this outfit. This is what I mean by taking a picture of your outfits. You can study the whole outfit and decide if the combination is the "best" fit together. And then, if you like the result, you can repeat the outfit again and again. Or, you can change something up to make it a better combination. You are also working with what you already have in your closet. Shopping your closet to find your best combinations of outfits, colors and accessories. The opinion that counts when you study your pictures is yours and nobody else's. That's why I love sharing this tip with you!

So, what do you think? Would you take photos of your outfits? Have you done this before or is it something you would like to try? You don't have to be a blogger to take photos of your style! Hope you'll leave a comment with your thoughts. I love hearing from you!

Bonus Tip: 

Colossians 3:14-17 New Living Translation (NLT)

14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Until Next Time,

Friday, March 8, 2019

A Bit of Green to Bring on Spring

Green Throughout The House

To be honest, I'm not that big on doing lots of decorating for St. Patrick's Day. But, I do enjoy adding bits of green throughout the house to give a little nod to the fact that Spring is just around the corner. I've really been enjoying this candle ring that features greenery with lovely silk flowers in pinks, purples and blues and those sweet little speckled green eggs. 

I re-arranged some of my winter decor to give it more of a transition to Spring vibe. I pulled out the flameless candle from the wire candle holder and surrounded it with the candle wreath and then moved small flameless candles into the wire candle holder. My snowflakes signs have been put away until next Winter!

I love turning on these candles at night and seeing the lovely glow they create in the corner of my living room. It never fails to give the room a warm and cozy feeling!

The white candles and green wreath continue to blend well with the green vases already on display on the side table. I really don't intend to put the wire vase holder away, even during the summer, at this point because I like it so much. I might move it around to another location perhaps, but I'm not planning on packing it away. As usual with my decor, I like how the green is subtle enough to fit in with the surroundings. Some of the St. Patrick Day greens are quite bright and glaring and I don't care for that look. 

Here is the upper foyer table adorned with a few more items. You'll remember my nature sign I created and shared with you in an earlier post. I decided to add a few more items to go with it such as the blue Laugh sign, a cute ceramic rabbit and the green faux cactus plant. The cactus was a dollar store purchase and I can't get over how real it looks! No worries about it dying or the cats eating it! The dollar store has several styles of these and they are a perfect size. 

I like this Laugh sign better now that I removed the butterfly wings that were attached to each side. The wings looked odd to me and made it hard to fit the sign on a table with other objects. The wings were screwed on and I kept them so they can be put back on if I so decide. 

And, here's a look at the lower foyer table. Not too much green here, just a few leaves on the Spring Thyme sign. 

But, the lower shelf does sport more green with the bunny's Welcome sign!

My front door wreath has green leaves mixed in with lovely gold, pink and blue flowers. This "wreath" is a larger candle ring. Have you ever thought of using a candle ring as a wreath? They come in much larger sizes now. 

And finally, how about some green soup?!  This is actually broccoli-cauliflower soup that I have been making frequently of late. The Mr. loves it and so do I. Let me tell you how I make this soup. It is soooo easy! (As always, know your allergies before making/eating foods). 

Into a large soup pot I place one bag of fresh broccoli and cauliflower pieces (the fresh bags you buy at the supermarket in the veggie aisle), one onion and one potato chopped into small pieces, one small can of white chicken not drained and one to one and a half cartons of low-sodium chicken broth. I add in my usual spices of a little black pepper and McCormick's Perfect Pinch Garlic and Herb salt free. You simply bring all of this to a boil and then turn down the heat so the mixture can simmer for around 30 minutes. This is a fast soup!

The final step gives the soup its creamy texture and I love this part! I use an immersion blender right in the soup pot to blend all of the veggies together into a creamy bowl of goodness! This soup is so yummy and we have been enjoying it several times each week. If you are not concerned about sodium, you may choose to add extra salt but, for us, the amount is perfect. I use the smallest can of Swanson white premium chunk chicken breast which has 310 mg of sodium in the can, so I know the exact amount of sodium in the whole pot of soup. The low sodium chicken broth I use is also Swanson brand unsalted chicken broth which contains 4 cups of broth with 40 mg of sodium in each cup. I'm new to using the immersion blender for soups and can't imagine why I haven't been using it all along. It is perfect for creaming soups without adding cream! (BTW, I'm not trying to sell these products, just sharing with you what I use. You may have other products you prefer to use.)

So, this is how green is being subtly added to my home right now. A bit of green to bring on Spring! How about you? How are you bringing on Spring right now? Clothing, decor, flowers, books? Hope you will leave a comment and let me know. I love hearing from you!

Until Next Time,

*photography, writing, opinions by Debbie Ross