Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Match Made In Seven: Steel Magnolias

Are You A Steel Magnolia?

Hi everyone! It's that fun time of the month when my international fashion/lifestyle blogger's group interprets a theme chosen by one of us. The theme can be anything; a movie, color, favorite book, etc. This month the theme is chosen by me and is "Steel Magnolias." I think I really challenged the group with this one but, hey, if I could come up with interpreting themes like "Punk" and "Neon" I knew these fantastic and fashionable ladies could handle a theme like Steel Magnolias! Be sure to check out each of their blogs after you have read my post to see how they interpreted the theme. Their links will appear at the end of the post. And, this month, we welcome Eva to our group! 

When I chose this theme I was thinking a lot about what has been going on in our country and the world with the Covid 19 pandemic. I thought about the strength that women (and men) around the world have needed and continue to need as we go through this uncertain time. If you look up the definition of a "steel magnolia" it says; "A woman who exemplifies both traditional femininity as well as an uncommon fortitude." Even before the pandemic, the women in our Match Made in Seven group have shown their strength as well as their femininity in their lives and on their blogs. We are women who have weathered many storms and have come out of these storms full of the wisdom, character, strength and femininity that is a Steel Magnolia. So, with that in mind, I have chosen two outfits that I feel show my fortitude as well as my femininity.

Wearing a jacket with a dress has always made me feel strong and confident in a business-like way. This blue jacket by "For Cynthia" pairs beautifully with the multi-color dress by "MSN."  

Adding some great jewelry like a silver pin and silver earrings enhances the look and, of course, every Steel Magnolia needs a pearl necklace! Click here to see some of the cast of Steel Magnolias the movie rocking jackets and pearls!

I also love the feminine look of a blouse with a bow at the neck. These blouses are on trend right now and harken back to the 80's when I was starting a career in education and wanted to look professional and like I knew what I was doing! I was always careful to try and "dress for success" when I went to school each day. After all, I was the teacher! The peach clutch with a tassel is also a feminine touch to a more business-like look. Every Steel Magnolia needs a few bows and tassels in their wardrobe! The blouse, by Lark & Ro, is available in many colors on Amazon if you are interested. I was especially pleased to find that there is a loop on the back of the neck for the tie so it can be removed if you prefer to wear the blouse without the bow. 

You know, the world is made up of women whom I believe are Steel Magnolias. They work hard, take care of their homes and families, care for their friends and multi-task with so many things while looking gorgeous doing it! These women are gorgeous not because of the clothing they wear or the styling of their hair and makeup, but because of the strength of character they bring to everything and everyone in their world. You know, I have a feeling that you, dear reader, are a Steel Magnolia too!

Now, please be sure to head on over to the other ladies' blogs and enjoy their posts. And, I hope you will leave a comment. I love hearing from you!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, May 21, 2020

How To Fake Wearing A White Dress

Faking You Out With Style

Hello everyone! I'm trying to fake you out today with my styling. You'll have to let me know if I have succeeded! White dresses seem to be on trend for this Spring and Summer and for awhile now I have been looking at some different white dress choices online. The one in the next pic has especially caught my eye. 

Photo from Stein Mart Ad

Isn't this a pretty dress? It also comes in blue. I have looked and looked at this dress thinking....hmmm...should I order this or not? It is so very tempting I have to tell you. But, then, I started thinking about what I already own and wondered if I could perhaps create a close look using a white blouse and my white skirt. So, off to my closet I went to do a little closet shopping. 

It's always wonderful to use what we already own, isn't it? But, the fun factor of buying a new item is lost when we closet shop. Money is saved, however, which is always a good thing. Everybody has to weigh the pros and cons, I guess, and figure out what is best for them individually. I tend to think about whether or not the new piece is similar to something I already own. I don't have a white dress currently. Or one that is the length of the Stein Mart dress. But, I do have this white skirt and top. Hmmmm...

So, while I'm still thinking, please tell me if I faked you out. How did I do??? Did you think I was wearing a white dress? 

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

How To Style A Crochet Halter Neck Dress

A Little Crochet On A Summer Dress

Hello everyone! It's been a few days. I think this post may make it to publication. I actually had worked a couple of days on another post and then decided it was too boring so I deleted it. I almost went to sleep reading it! So, I hope you will enjoy today's post more and not find it a "snoozer!"  I'm styling a pretty summer dress for you that has delicate shades of blue stripes and just a touch of crochet for interest. 

The dress itself is actually quite simple. What first caught my eye was the crochet neckline and the band of crochet on the bottom half separating vertical and horizontal stripes. You know I love blue anyway and the crochet aspect was just icing on the cake! I looked at the dress awhile online before I ordered it. The fact that it was really marked down also helped! 

I'm styling the dress for you with and without a blue jean jacket and with two different styles of shoes so you can get some ideas if you would like to try something similar. I had to run out and get these pics in between rainstorms this evening. We have been having heavy rain that is in the forecast all week. I will miss seeing the sunshine!

Here I'm showing the dress with sandals that are more of a dove gray color. The dress has some light blue that is more of a light gray so the dress and shoes go well together. I just think the colors in this dress say "summer."  Today's temps are on the cooler side with the rain, however, so I was kinda glad to get back inside!

I wish I had more news to share with you. Every day seems the same anymore. I was telling a friend today that I don't feel like I am truly useful these days. I do the dishes, make the bed, put together a few meals and do some laundry. And that's about it! So, getting a new summer dress was kind of exciting! 

A Few Additional Tidbits

For those who are interested, here are a few items of interest. I've been creating a few more cards using paper crafting and that gave me some pleasant moments recently.

And my little seedlings that I have been carefully nurturing in my dining room are now planted in containers on the back porch. The Mr. bought flexible plastic fencing that we have wrapped around the outside to try and keep critters out. Would you believe I looked out yesterday and saw that two little chipmunks had weazled their way inside the netting?! I went out and yelled at them as they scurried down the porch wall. I'm sure that will take care of the matter! 😏 

And, finally, the Mr. and I took a walk around Biltmore Village the other day. There was nobody around which is highly unusual for Biltmore Village! As you can see we were taking precautions!

The Mr. snapped this photo of an interesting tree in the village. It looks like a grown-up Bonsai tree, doesn't it?!

Here's hoping I haven't put you to sleep today but, if I did, at least I gave you a good nap!  Take care, wear your masks, social distance, wash your hands and leave me a comment! I love hearing from you. 

Until Next Time,

Friday, May 8, 2020

A Basket Full of Blooms and Other Miscellaneous News

Blooms On My Driveway

Hello everyone!  Today is a no fashion post.  I'm just sharing a few, I hope, interesting tidbits like the walk I took this evening along my driveway and a few other things. Just a little bit of this and that. Hope you enjoy!

Our rhododendrons are in full bloom right now and are so very pretty. I decided to cut a few blooms to create arrangements for in the house. We are supposed to have a hard frost tonight and I'm afraid all of our blooming flowers will not be with us tomorrow!

How pretty are these gorgeous blooms? The bees were certainly enjoying them!

Our other azalea bushes are already looking spent. This bush is hanging in there but I cut a few blooms from it to enjoy in the house. Even in the house in a vase of water I know the blooms won't last long. 

We also have lots of honeysuckle in bloom. The yellow color is such a nice contrast against the green. We can take hints about color combinations for clothing and other fabrics from nature. God has a good eye for color!

And I passed by our waterfall as I walked up the drive. It is flowing strongly after the Spring rains we have had. We hope to have some work done on the culvert under our driveway since we have had flooding this Spring from the waterfall overflowing. We keep waiting for the workmen to come and get started! No workmen yet!! But, the waterfall certainly is pretty. 

So, I brought my basket full of blooms into the house to start arranging them. Notice I'm wearing a coat. Our warmer weather has changed to much chillier weather today. 

I used four different containers for the flowers. Tall vases and shorter vases. These are now scattered around the house, placed strategically in spots where little paws cannot get to them. I love the colors and the way the arrangements came together in these containers. 

Now.....in other news......we have had a variety of backyard visitors lately. Would you like to see them?

Knock, Knock, anybody home? How would you like to see this at your door? This cub was curious about seeing Cassie on the floor staring up at him/her.

And this bear was disappointed that there was no bird feeder on the pole. Say what?!

This family of four includes a mama and three yearlings. I'm sure we saw this family last year when the cubs were just wee babies. 

This blue jay and its mate have been coming to the yard regularly this Spring. It seems to be saying, "Are you takin' a picture of me, huh?!"

And we also have a red headed woodpecker that has been visiting regularly. Being at home so much, I have really enjoyed watching the birds and other animals this Spring. 

I've also been doing some cooking......

This is a tasty vegetable bean soup topped with couscous and served with crunchy taco shells. 

The soup contains mixed vegetables, black beans, chicken broth and spices. 

Couscous is one of the easiest grains to cook. I used one cup of chicken broth brought to a boil and added in one cup of couscous, removed it from the heat and covered it. Wait five minutes and fluff it up with a fork. So easy!

The crumbled up taco shells added another layer of flavor to the soup. 

And finally......I've been doing some reading. 

Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914)
Image of Mary Roberts Rhinhart from Wikipedia
Mary Roberts Rhinehart was a prolific author who some have compared to Agatha Christie. I have read some of her mysteries that I owned and since we have been quarantined, I have been looking for more of her books to read. I was delighted to find that our local library offers several of her books online so I have been reading from this virtual library using my phone. I never thought I would enjoy reading books this way as I love the feel and smell of real books. However, I am finding that I actually enjoy being able to pull out my phone and click on the library app that takes me back to where I left off at the last reading. Also, if I want to read in bed at night the "book" is illuminated so I can read with the lights off. While I won't read this way all the time, I like being able to find "new" books to read while the regular library and bookstores aren't open. For a bibliophile like me, this has been a life saver!

That's my non-fashion news for now. What are you reading, cooking and seeing in your yard-blooming or otherwise? Hope you'll let me know in a comment. Stay safe and well!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, May 2, 2020

How To Style Denim and White Together

A New Twist On A Classic Pairing

Hi Everyone! There is just something so classic about pairing denim with white. Whether it's a white shirt with denim jeans or, like I'm styling today, a white skirt with a denim top, there is a crispness to the style which I like. I've been thinking about trying this denim blouse with this white skirt for awhile now and today was the day I felt like playing in my closet and giving it a try!

The key to this styling is tying the denim shirt at the waist. This gives the look a little something extra and unexpected. I have to make sure it is pulled smooth though when I wear this. The shirt and the skirt are both thrifted items that I have owned for quite a long while and never wore together. Would you believe that I saw a denim skirt online yesterday that was priced at over $300?! There is no way I would pay that much for denim! 

I thought this styling called for white accessories so I am wearing a white bead necklace that was my Mom's, two white bracelets and white earrings. Again, a crisp look against the denim.

I thought I was done and then I wondered how the denim blouse would look tucked in to the skirt. So, I decided to give that a try and added a belt with pink accents and pink sandals. These sandals are so pretty and I intend to wear them more this Spring and Summer! I like the sleeves rolled up on this blouse, also. It was getting warm outside so sleeves rolled up was called for!

In order to pull out the pink in the belt and shoes more, I switched out my jewelry to a pink toned bracelet. I like a little matchy, matchy with my outfits. I kept wearing the white earrings which still goes well with all of the colors in this pairing. 

I'm pretty pleased with this styling and will remember this outfit to wear in the future. You know, it pays to look in your closet and think about combinations that will work well together and, then, put on the clothes and see what you think. Especially now, when we all may have a little extra time, playing in your closet can create a whole new series of outfits that you may never have thought about! So, what are you waiting for? Go play in your closet!! But first, I hope you will leave me a comment!

I want to thank all of my readers for continuing to visit my blog and a special thanks to those of you who faithfully leave comments. I treasure each comment and read them always!

May your day be blessed and filled with some joy! I leave you with this scripture from Jeremiah 17:7-8 

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

Until Next Time,