Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Match Made In Seven: Style Resolutions

Style Resolutions For 2020

My biggest style resolution is to wear outfits I feel great wearing
 Hello everyone!  It's time for another edition of Match Made In Seven and I think you will find this month's theme to be very thought provoking. For those of you who may be new to this collaboration, here is a recap of who we are. 

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 Bettye and is: Style Resolutions! Also, take a look at the other bloggers at the end of this post and how they have interpreted the theme this month.

You know, resolutions are always a big part of every New Year. I've kind of given up on resolutions and pretty much stick to a particular "word(s)" of the year which I use for inspiration. But, what about style resolutions? This theme really made me think. What do I want to resolve to do or change or celebrate with my style?  I guess my style resolutions are ones I have been living by for awhile now and want to continue in 2020 and beyond. 

Resolution #1: Wear What You Like

You know, I really do believe that everyone has their own tastes and preferences when it comes to clothing and just wearing something because it is "trendy" or has a particular label doesn't work for me. If I LIKE a trendy item or label then I'll wear it, but not just because it's a trend or a fancy label. I dearly love this boho skirt with the dark top and blue jean jacket. I did a BIG closet clean out and this was one piece I knew I would keep. The colors are pretty and happy and I feel good wearing it. This skirt cost about $4 at a local Goodwill and I LOVE it!!

Resolution #2: Don't Be Afraid To Try New Looks With Clothing

I've had some interesting experiences trying out new "looks" with clothing. Like this outfit above where I tied a kimono vest in blue over a goldenrod yellow top and tan pants. Some of you may love this look and some of you may hate this look but what really counts is what I think....and I do not like this look at all!  I like each of the individual pieces in this outfit, just not together. But, I tried something new and that's OK. I'm going to keep on trying and sometimes I'll get it right and sometimes I won't. Fashion isn't rocket science, in my opinion, so nothing horrible will happen if I wear an outfit that doesn't look all that great, LOL!

Resolution #3: Keep It Practical

I believe that fashion should be practical as well as fun. As I age, I find that comfort and practicality wins hands down over being a fashionista!  Case in point is the picture above. The Mr. and I went downtown Friday evening to enjoy dinner and a concert. It was chilly and rainy and I knew we would be parking and walking in the wind to dinner and then to the concert venue. So while trying to stay stylish, I also dressed for the weather with a heavy down coat, warm booties, gloves and a warm headband. I added a little interest with some pops of blue color in the gloves that brought out the gray tones in the booties and pants and then matchy-matchy with the colors in the coat, handbag and headband. That's my style story and I'm sticking with it....and being practical!

Resolution #4: Think Before I Buy But It's OK To Make A Mistake

I'm trying to curb my enthusiasm a bit with buying clothing and want to make good choices when I do decide to make a purchase. I've always been thrifty when it comes to buying clothing but styling clothing on the blog means I'm frequently trying to come up with new outfits to share. I shop my closet whenever possible and try to not overspend when I do buy. The dress you see above is a recent Christmas gift that I picked out and this purchase involved quite a bit of thought. But, did I make a good choice? I originally tried this dress on in the store and looked it over carefully, then decided not to buy it.  Later, at home, I looked at it again online and thought about how much I loved the material, the neckline and how soft it felt when I tried it on. The little details like the cuffed sleeves, unique draped collar and the buttons added to my decision to go ahead and order the dress as a Christmas gift. I felt that even though this dress had short sleeves, I could wear it during the colder seasons by adding a layer underneath and wearing it with tights or leggings. When I wore the dress yesterday, I liked how the top half you see above looked. 

But, oh my, I'm not so sure about the outfit as a whole. The tights look too dark, I don't know if I like the ankle booties, I'm not certain about the length of the dress and I wonder if wearing a layer underneath makes the dress look tight!  I think this dress looks so pretty on the hanger but I'm not certain if it looks pretty on me. Was it a bad buy?  I don't know yet. This is when I consider my resolution to think before I buy but it's OK to make a mistake. Maybe this dress will look better in the Spring with bare legs and sandals. Or maybe I need to try a sweater over it rather than a layer underneath. Maybe I need to try sheer hose with different shoes.  Maybe I need to offer myself some grace with this choice and not beat myself up for buying a piece of clothing that may or may not work. After all, we can think carefully before buying clothing and it still may or may not be an outfit that works for us. And you know what? That's OK!

So, those are my four style resolutions for 2020.  What are your style resolutions?  I hope you will leave a comment and let me know.  I enjoy hearing from my readers so much!  And please don't forget to head over and look at the other beautiful ladies and how they are interpreting this month's theme! 

Until Next Time,

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Subtle Ways To Incorporate Valentine Colors Into Your Wardrobe

Adding Subtle Red And Pink To Outfits

styling a sweater dress

Hey Everyone!  Today I'm sharing some ways to incorporate reds and pinks into your wardrobe in a subtle way. These colors add vibrancy to any outfit but especially with Valentine's Day approaching these hints may give you some ideas to use with your own outfits. I tend to use red more as an accent color as you see in the above picture with the red belt and red plaid shoes. I'm wearing a sweater type dress here and the belt gives me a waistline.

wide belts with pink shoes
Add caption

Same dress but with a wide black snap belt.  Wider belts are back in style or so I have read. I added some interest with my pink flats. Just a hint of color. 

sweater dress with red booties

Same dress here without a belt and I've added red ankle booties. This is my least favorite look of the three but I know some folks really like ankle booties with dresses. Hmmm...I don't like this look at all. But, it's an idea if you want to try it. 

black fringe sweater

And next up I'm wearing a sparkly fringed sweater which was another purchase I got from the same place where I bought my vintage sweater. The shape of the bottom of the sweater is unusual but interesting. I've kept the red booties on and they look "ok" with the gray slacks. I would probably go with black booties or flats but, again, I'm showing how to incorporate reds and pinks. 

fringe sweater, plaid purse, red booties

And for another hint of red, I've added a red plaid purse. I think the purse balances out this outfit and makes it look better somehow. 

pink top with jeans and red plaid purse

And here's the "real me" in the look that I feel most comfortable wearing. My most comfy and warm top in pink, multi-pink shoes and the red plaid purse. I'm wearing jeans, my favorites. So relaxed and comfortable with this look. This is me and I love the touches of red and pink in this outfit. 

Perhaps this post gives you some ideas for ways to add pinks and reds to your outfits, either for Valentine's Day or otherwise. I hope your week ahead is great and feel free to let me know which outfit(s) in this post you like best. 

Be sure to stop by Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m. for another edition of Match Made in Seven with my international blogger friends. This month's theme is a bit of a conundrum for me and I'm not decided yet what I will be posting. It's almost here so I had best get the post ready! See you then!

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

OOTD Off White Corduroy Pants and Fleece Top

How Do You Define Casual And Warm In Your Wardrobe?

Is it cold wherever you are?  It finally got pretty chilly here, as in around 16 degrees at night, so I looked for something warm, cozy and casual to wear for my outfit of the day (OOTD) today! 

This is the first time I am wearing these off-white corduroy pants that I thrifted at one of our local Goodwill stores awhile back. I couldn't believe my luck in finding this pair of Land's End corduroy pants with a comfy elastic pull on waist! A true find in my opinion. They washed up beautifully and fit well, perfect length, all of the boxes ticked off. They are a good weight for winter wearing which is exactly what I hoped for when I bought them. See similar corduroy pants here. 

The top is an old favorite that I return to when the temperatures plummet as I can always count on it for warmth! This is also a thrifted top from a local place called, "Second Gear," which specializes in hiking/outdoor thrifted wear. I have no idea what the brand is on this top, but if you can find a heavier and longer fleece top at a reasonable price then hang onto it for those really chilly days. You'll be glad you did! This fleece top looks pretty cozy although I cannot speak for the brand as I have never bought from them. My top matches well with my cozy Skecher gray ankle booties. 

I wore a couple of accent pieces with this outfit when I went out to lunch today. One is this pair of earrings made by cutting a nut (I think a walnut?) into pieces. They were made by a sweet friend who belongs to my women's group that I have written about on other occasions. She is quite artistic and these earrings were her Christmas gift to us this year. I love them and they are so unique!

Not a great picture of me, but you can see how the earrings look as I'm wearing them. I'm not very good at selfies!

And my second accent piece is this favorite old scarf that I looped around my neck and quickly tied. Sometimes I don't want to wear necklaces and wearing a scarf just "feels" better. This scarf is incredibly inexpensive (I bought it at a school Christmas shop for one dollar years ago) and yet it is one of my favorites to wear. The colors work with several pieces of my clothing and coats, it is lightweight and just feels good. I noticed today that it is showing wear and I hate to see that because, as I said, it is a favorite. Clothing being expensive has nothing to do with being a favorite piece in my book!

So, that's my cozy and casual outfit of the day!  I define cozy and casual as outfits that are comfortable, warm and yet have a sense of style with added accent pieces? How about you? How do you get cozy and casual on these colder days of winter? Hope you'll leave a comment!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

How To Put A Little Feeling Blue In Your Life

Styling Life With A Trending Color

Hey everyone! I'm a lady who loves feeling a little blue...when it's in my wardrobe!  I have made no secret on the blog about my love for all things blue whether it's a blue dress or a blue tablescape I'm a big fan. Today, I'm styling a blue midi skirt by Zac and Rachel.

This skirt is fairly lightweight but pairing it with hose like I show here, or even tights, makes it wearable in colder weather. 

For even more warmth, I've paired the blue skirt with this lovely vintage sweater that has a story of its own to tell. 

While enjoying a fun day of lunch and shopping with my friend, Sharon, I spied this vintage sweater with faux fur collar at a shop called, "Sanctuary of Stuff." It was one of two black sweaters that I found that day and I'll share the other one with you another time. I love the faux fur, which is removable, and the sparkly designs all over the sweater. It is a comfortable and versatile piece which can be dressed up or down as desired. The price was right and I scooped it up and am enjoying wearing it already. I did find the same vintage sweater by Cache in case you are interested. 

I think black pairs so well with blue. Now, this blue is not the Pantone color of the year, classic blue, which is now trending. But, I think this lighter blue is just as trendy! And, I dearly love these shoes and how they look with this outfit!
Yes, if I was going to be walking or standing for long I would probably go with a flatter shoe. These shoes are not uncomfortable, definitely not a 20 minute shoe, but they are just a tad bit high for me. I am on the lookout for a plaid pair of flats. I have thought about having the Mr. actually cut the heels down for me but don't want to ruin the shoe if it doesn't go well. Has anyone tried cutting a heel? If so, how did it work?

So tell me, are you feeling a little blue like I am?  Loving a little vintage?  Looking for some plaid in your life?  Leave me a comment and let me know how you are styling life right now!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, January 12, 2020

I Don't See What You See Words of Inspiration

Finding Inspiration In Odd Places

a look in the mirror
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Sometimes we find inspiration in the oddest of places. Who would have thought that a visit to the doctor for my yearly checkup would have left me pondering, days later, something that she said to me?  

Yeah, I don't usually find the doctor's office a very inspiring place and, perhaps, you don't either. But sometimes inspiration appears in our most vulnerable times. And I don't know about you, but I feel pretty vulnerable at the doctor's office. 

Being Vulnerable Can Be Inspiring

Like the other day as I was ushered into the exam room. You know the drill. After waiting longer than usual to be called into the inner sanctum, the nurse collected the typical medical info and then offered me the gown and cover-up to change into for the actual exam. As the door shut behind her I looked at the gown with dread. "At least it's actually cloth and not paper," I thought, which was somewhat comforting. 

The defining moment came, though, as I stripped down to nothing and caught a glimpse in the mirror. What is it about mirrors in dressing rooms and doctor offices? Why is it that every wrinkle, flaw, sag and piece of cellulite seems compounded a hundred fold in these places? My fragile self confidence about my post-menopausal body quickly eroded as I slipped into the gown and crawled up on the table to wait...and wait.....and wait....thinking all the time about how I looked in the mirror. And the fact that the office scale had weighed me five pounds heavier than the scale at home had done that very morning. FIVE pounds!!

Friends, I have to tell you that when you are nervous and lacking self-confidence already, waiting for the door to open does NOTHING to boost your feelings! I guess it was a tough morning at the office because when the door finally did open, close to an hour later, the doctor walked in full of apologies. 

And after assuring her that I understood how busy things must have been I did what any neurotic woman who has sat there for an hour in a thin gown on an uncomfortable table thinking over and over about how awful her body looks in the mirror would do....I started crying.  

And as the tears poured down my cheeks, I poured out my feelings to my surprised and unsuspecting doctor who had the presence of mind to, at once, give me her full attention. 

I felt ashamed of the hot tears coursing down my face and tried to get myself pulled together. I had not come in here planning to act this way! But so much weighed on my mind more than just the additional weight on my body. 

I was judging myself harshly, how I looked, how I felt about my looks. I was mourning the passing of years, the illness of family members, the awful feelings of failure that I felt while sitting out in the waiting room watching young pregnant women with swollen bellies walk in front of me while I sat there being visually reminded over and over of my failure to be able to conceive. 

In that moment, the tears represented my feelings of self doubt and the harshness with which I was regarding myself. Unexpected feelings, yes, but there still the same. And as the feelings tumbled forth, the doctor calmly continued her exam and uttered six words that offered grace to me....

"I don't see what you see."

Nothing earth shattering to hear, right?  But in that moment, it was exactly what I needed to hear. She didn't see me like I see me. 

She assured me that there was nothing unusual about the way I looked. She talked to me about the aging process and what happens. And yes, we talked about healthy foods and exercise. But mostly, she talked about aging gracefully, using that term that I have heard used so many times on blog posts for aging women. And that pretty much takes in all of the female population of the world doesn't it? For we are ALL aging, no matter what number of years we have reached. 

And then, the visit was over. I dried my tears, put on my clothes and walked out of the office hoping my tear stained face wasn't showing too visibly. And for the rest of day I nursed myself a bit. Allowed myself some rest. Ate rich foods. Read books. And thought....

Maybe I need to offer myself a little more grace about my body. About my life. Maybe what the doctor said was exactly what I needed to hear that day. It wasn't planned but it was necessary for me to hear. Maybe the words are what you need to hear as well. 

"I don't see what you see."

Sometimes, we women judge ourselves too harshly. We look at ourselves and see failure. We see the lumps and bumps of our bodies and our lives and feel that we have lost our zest, that we can never do enough, that we are never enough

And I'm here to ask you to look in that mirror again..

See what other people see.   See what God sees....

A beautiful and capable woman who has lived, survived, given, loved and who has so much more life to live and love to give. A beautiful child of God with gifts and interests that are God given. That is who you are! You are beautiful!

I will admit to you, that I feel vulnerable writing this. Sharing deeply can be a bit scary for me. But, I think that inspiration must be shared and so I will brave the vulnerable feelings to share with you. 

You are so much more than what you see in the mirror...


Thursday, January 9, 2020

How I Decorate My Laundry Area

Laundry Decor

Wash and Dry Laundry Sign

Hello Friends!  I've been terribly lazy about blogging lately. For those of you who expect to hear from me more often, I apologize. Hopefully, you will enjoy what I'm sharing today which is my laundry "room" decor which has finally been completed. 

laundry room decor

We actually don't have a dedicated laundry "room" like many homes have nowadays. Ours is more of a laundry "area" created for me when the Mr. redid our basement space. So our laundry area lies between my husband's shop and our new basement bathroom. I pondered for awhile how to "decorate" this space. You may recall the do-it- yourself laundry area signs I created awhile back and posted about on the blog. That has served as the decor until recently. We found the "Wash and Dry Laundry Co." sign at Sam's Club and the other wall decor was found at The Tobacco Barn Antiques and the Tractor Supply Co. The Mr. dedicated last weekend to not only hanging these wall items but also to building a really nice shelf for above the washer dryer! I just love the shelf and it gives me space for my original laundry signs plus space for detergent bottles and other things. For now, the shelf is being purely decorative but I'm sure that over time it will hold other items as well. 

vintage laundry decor

Here is a close-up of the items hanging on the wall. I've wanted a washboard forever so I was happy to find this one at the Tobacco Barn here in town. I didn't think, previously, that a washboard would be hard to find but they are and, when you do find one, sellers want a big price! The wire egg holder and the antiqued wire bottle opener aren't exactly laundry items but they look "old" and I like them, so there you go! I wanted this space to have on old fashioned laundry/store type look. I think it's a fun look and, hey, anything that makes doing laundry more fun is worth it, am I right?!

DIY laundry room sign

And yes, I still have my "Help Wanted" sign up but, so far, I haven't had any takers for the job!!

Do you decorate your laundry area?  Hope you'll leave a comment.  I love hearing from my readers!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year 2020

Welcoming 2020 

And A Little Bit of This and That

Happy New Year to you all!  I hope that 2020 only brings good things to each of you dear readers. In true "this and that fashion" today's post will share a little bit of fun from Christmas and a bit of what I have been up to as the new year begins. I hope that you will share a little bit of this and that about yourselves in the comments section! First off, isn't this snowy scene pretty? I took this picture of the front of a cookie tin that was filled with sugar cookies. One of our gifts for Christmas. The tin is so pretty-a Thomas Kinkade scene on the front and if you push a button on the tin it plays music. This is not what our weather has looked like lately! We had really warm temps all through the holidays and today it got a little colder and windy. I guess winter will come eventually but I'm not complaining, believe me!

The Mr. and I always begin each new year with our anniversary. This year is #37!  Hard to believe that many years of marriage have passed. 

I'm enjoying these pretty anniversary flowers from the Mr. The colors are so vibrant!

Isn't this house just gorgeous?!  We were driving around one of the older neighborhoods in Asheville looking at pretty architecture and I just had to take a picture of this house. The wrap around porches on both sides are amazingly beautiful. I can picture myself sitting on the porch drinking a glass of iced tea! That wooden front door is really pretty, also. This house was being renovated as office space which is kind of sad since it won't be lived in by families, but at least it wasn't torn down. I imagine this house would be a bear to heat. If you enlarge the pic you can see the beautiful filigree above the second story windows. Do you enjoy looking at older homes?

I spent part of today doing some crock pot cooking. It's so easy to just throw in some thin sliced chicken breasts, carrots, onions and potatoes and just let it simmer away until the meat and vegetables are juicy and tender. This is a delicious mix and if you don't do crock pot meals you might want to give it a try. It's an easy way to have a hot meal ready with minimum fuss!

And, I just have to share this pic because I think it's so cute! As you can tell, Cassie doesn't exactly love wearing a Santa hat but she tolerates it for us. Garden was a bit less tolerant, LOL!  

You may remember that my "word of the year" for last year was Simplicity. This word has stuck with me throughout 2019 and I find that I am not ready to let go of it as yet. So, it is one of my words as I enter 2020 as well. There is something compelling about keeping things simple and uncomplicated and finding ways to simplify life in general. I applied this word to many areas of my life in the past year and I still have much to learn about finding and living with simplicity.  

I have also chosen a scripture to focus on throughout the coming year and I will close by sharing this with you. Don't forget to leave a comment and share about how you are beginning 2020. I love hearing from my readers!

From Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts,
and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him.

Wishing You Many Blessings In The New Year,