Sunday, March 29, 2020

How To Look For Joyful Things Each Day In Isolation

How To Find Joy In Isolation

Hello Everyone! Here's hoping that you are well and, like me, finding ways to have a little joy in the everyday. These are such trying times for all of us. I know for myself, I'm starting to go a little bit stir crazy with staying home and washing my hands and wondering about potential trips to the grocery store. What can I say? I'm trying to stay positive and thought I would share a few things that are joyful at my house right now. 

Like these pretty pansies blooming on the back porch. I love the purple color with a little yellow in the center. These lovelies are definitely cheering. We have finally gotten some sunshine and warmer temps and that has made our back porch more of an outdoor room to enjoy. Another joyful thing!

And, how joyful are clean windows? I decided to start some Spring cleaning of the windows and, so far, it has been a success. I used a solution of white vinegar and Dawn dish detergent and scrubbed the windows with a cloth and then wiped with a paper towel for drying. Sparkling clean!

The Japanese Maple tree and the Azalea plants are in bud and soon we will have beautiful blooms. That is definitely joyful and a sure sign of Springtime!

One of my sisters sent me packets of seeds and I'm experimenting with her advice to create indoor miniature greenhouses to start the seedlings. I do not have a green thumb at all with gardens but I'm giving it a try. If the seedlings come up I want to plant the tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and carrots in four outdoor containers on our back porch. Then, at that point, I will need to protect the plants from marauders such as squirrels, deer, bears, birds and raccoons. For now, though, it's a joyful thing to come into the dining room and look at my little greenhouses and dream of delicious veggies that I grow myself!

And, finally, what could be more joyful than these two furry love bugs?!  Here, you see them pursuing their favorite hobby together....squirrel and bird watching!  They mostly make me smile...when they aren't fighting or getting into something!

So, that's my dose of joyful things for today. I'll be honest that I had to really work at finding joy today.  Perhaps you are having moments of struggling, also. Here is a scripture that offers me, and I hope you, comfort and encouragement:

"When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul."  Psalm 94:19

I'll be back soon with another post. I plan to shop my closet for a fashion post and look forward to sharing that with you. Take good care!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Match Made In Seven: Your Favorite Movie

Styling After My Favorite Movie

Hello Everyone! It's that time again when my Match Made in Seven group styles a particular theme. We are a group of seven fashion/lifestyle bloggers and each of us chooses a theme in turn. The theme could be anything; a color, piece of music, get the idea. This month's theme is chosen by Nancy of and is: Your Favorite Movie. After you have read my post please be sure to stop by the other ladies' blogs to see how they interpreted this month's theme! Their links will be at the end of my post. 

I'll be honest that with everything going on in the world right now, it was hard for me to focus this month. But, I'm persevering! I have several movies that came to mind when I thought of my favorites but then I pondered how I would interpret them for a fashion post. I finally decided on, "Little Women" for my interpretation this month. I have loved every version of Little Women which includes many years and interpretations from 1933, 1949, 1994 and the most recent 2019 version. And, each version never fails to make me cry. Louisa May Alcott knew what she was doing when she wrote the book!! But, what does Little Women have to do with the outfit I am wearing, you ask? 

Well, all of my life I have always measured five feet, four inches tall. That is, until a recent doctor visit. At this particular visit the nurse measured my height and guess what? I am now five feet, three inches tall. I have officially joined the club that many women enter as they age and begin to lose height. So, after teetering all of my life on the borderline of being petite, I am now officially in the petite category. I have become a "Little Woman" with all of the rights and privileges of shopping in the petite section. Which brings me to this outfit which I found in the petite section of J.C.Penney.

The first thing that caught my eye with this outfit was this pretty blue sweatshirt top with embellished flowers and pearls on the left shoulder. It is a very soft top, washes beautifully and is incredibly pretty in my opinion! The pants are corduroy ankle pants with a flat front panel and elastic back. Again, very comfy and easy to wear. Both pieces are by Alfred Dunner brand. 

I would change a couple things about this outfit if I could. I would really like the pants to be full length rather than ankle pants. I like to wear socks and ankle pants aren't really made for socks and since these are corduroy they are really cooler weather pants. But, I'm getting by with them. The other thing I notice with this outfit is I keep having to pull the top down when I walk around or get up from a chair. It tends to "ride up" a bit. Perhaps my torso is longer than is usual for petites? Maybe, even though I am becoming a "Little Woman" I still am a bit on the borderline, teetering between petite and regular height sizing. 

Now, please be sure to check out how the other ladies interpreted this month's theme!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, March 19, 2020

How A Favorite Sweater Can Feel Like A Hug

Enjoying The Day Wearing A Favorite Sweater

Hello Everyone! It has been a sunny and warm day here in Asheville and the Mr. and I decided to take a two mile walk up our road and back. It was wonderful to be out in the fresh air enjoying this almost first day of Spring! The pic you are seeing above is one the Mr. took after he said, "I like this view, you can move on to the side." I laughed and told him I thought he was telling me he liked the view of ME not the view of the mountains! So, he kindly took a picture of me, LOL! He shot several of me looking perturbed before he got me to laugh in this one!

Let me tell you about the sweater I am wearing in these photos. This sweater is one of my favorites and do you know how old it is? Get ready for this...this sweater is 30 years old. Does that sound strange to you? I hadn't really thought about it until today when I pulled it out of my closet and looked at the tag which I had never cut out. It was a Christmas gift all those years ago and was American made in 1990 by A Jane Adams and through all of my closet clean outs over the years, this piece has always been kept. When I put it on this morning, I thought about how it kind of felt like a hug! There is something about my owning it and wearing it through 30 years of life and remembering all that happened in those years, which were pretty good years, that calls to me. I needed to remember times when I wasn't staying in the house most of the time and washing my hands like crazy trying to avoid a virus! Remembering happier memories was exactly what I needed today.

Clothing can evoke happy memories. Whether your piece is vintage, like mine, or something you bought or were given last summer, you can remember the happy memories associated with the piece. I remember wearing this sweater on a New Year's Eve when we were in our first house. We weren't party people, but we enjoyed the celebration especially that year and had fun together laughing and being silly. I actually took a lampshade off a lamp and put it on my head and danced around and the Mr. took my picture. Such a fun, silly memory that still makes me chuckle. We did silly things like that when we were thirty! So you see it really doesn't matter to me that this sweater is a little tighter than it used to be. I still love the multitude of colors and geometric patterns on this sweater. If you wait long enough, all clothing styles come back into fashion!

And, today, I made another happy memory with this sweater. Walking up our road together, laughing and being silly with the Mr. Taking pictures and enjoying the sunshine. I will remember this day, also. 

We're not supposed to be hugging right now. But, clothing can feel like a hug. Happy memories can feel like a hug. Connecting to those we love and care about with emails, phone calls and, yes, blog posts can feel like a hug! And no germs will be shared.

So, today, consider yourself hugged from me! Now, go find some article of clothing in your closet that brings a happy memory to your mind and put it on! Then, think on that precious memory and remember that all that is causing us to not have happiness right now will pass. 

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. I Thessalonians 5:11

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A Little Bit of This and That

This and That To Pass The Time

Hi Everyone!  Just checking in with you to see how all my readers are doing.  Today's post is in true "this and that" fashion as I share bits and pieces of daily life from a week or so ago up until today. The pretty Crocuses you see above were around a tree outside my church. I snapped the photos last week before services were cancelled. 

Actually, I think the Mr. took the first picture and I took this one. He always zooms in for a better pic. Oh well. You can see how they surround the trunk of the tree in my pic. These Crocuses give me hope that Spring is coming and things will get better. I hope you feel hope at this time, as well.

I've been looking for constructive and creative ways to spend my time at home other than watching endless, scary news reports! I decided to get out my sewing machine and found a very pretty placemat that I had purchased a long while ago knowing I wanted to make something from it. I decided to create a clutch purse using the placemat fabric. It needed a little extra "oomph" so I sewed on a red button which is for looks only. The clutch stays closed with velcro tabs. I'm pretty pleased with the results. I figure in addition to using as a clutch purse, this would also be a good way to store jewelry or scarves when I travel again.

OK, I know what you're thinking and before you get too excited, no we did not get a dog. But, we have been looking for the last few months. This was a puppy we looked at several days ago before everyone was supposed to stay in and, although we both thought she was a sweetie, neither of us felt like the match was right. Plus, the Mr. would dearly love a dog to hike with and this little girl would not be big enough to be a long distance hiker. She was fun to snuggle with for a few minutes, though. Of course, as I was in the kennel looking at the puppies I managed to step in a big pile of poo! The Mr. hosed off my shoe for me and the kennel manager told me it was "good luck!" I certainly did not feel like it was good luck, however. I thought it was gross! Anyway, I came straight home and decided to put my shoes, which are Skecher Goga Mat shoes, in the washer. I hoped they wouldn't tear up being in the washer and I can tell you that they washed beautifully. So, that was our puppy adventure. A little puppy cuteness is always good for a smile!

And a little more cuteness for you. This squirrel was enjoying some birdseed outside our kitchen door.  Cassie and Garden are avid squirrel and bird watchers. It doesn't seem to bother the squirrels that two cats are staring at them through the door glass!

Dear readers, I leave you with a scripture which I hope will be an encouragement to you in these days. 

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

We are definitely in the midst of tribulation right now with all of the worry about the virus, social distancing, schedules upended, working from home, and thoughts for our own health and the health of those we love. It's scary. I have to restrict watching too much news because it upsets me and I feel frightened. I am relying on my faith in the Lord right now that this too shall pass. Better days are ahead. We will get there together. I pray that each of you are safe and well and able to feel God's peace. And I hope that this post has given you a few minutes of respite.

Peace and Blessings, 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Styling On A Running Errands Day

Monochromatic Gray For The Day

Hi Everyone!  Today was a day of running errands for my MIL so, once again, I whipped out my phone and asked the Mr. to snap a pic for me to use on the blog!  We were in historic Biltmore Village and had a couple places we needed to stop by so we decided to walk the couple of blocks and get in some extra steps. Do you do that? It's a healthy way of adding some extra walking to our day and the village is a pretty place to walk anyway. 

Look at those blue skies with white wispy clouds! I'm getting into the Spring spirit as I see pretty blue skies and the trees starting to bloom. So far I've seen daffodils and crocuses blooming and I just love it! I just hope we don't get a random frost or snowstorm that will kill all this pretty!

So, let's talk about this outfit. I must tell you that this particular top is one of those that, if I could, I would wear every day. It is super soft and comfortable, just the right weight for varying temperatures, and the added interest of vertical and horizontal stripes with a side tie gives the top a little "something extra" which I love! The vertical stripe down the side also adds a slimming effect which is never a bad thing in my book! I cut off the tags on tops pretty much as soon as I buy items and I've had this top for awhile so I can't tell you the brand, I'm afraid. I know I bought it at Stein Mart, so I'll provide a few choices for you to look at just in case you are interested in a horizontal/vertical stripe look for yourself. 

Let me know if you like any of the vertical/horizontal choices I showed you! I especially like the white flared tunic with the one black horizontal stripe. That top has a classy look to me. 

I always enjoy a monochromatic styling and gray is one of my favorite monotone colors to style. I read up about gray and found out that it represents neutrality and balance. I also read that gray can represent a dull and depressing color that can represent mourning or loss or even depression. I don't feel that way about gray at all. I find gray to be soothing and relaxing and I enjoy wearing this color often. Although I'm not showing this in today's styling, gray is also a wonderful color to add other colors to for contrast. Blues, pinks and other colors really pop when worn with gray as a background color. So, gray is a favorite color that I enjoy wearing! How about you? 

I kept the gray theme going with silver drop earrings that were a Christmas gift years ago and the gray/black flat front jeans by Laura Scott. Of course, my trusty gray Skecher booties completed the look.  Soon, I'll have to put away the Skecher booties for another season but not yet!

Dear readers, these are worrisome times with daily reports on Coronavirus and reminders to wash our hands, not touch our faces and keep our distance socially. I am finding that if I watch TV too much I start to get nervous about the whole thing. And believe me, we are washing our hands frequently! Perhaps talking about clothing and color choices at this time sounds trivial. And, in the long run it is. But, it is also a respite from the dire reports on the news. Thinking about things other than our personal health and the health of those we love can give us a mental break that is necessary to get us through times like this. Another mental break can come through remembering the words of scripture in Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you;

Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

When I feel afraid this scripture reminds me that, ultimately, God is in control no matter what else is happening in the world. We never walk alone. 

May you feel God's peace this day. May you enjoy whatever colors you are choosing to wear. And enjoy a pretty daffodil picture to cheer your day!

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Styling At The Hardware Store

How Daily Life Unfolds

Hello everyone! I'll warn you ahead of time, this is going to be one of those random thought posts where I start thinking about things that make me go, "Hmm..." and before I know it I have a blog post. I'm also looking at the pics I'll share with you and re-evaluating some styling. Including how big these sunglasses look on my face! Yikes!

So, I'm following the Mr. through Lowe's today and I begin wondering to myself if I could add up all of the hours I have spent in hardware stores in my lifetime, I wonder how many hours that would be? And, I have to tell you that after renovating three houses as a couple, with the present renovation still very much in process, I can imagine that those hours would amount to quite a large number! The Mr. refers to Lowe's and Home Depot stores as "toy stores" and believe me I have spent MUCH more time in these stores with him than he has spent in clothing stores with me! LOL!

Our mission today at the toy store was to look at stairway railings to replace the present ones we have in our house. This is a good thing as the present ones are pretty outdated. It also is a good thing because it means we have come to the point in our renovation story where this type of cosmetic touch is ready to be done. The Mr. has been working diligently on strengthening the treads and filling in places with wood filler that need it. This is laborious work and he makes it look easy. Anyway, as we were walking down an aisle I whipped out my phone and asked him to take a picture of me. I mean, why waste an opportunity for a blog photo, right? Don't all bloggers do fashion shoots at Lowe's and Home Depot?! I must tell you that I show this photo with some trepidation. I really thought I had the pattern mixing thing down but, after looking at this photo, I'm thinking, "Maybe not!" I'm doing lots of layering with a brown turtleneck, a thin print blousey top over the turtleneck and then a long cardigan/coat for warmth. I think perhaps the blousey top with the other pieces is too much pattern difference. What do you think? 

This is the style staircase we are planning to do in our house, although our steps will not be carpeted. 

And here is a "blast from the past" picture of what our staircase looks like now. Although, I no longer hang pretty quilts over the bannister since a certain gray tabby came into our lives and likes to climb! You'll notice the baby gates on the steps to keep our kitties from sliding through. This should be eliminated once the new stair design is completed. (Paws and fingers crossed that it will work!) That was a pretty dress I have on in this photo from four years ago. Shoes were cute, too.  I don't own either pieces anymore. Hmm....four years is longer than you think isn't it?!

So, just a few random thoughts on the blog today. Nothing monumental. Hardware stores that are toy stores to some. And the hours I have spent in them over the years. Changes to our stairwell. Changes in my stylings from four years ago.'s the one thing we can count on, right? 

Is anything changing in your life?  And, what would count as your "toy store?"  Do tell me in a comment.  One thing that never changes is that I love hearing from my readers!

Until Next Time,