Friday, May 31, 2019

Happy Friday End of Week Catch Up

Cups, Crafts and Courage

Happy Friday, Everyone!  I'm sharing an end of week catch up to highlight some of the things I've been doing/working on this week. First off is this fun and creative craft I worked on using some gorgeous cardstock I picked up for half price at JOANN's. 

I had seen these hangers for sale at the Dollar Store and I thought, "My goodness, I can do that!"  I had saved some cardboard from some other purchases and I just cut the colorful cardstock to size and glued it to the cardboard.  I layered the quotes on top. 

Ribbon glued to the back connects the two pictures together.  Then more ribbon added to act as the hanger. 

I'm very pleased with how these turned out.  I'm not certain of their exact location yet, but this is how they look hanging on the wall. On the larger picture I see a "glue spot" shining through. It seems with any craft I do there is some imperfection. keeps my humble!

While I was at JoAnne's I picked up this new beverage cup and they were giving away scratch off stickers and I got 50% off which was a nice surprise! 

This cup was one of the many items in the Simplicity Vintage display. I love the vintage outfits displayed on the cup. 

Sorry for the blur. It's hard to hold the cup in one hand and shoot the picture with the other!  The Simplicity Vintage items included hand towels, vintage square tins, writing paper and zipper pouches/coin purses all with vintage clothing styles on them. 

I had some fun earlier this week dressing in the style of Iris Apfel, the 90+ year old fashion icon. I was interpreting a challenge given in my monthly international blogger group, "Match Made in Seven."  If you missed that post you can catch up here. I've never worn this many accessories all at once before! Wild looking isn't it?! It took a little courage to try this type of styling. A bit outside my comfort zone for sure!

And, finally, a few animal pics to finish off the post. I've seen this chipmunk playing in my flower garden almost every day this week! He is so fast it is hard to get a picture!

Not the greatest pic, but these are bear cubs running for the bushes last night. There were three cubs and their Mama in our yard. I was about to go outside to water our flowers when I spied these guys. I made a hasty retreat inside the house and took these pics from safely inside. Speaking of courage!

This was Mama Bear walking around. 

The cubs thought it was great fun to hang on the trees my husband planted recently. He was not amused when I told him about this! We really want these trees to live and thrive. The cubs looked like little teddy bears and moved like lightening. They were here, there and everywhere! 

All in all, it's been a pretty good week here. Hope you have had a good week. Now, it's your turn! What has been a highlight of your week? Let me know in the comments!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Match Made In Seven: Ode to Iris Apfel

Ode To Style Icon Iris Apfel

Hello, Everyone!  It's time once again for our monthly international blogger's group to interpret a style challenge. This month, Sonja gave us a fun challenge; Ode to Iris Apfel. Be sure to check out all the other Match Made in Seven bloggers and see how they styled this month's theme. Links to their blogs appear at the end of my post. 

I'm going all out in this post with patterns, textures and bling to honor the amazing style of Iris Apfel. She is a 90+ fashion icon who shows through her style that "more is more" rather than "less is more."  She is typically to be seen wearing bright colors and over the top amounts of jewelry and she doesn't allow anyone else to define her style but her!

Iris Apfel
Photo Source from Pinterest
She also loves wearing very large eyeglasses! 

I don't typically wear such large amounts of jewelry, but, in honor of Iris, I added several bracelets, some big size rings and a larger necklace to my outfit. 

Ooops, I forgot I also added the extra necklace at the collar and my big hoop earrings. There is so much going on in this outfit that it is hard to see and keep up with all the parts! The top I am wearing is another version of the jeans top I styled recently. I love the colorful flowers and the way this top gives me a waist. 

I love the way the flower pattern of the top blends with the textured black pants I am wearing. For me, this is pattern mixing at its best!

Although I wouldn't normally style an outfit quite so boldly, I must admit that this has been a fun post to style and photograph. Many thanks to my husband for his photography skills. I think that Iris Apfel can teach us all that style is meant to be uniquely ours and not dictated by others. I love the following quote by her:

Iris Apfel: “No amount of money can buy you style. It’s just instinctive.”

Now, please be sure to check out all of the great posts by the other lovely bloggers:

Until Next Time,

Monday, May 27, 2019

Walking At Beaver Lake

Join Me On A Walk

I took a walk recently at a favorite lake that is not too far from my home. It's called, Beaver Lake, and I thought you might like to walk with me and see the sights. As you can see it is very pretty there. 

There is a very nice walking trail that now extends around most of the lake with a bit of street walking necessary on the far side. If you like birds there is a separate bird sanctuary beside this lake walk.

I did spy this lovely blue bird as I walked and he (she?) was gracious enough to not fly away and posed for me.

Aren't the colors lovely?! The bird was careful to show its "good side" for the photos!

I passed by some lovely flowers outside the caretaker's cabin. 

And by these colorful boats just waiting to be taken out on the lake.

I always look across the water to see this beautiful and stately home. 

The Mr. and I nicknamed this house, "Southfork," after the Dallas TV show. Isn't it a lovely house?!

At one point, I cross over this bridge...

And look down into the ravine below.

I pass by this dam with water running over. Sometimes, there are lines of turtles across the top of the dam. But, not today.

This is a lake filled with history and story.

This end of the lake is the section that was once the "swimming hole" portion. You can see remnants of what was once the beach area with stone walls around the pool area and stone steps going up the hill. 

I like thinking about what it might have looked like here back in the day with swimmers and boaters, sailor suits and straw hats. 

Swimwear, 1930, Sweden.

Perhaps, we might have seen swimwear like this? 

Or, perhaps this? (Vintage photos from Pinterest)

Prior to 1923, before the lake was here, this was known as Baird Bottom and at one time, a plane landed here. Hard to picture a meadow with cows grazing isn't it? A trolley service ran to this destination and, according to legend, the famous author, Thomas Wolfe, skinny dipped in the lake. If you would like to read more about the history of the lake, click here.  Our branch library has many photos on display of Baird Bottom and the lake in its early days. Today, the lake is surrounded by homes and highways. 

I love to walk here. The scenery provides moments of peaceful solitude and beautiful views.

And, I'm so grateful you were able to join me on the walk at the lake today!

Hope you will leave a comment and please be sure to check back on Wednesday for another monthly challenge from my international blogger group, "Match Made In Seven." I promise that you will enjoy this month's challenge!

Until Next Time,

Friday, May 24, 2019

An Outdoor Tea Table

Tea Time Tablescape

Hello everyone!  For a very long time I have wanted to create an outdoor tea time tablescape and today is the day. 

What can be more inviting that a lovely tea table, a good book and beautiful flowers? The only thing that would make it better is if you were here to share a spot of tea and some good conversation with me!

I am so enjoying this lovely Pioneer Woman patchwork tablecloth. The colors are bright and cheerful and will give any table a homey touch! I also have a new teapot to add to my collection. I like that this teapot is white, which matches everything, and that it is microwave and dishwasher safe. The brand is 10 Strawberry Street. 

I can't wait to try the tablecloth on our round kitchen table. I know it will be so pretty there, also! 

As you can see, our porch flowers are thriving so far. The red flower is a Verbena and I love looking out the kitchen window and seeing the brilliant red color. Today has been more of a low-key day after several days of busyness. I hope to get some more reading done with my Maisie Dobbs book this evening. I need to make quicker progress since it is only a two-week loaner book. It always seems that there are other things pulling my time other than reading! BTW, the book displayed on my tea table is a favorite Miss Read book entitled, Tyler's Row. I thought the reddish cover would look good on the table. I highly recommend reading this book if you haven't. So good!!

I do hope that you are enjoying a happy end to the week and that you are taking time to do something special just for you! Perhaps a spot of tea and a good book is just the ticket!? Hope you have enjoyed seeing my teatime vignette. Let me know your thoughts. 

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

What's Happening Wednesday

Just A Little Wednesday Chat

Hello, Everyone!  I'm just stopping by on a Wednesday to chat a little about the day and week so far. I hope that today has found you enjoying something that is fulfilling in your life! It's been a busy week so far in my world. I had a new experience yesterday. I joined with two other friends from my church who go monthly to a local nursing home to sing hymns to the residents. This was my first time going and I enjoyed it, although I felt a bit shy at first. The folks who wanted to come assembled in the dining room. One of my friends always brings her guitar and we all brought our hymnals. We took requests as well as choosing many of our favorite hymns to sing. It was touching to hear so many of the residents singing along with us. One woman who lives there is a member of our church and she put me to shame as she knew all of the words to every hymn!! It was a blessed time. Today, I drove a friend who no longer drives to a medical appointment and then we enjoyed lunch together. Then, it was on to grocery shopping and home chores. You know the usual, bed making, dish washing, loads of laundry and some light cooking. 

The latest Maisie Dobbs novel finally was available at the library. I have been on a "wait list" for a few weeks so I was excited to bring it home. I'm making steady progress with this book and, so far, I like it very much! The title is, The American Agent, and this book brings back a few characters from previous books. I won't say more as the book is fairly new and I don't want to give anything away. We'll see what happens as the story unfolds!

I had a very strange experience today. While driving my friend to her appointment we were waiting at a stop light. I was directly at the light. The light was still red when I felt the car sort of "sway." It was an odd sensation. Then, I felt it again. I looked in my rear view mirror and there was a huge SUV right on my bumper! I think the guy was trying to move me forward! The light turned green and I was in such shock that I drove forward as our destination was just ahead. I have never had such a thing happen before. It wasn't like he smacked into me. It was like he was trying to move me!! As soon as I drove forward he quickly changed lanes and went around me. I'm still in a bit of shock over it. Drivers are crazy these days! The Mr. said I should have gotten his license number but it all happened so fast and like I said, I was in shock!

So, let's talk about what I wore today. As you can see in the pic, I went very casual in my white thrifted capri pants, my Ex Officio top and my gladiator style sandals by Euro Sofft. The top is a "work horse" piece of clothing as I wear it and another in blue quite often during the warmer months. These tops are so lightweight and comfortable! The pants are comfy too. I'm happy that the Euro Sofft sandals feel really good on my feet this summer. Last summer, when they were new, one shoe tended to rub my little toe and I had to wear a toe guard. It must have stretched them out, though, as this year they feel great just as they are!

I bought these sandals a couple years ago at DSW on an off-season sale and thought they would make a good neutral color shoe which I believe they do. They look good with pants, dresses or skirts making them quite versatile. 

Have you been watching,"Jeopardy James," the guy who has won over one million dollars on Jeopardy? He is back on tonight after being off for a couple weeks due to the yearly Teachers Tournament. Will his good luck continue? I'm watching to find out!

I hope that you are well and enjoying a great week! Let me know what you are doing, enjoying and experiencing this week!

Until Next Time,

Friday, May 17, 2019

Finding Simplicity; An Update

Update On My Word Of The Year

Simplicity At The Lake
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. (2 Corinthians 1:12)

Hello Everyone! Believe it or not, we are only a few weeks away from being six months into 2019, so I thought I would do an update on my "Word of the Year." I don't recall doing an update on my one perfect word before so this may be a first. I also apologize for not having lots of pictures for you to look at in this post. This will mostly be words. But, we're talking about simplicity, right? So, less pics and more words kind of goes with it! 

As you know, if you were reading my blog back in January, my word for this year is "Simplicity."  It is a word that called to me as I entered into my third year of retirement and my fourth year of blogging. I think choosing this word to focus on was quite timely. I have found that going into retirement from teaching kind of threw me into a bit of shock. Not that I didn't want to retire, because I did. But, after identifying with the teaching world for so many years, I was left trying to figure out how I would "identify" now. I would be interested in hearing if any other readers felt the same with their initial retirement. For me, I chose to focus, in those first months and first year, on my blogging, on resting, on homemaking and on churchwork. I really invested myself in outfits for the blog, reading books and finding new authors, cleaning out closets and redoing home decor and helping out where I was needed at church. Each day was filled with a kind of wonder that I wasn't at school anymore and now-how-can-I-best-fill-my time sort of thinking. Of course, during those months there were some trips to see family, as well. 

The second year of retirement found me a bit more settled with more of a routine of some school volunteering, taking over responsibilities with the handbell choir at my church and doing some teaching online. I cleaned and re-cleaned closets and sorted through clothing and books to see what items might be taken to Goodwill and/or traded in at our local bookstore that sells used books. I went through a bit of a debacle with changing my blog name, but now have settled in to "styling life" each day both in real life and on the blog! For some reason, I was all over the place with "perfect words" trying to figure out how "thankful, committment, music and risk" would fit into my year and was amazed at how they did! There were also several family health concerns that year and, thankfully, all concerned are doing much better at this point. 

Which brings me to my word of "Simplicity" for 2019. It's kind of necessary to have done that little recap of the last three years, because it helps me to see why, in this third year of retirement, I feel much more settled in this "new" retirement way of life. And, frankly, I'm looking to keep life simple right now. I have just done a Major closet clean out and I want to keep my closet as it is right now. In other words, I'm not looking for any new items of clothing! I have also cleaned out many books and am trying to make use of my library card much more often instead of purchasing books. And as far as home decor goes, I kind of like the decor in the house as it is right now. I don't really feel like redoing the foyer table or the living room side table over and over again. My next goals are to clean out kitchen cabinets and see what items we may not need or be using and donate those items. 

So.....I hope you will stick with me if I simply choose to blog about what is currently happening in my life or if you see  outfits and/or home decor items more than once. I'll try to make it interesting for you, but I'm adding "Simplicity" to the blog, as well. 

Moving toward simplicity is certainly a process. At least it is for me. I'm glad to note, however, that simplicity is finding its way into many areas of my life. Things like how I exercise, what I eat, how I make plans to do things. You have probably heard of the acronym "KISS" for "Keep It Simple Stupid!"  I don't like being called stupid, however, so I prefer "Keep It Simply Simple" much better! 

If I keep my daily life, including blogging, simply simple I think there is less stress and more joy. 

How about you? How do you keep your life "simply simple?"  Hope you'll leave a comment and let me know. 

Until Next Time,

Monday, May 13, 2019

Monday Morning

A Little Bit of This and That To Start Your Week!

Happy start of a new week, friends! Today, I'm sharing a little bit of "this and that" to start off your week! Just sharing some odds and ends from the weekend, things I've been working on, reading and so forth. I hope that you all had a great weekend and that your weeks are off to a great start! So, here's what I've been up to recently!


I decided to do some more paper crafting and I created some cute and useful objects using cardstock designs in these smaller size booklets I bought recently at A.C. Moore. Each of these books of cardstock were on sale for around $1.66 and the designs are really cute. The pages are a perfect size for cutting and working with to create different objects. 

I made another decorative notecard. Aren't those tulips beautiful?!

And, I decided to also create a "box" using the cardstock which I then turned into a vase and filled with faux silk flowers. 

I couldn't help but think of school days while I made this box. I laid out the cardstock in a "net" that I knew would fold into a box. We used to teach nets to students as part of our math instruction. The children needed to be able to create nets and to identify whether a particular net would fold to make a closed figure or not. All part of geometry study!

Love how this arrangement turned out and it looks great on my foyer table with the three little faux cactus plants. The box could also be laid on the table with the opening facing out and little figurines placed inside. 

I also did some more stenciling on notecards. This design reminds me of "flower power" designs from the 1970's. 

And here is the completed notecard. Guess I need to start sending some notes don't I?!


I decided to take a break from the Maisie Dobbs novels that I have been obsessed with reading lately. I found an Agatha Raisin novel that I had not read at the library and checked it out. M.C. Beaton is the author of both the Agatha Raisin novels and the Hamish Macbeth novels. Both are mysteries. I have always enjoyed reading the Agatha Raisin novels but I do find that the writing is starting to seem a bit "stilted" to me in these later novels. The same thing happened in the Lillian Jackson Braun "Cat Who" novels as Ms. Braun aged. The sentences became shorter and the storylines seemed to not be as in-depth. Maybe it's just me, but I feel the same thing is happening with the Agatha Raisin novels. I'm going to finish this book, though, and see how it ends. 


I've been watching these two furry felines scamper around the house. They love to chase each other and get into wrestling matches. They both seem to enjoy this most of the time. Sometimes, they get a bit rambunctious and I have to break them up!

Garden likes to hide behind doorways and jump out when Cassie walks by. Then, Cassie hides and does the same thing to Garden. Cats!

Cassie's most favorite thing to do is to look out the doors and windows to see what she can see. 

Today, she saw this silly old bear walking around our yard. Mr. Bear had to pull several stones up in order to check for ants and insects to eat. Silly old bear!


Jeans, a comfy top and tennis shoes or Skecher slip-ons has pretty much been my uniform lately! This blue top that I showed you in an earlier post has been worn quite a bit. I really like it and love the comfort level. 


We took my MIL out for her birthday and mother's day this weekend and I enjoyed another Pita Pizza from Apollo Flame, my all-time favorite restaurant! They are an institution in this town and I hope they never close. I'm not sure I could handle that!

And, that's what I've been up to this weekend. How about you? Leave me a comment and let me know how your weekend went and what you have been doing! Love hearing from my readers!

Until Next Time,