Thursday, August 26, 2021

From My Heart Celebrating Six Years of Blogging

When I started blogging in 2015 I truly had no conception of the time involved, the commitment needed or the passion I would feel for something that started out as a lark. To be still at it as I celebrate 6 years of blogging is truly something of which I am proud!

This blog has evolved over the six years in terms of name (I began as Debbie This and That)  and into a lifestyle blog that seeks to entertain, uplift, inspire and give ideas to women who, like me, are interested in reading about a variety of lifestyle issues. Not just about fashion, or books, or home decor, or daily life, or faith issues, but about a little bit of ALL of it. A little bit of this and that, in homage to the original blog name, is what Debbie Styles Life is all about!

I will admit that I had high hopes when I started this blog that I would be one of those bloggers who “hit it big” in terms of readership numbers. I wasn’t so concerned with monetizing my blog but I did want people to read what I had to say. Over the years, I have made blogging decisions that I believe have impacted those high hopes to some degree and my numbers have never reached the “going viral” stage. Changing my blog name definitely impacted the numbers and I lost many followers who never came back. I have also chosen to stay on a platform which is not the typical “recommended” one for bloggers who want a large readership. Whether that has anything to do with how my blog is advertised out on the web I have no idea but I have been advised over the years to leave the platform. I have chosen not to do so as I feel very comfortable working with the software on this platform and do not know how to do all of the “techie” things which may be required of me on another platform. I don’t need to worry about backing up my blog or figuring out what to do about hacking. My blog platform takes care of all of that for me. 

For me, my blogging at this point in life is like the comfort of an old shoe. It may have a few scuffs here and there and be worn a bit, but it is so comfortable I would not want to part with it being the way it is. My readers are the VERY BEST readers and their loyalty, interest and comments mean so very much to me. When I have those moments, as all bloggers do, when I get tired or can’t come up with something to write about and I begin to think about quitting, I remember my readers and how sad I would be if I could no longer connect with them and that always gets me back on track with blogging!

Several years ago, I read a description of another blog that I wish I had copied down to keep because I loved the description so much. It was to the effect that this person’s blog wasn’t the BIG store type blog but was more like when one walks down a street window shopping into lovely little stores that offered a variety of interesting and homey items. This writer evoked a sense of comfort and warmth in describing their blog. And that, my friends, is what I want….what I hope….all of you feel when you read my blog. A sense of home where you can kick off your shoes, put up your feet, have a cup of tea and just relax and enjoy. 

I continue to think about my blog and what topics readers like and what topics they don’t. Pretty much every year at “birthday time” I ask readers to let me know their thoughts and every year, without exception, the answer is to keep doing what I’m doing. And so, I will!

I do want to reiterate that I don’t consider myself an expert on ANY topic I share on the blog! I often think about stopping certain posts, mostly those where I share fashion. I have never considered myself “model” quality and I still will look at fashion posts and feel a bit silly. After all, what do I have to offer others in terms of fashion sense? Or, for that matter, home decor, sharing of books or devotionals? 

I guess what I have to offer through blogging is being my genuine self. I’m just a sixty-something woman who has always enjoyed fashion from the time she was about three years old clomping around the house in her mother’s high heeled shoes. I’ve always enjoyed clothes and styling them and trying different outfit pieces on to see how they go together. I’ve always loved jewelry and I like to wear necklaces and bracelets and rings in ways that compliment my outfits. I don’t really care if clothing or jewelry are expensive or not as long as they look good and I feel I look good wearing them. And so I share these qualities in the fashion posts I write. 

Likewise, I offer my genuine self in terms of home decor. I know my house doesn’t look like most of the houses you will see displayed on other blogs, or on Pinterest or Instagram. And I’m kind of glad about that. It’s not that those houses aren’t beautiful with all of their Farmhouse decor and perfectly styled porches. It’s just that I believe that houses need to be homes not museums. Do people actually LIVE in these homes we see images of so frequently? If you came to my front door right this minute you would see what I consider to be some pretty decor items. But, you would also see some dust bunnies and some clutter scattered around each room. Do you know why? Because, in my opinion, that is how people LIVE. Some of the most favorite homes I have ever visited had dust bunnies and clutter and the people who lived there were real people who made me feel at home and offered kindness and warmth. That is what I hope to offer with my home decor. 

And then there are my books. Oh my goodness, no matter where life leads me in the future my friends, I must have my books! Where would I be without Miss Read, Agatha Raisin, Quilleran and his cats, Betsy-Tacy, The Magical Cats and all of the other wonderful characters who, over the years, have become my friends and companions? None of the titles I have shared on the blog over the years are “great thinking” books. And yet, great thinking is to be found in reading them because these books exude warmth and friendship and love of pets, friends and home. All things that are very important to me. 

Speaking of pets, you know I had to include posts over the years that included my loveable fur babies! Whether it was Gracie the Ace Cat Reporter or my two fur- sleuths Cassie and Garden, I have made room on the blog to showcase the furry members of my family. And although he is not furry or a pet, this is a good spot to give a shout out to The Mr. who supports me in all of my blogging endeavors. I appreciate him so very much.

And, of course, there are the posts I have shared over the years that were devotionals or that shared scriptural thoughts. My faith is very important to me. My love for Jesus and my belief that He is as near as our very breath is a constant in my life. I don’t consider myself a Biblical Scholar, but I do read the Bible and believe in what it says. Am I a perfect person? Absolutely not. But faith in Christ isn’t about being perfect because He was perfect for us to the point of giving His life for us. I surely try each day to live as God wants me to live. But, being human, I often fail. I have faith that God loves me no matter what and that God came to us in the human form of Jesus to teach us how to live by His example. And so, I cling to my faith during good times and bad and I enjoy sharing devotional thoughts and scriptures with my readers. 

So, in a nutshell dear readers, this blog is about me being me. Sharing how I do life on a daily basis warts and all! I’ve been at it for six years. I look forward to more years of sharing a little bit of this and that with all of you! If you like what you read, I encourage you to tell others so they too can become my bloggy friends. And, as always, I encourage you to leave a comment because I LOVE hearing from you! 

From my heart, to my readers, after six years of blogging.

Until Next Time, 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Pairing Old with New


Sometimes, it's fun to pair something old with something new and that's just what I'm styling for you today. Old jeans (you can tell by the patches) paired with a new-to-me blue shirt. This is what I changed into after church and it made for a comfortable outfit to wear the rest of the day. 

I had worn this blue necklace to church with a dress (which I'll share in a later post) and decided to see what the necklace would look like with a more casual look. I really like it! I think it can be fun to pair a dressier piece of jewelry with a casual shirt and jeans. The sandals I'm wearing are also old but add a nice touch to the casual look. 

The shirt was a dollar rack special buy at The Asheville Humane Thrift Store and I really like it a lot. The cobalt blue is so bright and the material is a crinkly wrinkle free fabric. It is a Blair top and is high quality. I know I will get a lot of wear out of this top. 

So tell me, do you enjoy pairing old pieces with new ones? Do you enjoy wearing dressier jewelry pieces with more casual outfits? I hope you will let me know in the comments. Or just tell me how you are doing. I love to hear from you! Oh, and be sure to join me later this week when I celebrate my six years of blogging! You don't want to miss the post!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Fall Tablescape and Easy DIY Crafts for Fall

 Preparing For Fall In The House

Hi everyone!  It's hard to believe that September will be here in less than two weeks. And even though I want to hold onto the warm weather as long as possible, I'm starting to think about adding some Fall decor to our home and also doing some Fall crafting. The Mr. and I found a gorgeous cloth pumpkin and a couple of cute Fall critters while shopping at Michaels today. 

Fall critters and cloth pumpkin tablescape

I created an early Fall tablescape using these pieces on our dining room table. I just love the colors of the pumpkin. The houndstooth is so pretty in the color and the felt leaves on top add just the right touch. And how cute are the squirrel and fox!! I think the bushy tail and eyeglasses on the squirrel are just too cute. We have similar critters that we used during Christmas and winter last year. Perhaps I can incorporate all of the critters together for the holidays this year!
I may move these pieces to another part of the house when I go full out into Fall decorating but, for now, this is where they are living.

While we were at Michaels I also picked up some new wide ribbon to create an early Fall wreath. I decided to take the old ribbon off of this wreath and reuse the foam frame. As you can see my trusty fur-assistant is helping me to unwind the old ribbon. 

I chose a tan wire-edged ribbon with lace down the middle. I think it is so pretty with the lace and portrays an early Fall look without lots of orange and dark brown color. It is so easy to create a simple wreath by just wrapping the ribbon being sure to overlap and the wrapping continues. One three yard spool of this ribbon was plenty for this project. 

Tan and lace wreath

And here is the completed wreath hanging on our front door. I used the leftover ribbon to fashion the bow. The ribbon and bow are all secured to the foam with strait pins. And I attached a ribbon hanger to the back. That's it! I couldn't be more pleased with my early Fall wreath!

I also enjoy adding a little extra light to the living room as early Fall approaches. So, I brought out of storage this pretty lighted tree that I use on the lower tier of the side table in the living room.

Soft and warm light on the side table

I like the way the light reflects off of the wall and adds a touch of warmth around the photos. 

And, finally, here's a little sewing I've done recently. Not really Fall but I'll share it anyway! This is an eyeglass case that I created using material from a placemat. This is the case I use next to our bed and I am really enjoying it. I prefer a soft cover/slip-in case and this works perfectly. Plus, the butterfly fabric is so pretty. 

So that's it!  A little early Fall decorating for you.  Perhaps you got some ideas from this post for your own decorating.  Let me know in the comments if you are already thinking about Fall and if you are planning on decorating. Or, share anything you like.  I love hearing from you!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, August 15, 2021

A Favorite Boho Paisley Skirt and Being My Own DIY Seamstress

 Styling Does Not Need To Be Expensive

Hello everyone!  I'm back today with the promised style post.  If you missed my last post where I shared about a fun Sunday drive to Mars Hill and a relaxing hike, be sure to take a minute to catch up! 

In this post, I'm sharing a favorite skirt and how I am sometimes my own seamstress. I have two outfits to show you and both go together with the seamstress idea. I'll tie it all together for you so don't worry!

You have actually seen this gorgeous paisley skirt on the blog before but that was more of a fall paisley skirt styling and today I'm featuring the skirt styled for summer. I thrifted this boho style skirt at Goodwill and it is my very favorite skirt to wear! I love the colors, the patterning and the lightweight feel of this skirt. And did I mention its "swish" quality? 

Yes, the skirt is very full and swishes around my legs so nicely! This is definitely a girly-girl skirt! This is what I actually wore to tutor a student today. I enjoy dressing a bit more "teacherish" when I tutor so this fit the bill today. This skirt was a bit tight in the waist when I got it so I added some elastic to the waist band to make it more comfortable to wear. I did not do a professional job, so I'm not going to show you the waistband. But hey, it works for me and is always covered by a top anyway so no one is the wiser.....except for all of you I just told! 😇 You all are angels, so I know you won't tell on me!

I'm also sharing some shorts with you that I did a little seamstress job on recently. These were thrifted from Goodwill a couple of years ago and although I liked the material, the fit wasn't quite right. The waist was really comfy but the leg portions were more of a looser style...kind of culottes but not quite if that makes sense. I wore them once or twice this summer and decided that they looked too "old" on me and I was just going to give them away. 

To make a long story short, I got to thinking about the shorts after putting them in the giveaway bag and thought, "Duh! The problem is they are too long and I can hem them up!" So, I got out my sewing machine, took the shorts out of the giveaway bag and hemmed them and I like them so much better now! The proportions just seem better on me. Isn't it interesting how an inch or two can make a difference? 

So the point of today's post is twofold. First of all, fashion doesn't have to be expensive in order to look good and be enjoyed. The skirt and shorts that I shared today were both thrifted, in good condition, at an inexpensive price. And to my second point, with a little DIY seamstress work, both pieces fit much better on my body and can be worn and enjoyed. I am definitely not a professional seamstress, (in fact FAR from it) but I can do a few basics which is all these pieces needed. 

Oh, and I do want to share the necklace I'm wearing. It belonged to my mother. She has been on my mind so much recently. She passed over 25 years ago and I find that I go through periods where I just wish I could talk with her once more. I always miss her but some times are worse than others. I guess that is normal with missing loved ones who are no longer with us. Anyway, I find that wearing a piece of her jewelry helps me feel closer to her somehow. Keepsake jewelry is a wonderful thing to have. 

Hope you enjoyed the post and I would love for you to leave a comment! And, I hope that you don't mind that Garden photo bombed most of these pictures!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Sunday Drive to Mars Hill and A Fun Hike

 What's Been Happening In Daily Life

Hello everyone!  First of all, I want to thank all of you for the lovely comments about my blog on its 6th birthday and also thank you for the helpful ideas of what you enjoy reading about on Debbie Styles Life! The overwhelming majority like the variety of posts I offer and I will be continuing to do that. You know, a little bit of this and that!😉

Today's post is just showcasing a few things we have enjoyed this past week. We took a late afternoon drive last Sunday and enjoyed walking around Mars Hill, NC.  Mars Hill is a small town a few miles north of us and is known for being a college town. Mars Hill University is the college there. Following are a few pics I snapped as we walked around. 

The entrance to Mars Hill University and the Commons area. Flowers were flourishing on campus and so very pretty! 

A little glimpse of downtown Mars Hill.  The pizza place on the corner smelled SO good!

The mountain views from Mars Hill were quite pretty. 

We also enjoyed a nice hike on the Mountain to Sea trail earlier this week. You've seen this trail before (we nicknamed it The Max Trail). It's my favorite trail for walking and The Mr. and I enjoy hiking this trail together. 

I really like the hat I'm wearing! You know I was debating about wearing hats and this one really belongs to The Mr.  It's a great hiking hat and has a tie underneath to keep it from blowing away. 

The old growth trees and rhododendron arch over the trail so beautifully. I also love seeing the sunlight glinting through the trees making patterns on the trail. I always leave the trail feeling so much more relaxed. 

And, of course, these two have been keeping us busy with their usual shenanigans!  I keep telling them that if they take cat toys out of their toy box they are supposed to put them back but, so far, they haven't gotten the message! They think if they look cute they can get away with anything. And, they pretty much can!

I'll be back next week with some styling for you. I hope you enjoy a great weekend!

Until Next Time,

Friday, August 6, 2021

What I Really Wore and Reasons to Celebrate August

 Fashion Over 60 and Celebrating August

Hello everyone!  I hope your week has gone well and you are eagerly anticipating an enjoyable weekend. Today, I want to share a little style with you under the heading of, "What I Really Wore." The pink sweater and blue top you see in the above pic is what I really wore to a doctor's appointment this morning. 

I am a really big fan of classic sweaters. And I discovered they are hard to find!! So, when I found this classic style in various colors at a GREAT price, I stocked up! The soft, lightweight fabric and pearl buttons may say "old fashioned" to some. But, to me, this style is comfortable and can go well with so many outfits. I usually wear a sweater of some type as I like something on my arms and these sweaters are just perfect. If you are local, they still have these sweaters at Hamrick's. 

I did not wear the jeans to the appointment, but changed into them when I got home. I wanted to share the jeans with you, however, because I am so pleased to have found this pair! You all know I enjoy thrifting and I found these jeans at a new place that I just love. It is the Humane Society Shop in our area! They just moved next to Mr. K's if you are local and trying to find the shop. They offer the BEST deals on books, household items and clothing and the proceeds go to support the animals. I am more than happy to support this store! On Wednesdays, they have 50% off all clothing. The jeans would have been $5 regularly but I got them for $2.50. Oh, how I love a good bargain!! I figured if they didn't fit I would only have been out $2.50 and it would have been for a good cause but they fit really well! I've bought a few pieces of clothing from this shop now and am quite happy with my purchases and with supporting the Humane Society. 

And you know who this sweet girl is!  Cassie wanted to say hello to all of you. She also would like you to know that she, too, supports the Humane Society!

Our cats are indoor cats only but The Mr. likes to bring Cassie out on the porch sometimes and let her see the outdoors. He holds her tightly when he does this. Of course, she loves sniffing the air and looking all around and then, when she is inside at the screen door and we are outside, she meows at us and tries to climb the screen door. I am not wholeheartedly in favor of bringing her outdoors to sniff the air. The Mr. and I sometimes disagree on cat parenting, lol!!

Yes, she does have him wrapped around her little paw!

Reasons to Celebrate in August

This kind of quietly went unnoticed, mainly because I forgot myself, but the blog has entered into its sixth year. I can't believe that I have been blogging for six years! The pic you see above was taken six years ago when we were out west and I was contemplating starting a blog of my own after reading and enjoying other people's blogs for so long. I finally got brave and used another pic from this same trip on my very first post that went live on July 31st, 2015! I plan to write a longer post about the blog's birthday later this month but I didn't want this important date to go by without acknowledging it. Yes, officially July is the birthday month but July 31st is ALMOST August, right?!

I'm also celebrating each of very dear this month of August. After all, even though Garden is an amazing blogging assistant, I still couldn't produce this wonderful blog if it wasn't for all of you who read it and leave comments and cheer me on!

And, I have something to ask of each of you, Ok?  I would LOVE it if each reader would leave me a comment letting me know what you enjoy reading about on Debbie Styles Life and what you would like to see on the blog in the future. That will help me to plan posts in the next year. 

Even if you have never left a comment before, I would like your input. If, for some reason, you don't want to leave a comment visible on the blog you can email me at

I can't wait to hear from each of you!  

Until Next Time,

Monday, August 2, 2021

Easy Ways to Enjoy Paper Crafting

 How Do You Spend Perfect Moments?

Hi everyone!  You know I love to do little bits of crafting even though I don't consider myself much of a crafty person. But one craft I have found that I CAN do is paper crafting. I love to sit at my kitchen counter surrounded by my scrapbooking paper, stickers, glue stick and scissors and just see what I can come up with to create. 

I've been keeping a scrapbook-journal the last couple of years that I fill with magazine clippings of pictures that "call to me" in some way and then I journal about the insights from these pictures. Tonight, I decided to add stickers and cut-outs of things that make me smile. The Asheville sticker was a recent gift from a sweet friend. I'll share a few more pages from my scrapbooking journal so you can see what I've been working on. 

I love to see the bold colors on the pages and the inspirational words that pop out at me each time I visit my scrapbooking journal! I am not a drawing artist but I can cut out and paste and use stickers! 

I also created the sticker filled totem pole you see in this pic. I love being creative with scrapbook paper and stickers. It's the perfect way to craft for someone like me. I can be in a bad mood and after an hour of losing myself in paper crafting I am all smiles....even if I do have a mess on my kitchen counter!

How about you?  How do you like to lose yourself?  What makes you smile?
Be sure to let me know in the comments, Ok?  I enjoy hearing from my readers!

Until Next Time,