Friday, August 28, 2020

A Drive On The Blue Ridge Parkway and A Chico's Pink Top

 In The Pink On A Parkway Drive

Hey Everyone!  The Mr. and I took a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway today and I thought perhaps you might want to drive along with us. There was some beautiful scenery along the way and we enjoyed getting out for a bit. I'm also combining a bit of fashion in this post. The pink top is one I bought at Chico's about a year and a half ago. I bought a blue top in the same style at the same time. After buying them I decided I didn't like them at all and almost gave them away. Fast forward to this summer and I have been wearing both tops on repeat! Go figure! Sometimes it takes me awhile to realize that I actually do like a clothing item. Does that ever happen to you?

We stopped at the Mt. Pisgah parking lot and walked around a bit and snapped some photos. Today wasn't really about hiking so we didn't go far. I have hiked up Mt. Pisgah several times. I even sprained my ankle on one hike coming back down. There is a great view at the top. 

We enjoyed the views from down below. No sprained ankles today!

We did just a little walking. I love when the rhododendron makes a canopy over the trail like this!

The Mr. enjoying the view.

We keep trying to get better at taking selfies!  The clouds were darkening as you can see. 

Time to go and continue the drive. The top I'm wearing is called "the ultimate tee" and the day I bought it is the only time I have bought clothing from Chico's. The top is 60% cotton and 40% modal. There has been shrinkage and I think it fits better now. The top is comfortable to wear. When I wash and dry it, it comes out of the dryer sort of puckered but once it is on a hanger the material relaxes smoothly if that makes sense. I bought this top on sale. I would not pay the prices many of their "tee tops" are priced at but here is a link to some moderately priced tee tops on sale. 

We continued our drive further on the Blue Ridge Parkway. For a Friday afternoon it wasn't too busy which was nice. 

But, with rain coming, I was ready for us to turn around and head back home. 

So, that was our drive on the Parkway today. It was a nice way to spend a Friday afternoon. How about you? Have you ever driven on the Parkway? Are you a Chico's shopper? Are you great at taking selfies? (If so we need some hints!!) Hope you'll leave a comment and let me know. I look forward to hearing from you. 

And, many thanks to those of you who left such wonderful and thoughtful comments on my last blog post about what is happening with blogging. I loved hearing your thoughts!

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

What Is Happening With Blogging?

Is Blogging Becoming Passe?

Hey everyone!  I'm just sharing a few thoughts today about blogging and things I have noticed recently about this favorite hobby of mine. First, though, please notice the beautiful flowers that The Mr. bought for me at the grocery store the other day as we shopped. I'm into fresh flowers right now and these are gorgeous!

Anyway, sometimes as I do chores around the house I think about things, like how groups I have recently been a part of as a blogger seem to be closing down. For instance, I think I told you that "Match Made In Seven" is no more. So, no more monthly challenges to help me move outside of my comfort zone with style. It was fun while it lasted and I did get quite the kick out of saying that I belonged to an "international blogging group." Oh well.  And now, another group, one on Facebook, has closed down. No real reason given other than there were only a few of us participating. But, we were participating. And, I'm going to miss that group. It was another chance to not only share my posts to a wider audience but to also see other bloggers that I like to follow. You may have noticed that I have added some new blogs that I follow to the sidebar on my blog. Check out my list and you might find some other blogs you would enjoy reading. But, hey, be sure to keep coming back to mine, OK?!

Change Profile Photo

Surely to goodness Instagram isn't taking over the blogging world that much! Or is it? I am on Instagram as debbiestyleslife and the above pic is the one I use on my Instagram profile page. You can follow me if you like. But, I certainly am not giving up my blog to just be on Instagram. And, can anybody please explain hashtags to me? I've tried using them and I just don't get what they are supposed to do. I know, I know....old school here. Oh well. 

There are a few things about blogging I don't like very much. The Blogger platform recently changed to the "NewBlogger" and I have chosen to stay with the classic platform. I hope they don't force me to go to the new one. I don't like change and I will go kicking and screaming if I have to! But, I will still continue blogging. I guess this old dog will just have to learn a few new tricks! I also get very annoyed at blogs that have lots of ads on the page and you can't read the blog post for all of the ads popping up all over the screen! That is so annoying and it has turned me off of more than one blog! I understand that some folks monetize their blogs to make a living and/or to drive down the costs of what they pay for on their blog but that doesn't take away from feeling annoyed when I'm trying to read a post. 

So, just a few thoughts about blogging today. Do any of these thoughts resonate in some form or fashion with you? 

What do you think of when you do chores around the house? 

Oh, and hope you enjoy the pics of the fox. He was a recent backyard visitor. 

Until Next Time,

Remember to keep smelling the roses each day!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

My First Experience With Poshmark

Thrift Shopping Online

*I am not a seller for or representative of Poshmark. All writing and opinions are my own. 

Hello, hello everyone!  I don't know about you but Covid-19 has really put a stop to the thrifting that I love to do at Goodwill. Spending an hour or two looking through the racks and finding something wonderful for a few dollars has always been a fun outing in my opinion. But, even though the stores are now open, I just don't feel that I want to go in right now. So, I was kind of excited when I found Poshmark online and decided to scoop up a few items and give it a try. My very first buy from Poshmark is the lovely Alfred Dunner red top you see above. 

For those readers who may not be familiar with Poshmark, it is an online buying and selling platform for clothing, jewelry, shoes and selected makeup and beauty products. I have heard Poshmark spoken about on other blogs I read for quite awhile but had never looked into what it offered until about three weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of gently used and new-with-tags clothing that is offered by different sellers. You must set up an account to browse (email, a user name you select and a password you invent) and then you can create your "feed" on which you can select brand name clothing you like. You can also search for any brand using a huge list of brands already listed in A-Z order. If you see an article of clothing you are interested in you can either buy it at the sellers price or you can "make an offer" for the item and wait to see if the seller counter-offers or accepts your price. If they accept your price it is automatically sold to you. I have found it fun to make offers to see what happens. The red top was listed for $16 and I offered $8 which the seller accepted. I use paypal for purchases on Poshmark but I believe you can also use other forms of payment as well. I'm still learning the platform. There is a standard $7.11 shipping fee which, in my opinion, can take away from getting a bargain. So, I take that into consideration when making a purchase. If you buy from one seller only, you can "bundle" items and get a discount on the bundle. I have also learned that if I "like" an item the seller will usually come back with an offer of a lower price and/or a lower price for shipping (usually $4.95). 

This striped top with bell sleeves by "A New Approach" is another item that I bundled with a pair of sandals. I actually messed up a bit on my first order because I didn't understand how to do "bundling" from one seller. The red top, striped top and sandals were all from the same seller and I ended up buying the red top first and getting free shipping (which you get for your first order) and then I saw the striped top and sandals and made offers on them but then realized that I would be charged for shipping. Oh well, it took me awhile to learn the platform and how everything works. The Crocs sandals (not shown in this post) were marked by the seller at $19 and the striped top was marked by the seller at $13. I offered lower prices on both and the seller offered me a bundle price of $11 for both items together! I had to pay the shipping costs and tax which brought the total up to $19 but I still think that's a pretty good bargain!

So, here is my list of pros and cons for using Poshmark. 

  • There are many, many sellers offering a plethora of clothing items and brand names
  • You can search for items by brand names or "follow" a particular seller that you like to "shop their closet."
  • If you are so inclined, you can sell on Poshmark as well as shop for items. I am not interested in selling items at this time. 
  • It is possible to make lower offers for items. The offers may or may not be accepted by the seller.
  • The buyer is able to "decline" offers that are made by the seller.
  • For those who like the social aspect of things, Poshmark can be an avenue for social commenting on items and "parties" offered to shop clothing online. I have not taken advantage of the social aspect of Poshmark.
  • It takes awhile to learn the platform. It's not difficult but I recommend exploring for awhile before diving right into making purchases. I missed out on free shipping for all my items because I wasn't quite sure what I was doing.
  • The shipping fee is at a set price of $7.11 whether you buy one item or multiple items from one seller. And, if you buy from multiple sellers you pay the shipping fee for each seller. Plus you pay tax for each purchase. So, in my opinion, the shipping fees can take away from the bargain aspect of buying an item. 

I have enjoyed browsing Poshmark and seeing what they offer and I am enjoying my new purchases. I also have a couple pairs of pants on order right now so I will have some more Poshmark items to show you in future posts. I have found that Poshmark is not as good a bargain as Goodwill, due to some of the seller's prices and the shipping costs, but I like what I have bought so far and it is possible to find some really quality, name brand pieces on Poshmark so I recommend giving it a try! 

Have you bought from Poshmark before? Are you a bargain shopper like me? Hope you will leave a comment and let me know! 

Until Next Time,

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Pink Top, Hiking Trail, Harvest Time and Good Eats!

Food, Fashion and Fun!

Hi Everyone! In true this and that fashion, this post has a little of everything so I hope you enjoy and gain some inspiration. First off, I'm sharing a pink top that I am wearing a lot of late. It's a very simple solid pink top by Time and Tru which is a Walmart brand. I like the square neckline and the smocking along the sleeve and neckline which adds a little something extra to this casual shirt. I'm wearing a medium for size reference and it's quite roomy. This brand tends to run large. 

The Mr. took these pictures on the "Point Lookout Trail" which is a hiking/biking trail which connects Black Mountain, NC to Old Fort, NC. It is a distance each way of about 3.5 miles.  We were scouting this trail as the Mr. is interested in possibly hiking or biking it. We walked awhile and it is a lovely and quiet trail which I think I would enjoy hiking also. It's an old highway that is closed to motorized traffic so only foot traffic and bikes are allowed. 

And ta-da!  Here I am harvesting the first cucumber from my container plants I have been babying along since February!

This is what it looked like before I pulled it off the vine. It was delicious!

And in other food news, here is a vegetarian skillet meal I created recently. It is loosely based on a favorite fried rice with pineapple dish that my friend, Sharon, and I always order at a local Thai restaurant. I was craving the dish and invented this one myself to enjoy at home.

Here it is on the plate. It was incredibly easy to make. I started with a package of steamed brown rice and sauteed the rice in some olive oil in a skillet. I then added leftover steamed mixed vegetables and cut up two Morningstar Farms vegetarian chicken patties and added that to the mix. As a final touch at the end, I stirred in some pineapple chunks and Durkees onions for a little crunch. It was delicious and satisfied my craving for the Thai restaurant dish. 

I enjoyed a really delicious salad for lunch today, also. I like my salads chopped so I chopped up iceberg lettuce and baby spinach and then topped it with chopped celery and carrots. I added roast turkey slices and 2 tablespoons of a nut/raisin mix I get at the grocery store called "No Salt Added." It's a mix of almonds, cashews, walnuts, raisins and sunflower seeds. Topped off with Ranch dressing it was a crunchy delight. Yumm!!

So that's it for now. Just a little bit of this and that from my house to yours. Stay well and happy!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, August 9, 2020

How To Spend A Sunday Afternoon

Lake Walking In The Heat

Hello everyone!  Is it hot where you live?  It certainly is here and I suggested to the Mr. that we drive to Lake Junaluska about 35 miles from here to enjoy a walk around the lake today. He snapped some pics along the way which I'm sharing. I'll warn you ahead of time I look very hot, sweaty and windblown! 

Lake Junaluska is such a beautiful place to walk. It is the headquarters of the United Methodist Conference and normally is bustling with activity. Many retired pastors live in homes scattered around the lake and conferences and retreats are typically held there year round. We love to go there to just enjoy the scenery and walk around the lake. 

Here is a statue of a famous waterfowl commemorated at the lake. I think his name was Walter.

And some beautiful flowers along the walkway. The colors were amazing!

We took a selfie crossing the bridge.  There were other walkers along the way and also folks kayaking and rowing on the lake. We all maintained a safe distance!

This shrub was on the far side of the lake approaching the pool area. It's so cute!

The gorgeous chapel where many weddings and worship services have been held. The Mr. has played trumpet there several times.

More beautiful flowers close to the chapel. 

And a final picture before we head back to the car and drive home.  The sky was blue, the clouds were lovely, the flowers gorgeous and the sun was hot, but it was worth it all to walk in such a lovely place on a Sunday afternoon! 

How about you?  How did you spend your Sunday? 

Until Next Time,

*photography by William Ross

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Things That Make Me Smile

What Makes You Smile?

Hello everyone!  What is it that makes you smile?  That's the topic of today's post. Proverbs 15:13 says, "A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed." I feel that, more than ever, we need to look for the things in everyday life that can make us smile. Some days smiling is harder for me to do than others, especially lately. How about you? So today, I'm sharing some things which have made me smile recently and my hope is that you will be prompted to look for things in your own life that make you smile. Let's all smile together, shall we?!

Flowers always make me smile and I have really been enjoying the store bought arrangement that I treated myself to a few days ago, as well as my beautiful zinnias planted on our back porch. I was able to separate out the flowers from the store and created two vases to display on our living room mantel. The colors are so vibrant and pretty and I find myself smiling each time I walk by and see them. Likewise, when I'm on the back porch the brilliance of these zinnias just cheers my soul! What a blessing pretty flowers are!

And just look at this cucumber growing! I smiled when I saw the little bud that was the beginning of this very pretty cucumber. The bees and butterflies have been buzzing about and I know that more cucumbers will be coming but this first one brings so much excitement! I see a little ladybug is visiting, also. Just don't bother my cucumber ladybug!!

And this was the first thing I saw when I looked out my kitchen window this morning. Two lovely deer stopping by for a beverage. There was a third deer, a fawn with spots, that stayed hidden in the woods but these two ventured out for me to see and photograph. How very beautiful they are! Yes, they can be pests, but I only see the beauty and gentleness of deer and they brought a smile to my face. The smaller one saw us taking pictures and just froze and its front legs were shaking. I felt bad for alarming it. I would never hurt a deer. 

As you know, books often make me smile and when I find a book by a favorite author that I have not yet read the smile is really big! I thought I had read all the Miss Read books I own but when I pulled, "The Howards of Caxley," off my shelf and started reading I realized that I had owned this book for years and never read it. How did that happen?! Anyway, I am enjoying it immensely and, sadly, am almost finished. But, I'll enjoy it again in the future, I'm sure, and have an opportunity to smile some more!

And, oh yes, comfortable outfits can make me smile, and this dress/tunic continues to make me smile whenever I wear it. I am styling it a bit differently today than when I showed it to you the first time. Today, I am wearing a black nylon tunic underneath and also black leggings. I feel a bit more comfortable with this look as I feel I am covered more. I would definitely wear this outfit "out" with no hesitation. 

I know we have all heard that it takes more muscles to frown than to smile and the science is still out on that, although what I read today says that our smile muscles may be stronger so that it may take slightly less effort to smile than to frown. But, whatever the science says, I know that personally it FEELS better to smile than to frown. So, I'm hoping that this post has brought a smile to your face and perhaps is leading you to think of some things that bring smiles to you. Let me know what some of them are in the comments, OK? And many, many thanks to all of you who read and commented on the 5th anniversary of my blog. Your comments surely made me smile and I cherish each and every one!

Until Next Time,
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
Song of Solomon 2:12