Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Cape-r

Wish Print, Viking Wedding Band, Shooting Star Photo from 

    I think I found my New Year's Eve cocktail dress, thank you very much!  And to top it all off, one of the clothing companies I'm affiliated with offered to send me a couple of capes to try.  I've never owned a cape before, but I think I kind of like them.  One is rather long and the other is short but made of satin material, so while I love the length on the first, I love the feel of the second and I'm glad they sent me both because I'd be very hard pressed to choose between them.  
    This stunning dress caught my eye on ThredUp, so it was less than $30 and it gave me a chance to wear a necklace that I made ages ago with a vintage blue and gold cameo with French themed scene.  In fact, when I saw this dress this necklace was the first thing that popped into my mind.  It was one of my favorite pieces that I created--it's possible they were all my favorites--but I never had an outfit to match.  Thanks to this dress it's problem solved.  
    And just so you know, I'm responsibly sipping on Villa Jolanda Coconut Muscato.  I discovered it in March while visiting a friend out of state.  After months of searching for someplace locally, I found out that this brand isn't sold in my state, so on a recent trip to visit relatives out of state, I bought a whole case, kept a few for myself and gave the rest out as Christmas/New Year's gifts to only my favorite friends and family.  And with that I'll tip my glass and wish you all a very Happy and Safe New Year.  

Shopping the Look:
Eva Franco Dress from ThredUpUse my link to sign up and save $10 off your first order.
Heels from ModCloth

Saturday, December 30, 2017

My Stable of Unicorns

Unicorn Necklace, Unicorn Mug, Unicorn Figurine from Etsy. com
        My closet is filled with Unicorns--those lovely things that I either didn't find in time or simply couldn't afford right off the rack.  But, with a little patience and a lot of persistence, I keep managing to find all those things that made me do a double take.  I think I like the challenge of chasing those illusive beauties to make them mine for a third of their original cost.  That's the goal anyway--though sometimes I just miss out completely.  Like that Eva Franco Matryoshka dress we're all sad we couldn't pay $350 well, I'm still searching for that one.  
    Recently I added two more to my stable of unicorns.  The first is the outgoing sister to my beige laser cut peter pan collar top by HD in Paris which you can see in this post.  This version is bright green with a blue collar and accents and was worn on several television shows when it came out, which made it even harder to find usually not cheap.  I got it for $20 on PoshMark!
    The second was this petal dress by Eva Franco.  I found a short version of the skirt on ThredUp, but I didn't get it bought, so someone else got a great skirt for about $20.   Normally retailing for $120, I found this midi length dress with tags still attached for under $40 on PoshMark.  This is going to be the perfect dress to wear to a wedding this spring.  I can't wait to get outfit photos done and share them here.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Emerald Styles

I'm really loving these chiffon blouses from SheIn.  This emerald color is perfect for the season and I got tons of compliments on it at work.  They also come with a faux pearl beaded necklace at the collar and it is so adorable.  Be sure to pay close attention to the sizing chart when ordering.  I usually order one size up from my normal US size when ordering from Asian companies.
Shop the Look:
Stand Collar Pleated Blouse $12
Pearl Beaded Puff Sleeve Chiffon Blouse $13
Skirt is Handmade by me

Thursday, December 28, 2017

By the Waterfall

Stopping by this beautiful roadside park today, I saw that the dam was flowing.  Last time I visited this spot there hadn't been enough rain to make this waterfall.  Today, even though it's cold, and I mean Bitterly cold, I decided to jump out and snap a few pics of this gorgeous green water.
Shop the Look:
Thrift shop cardi and dress
ModCloth Tights

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Happy Anniversary!

It's been three years since I started this blog and I've loved every second of it.  

Thank you for being a part of something that has meant so much to me.  

Best wishes to you all in this New Year!

A Small Challenge

Sometimes I choose very challenging items because of the challenge alone.  I love the embroidery on this body suit, but it's sheer netting bodice made it seem more like an undergarment than a top.  My solution?  A lace camisole, of course.  I paired it with my sheer tulle skirt and will definitely be adding a blazer to complete the outfit.

Shop the Look:
Skirt from Down East Basics

HAOYIHUI Women's Spaghetti Strap Floral Embroidery Sleeveless Bodysuit

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Gingham A Go-Go

You know I'm monochromantically attached to all things black and white, so I couldn't resist this Asos gingham dress.  I especially love the neckline, it is ever so interesting and flattering.  Keep it basic or pair it with any bright color and it's a knock-out.  Today I'm checking out this cute little downtown area and we found the most cozy cafe to stop for a family breakfast.  Yes, the kiddos are there too and I took lots of silly sister pics of them as well as my own.
Shop the Look:
Field Commentator Jacket from ModCloth
Forever 21 Flats
Similar Gingham picks from ASOS
Plain Studios Cold Shoulder Gingham Dress & Trollied Dolly Cherry Gingham Dress

Off Shoulder Gingham Jumpsuit  & Yumi Belted Gingham Dress

Monday, December 25, 2017

Counting All My Presents

    The fields are full of crystals on the grass and ribbon frost on the ground.  Today is a very special day.  It's Christmas of course, and I know we've just spent Thanksgiving being thankful, but this is the time of year I like to count my blessings the most.  It's on this day that we remember and celebrate the precious gift of a life that would be unlike any other, a life that would set the captives free and heal the broken-hearted.  And that more than ever has been me these last two years.  I have been the broken-hearted...but with time, I am healing and this Christmas looks to be the most joyful one I've had in many years.
    I know that it's very easy to forget that, not just at Christmas, but all the time with so many ways to distract ourselves in this modern age.  So, today, I wanted to pause a moment and share a bit of my own story with you and the lessons I've learned at Christmas time, and it begins of course with my little girl.  One year, my oldest child decided to sneak over to the Christmas tree and count up all the gifts that had her name on them.  I found her extremely distraught and proceeded to needle the truth out of her.  She finally admitted what she'd done and that she was upset because her sister had so many more gifts that her.  I tried to explain that she had chosen a couple of very expensive items while her sister had asked for a lot of small and inexpensive things, but the that amount spent on both was the same.  It didn't matter; she looked at what someone else had and she felt unloved.  She pitied herself.  
    We all do that at some point.  I used to catch myself doing that on Facebook quite a lot when I looked at other people's photos of beautiful vacations or expression of love.  (I don't look at Facebook very often anymore.)  It's hard not to look at what others have and what I don't, especially when things don't go as I'd hoped or planned--or when things go totally and completely awful.  The world is full of stories where someone has had enough-enough of that unfulfilling job, unhealthy addiction, toxic relationship, or that simply that same old scenery.  And the hero of those stories makes a change to something totally different that suddenly brings all the fulfillment that had always been lacking.  It's a common story, a really great story that hopefully inspires others to take that plunge toward a better life...but, it's not my story.
    I loved my life.  I loved everything about it.  There were days I wasn't full of pep, but I always reminded myself that it could be worse, I could be working a meaningless job that I hated to pay for things I didn't need while someone else raised my children.  (Please don't send me a nasty e-mail if that's your life, because, no matter what you're doing, if you love it then I applaud and support you.  All I'm saying is that life wasn't right for me).  I was living my dream.  And then it all ended, just like that.  It's very difficult to move forward because I keep looking back--toward the ashes and everything I lost.
    I think of my daughter that Christmas eve, standing there unable to hear or absorb the lengthy list of reasons why she should be thankful and how truly loved she was not just by me but by so many.  Self pity blinded her and it will blind me too if I let it.  And, I could.  I could just lay down and die here in self pity, because even now it is a vest ocean of grief that I have with me every moment and it is always threatening to pull me under.  It's just that I'd rather not.  I worked too hard to give up.  Besides, I know there is still hope, there is still a way out.  It's the hardest fight I've ever been in in my whole life to overcome this, but it's the cruelest pain I've ever felt, so it stands to reason.  Nothing worth having will come without a fight.
    So, here is a very big part of my solution: I have to remind myself everyday, sometimes every hour, that I haven't lost everything.  I am in fact very blessed with more blessing yet to come.  All of my loved ones are alive and healthy--that is a huge, jumping-up and-down-I'm-so-excited kind of present.  I have a job that I enjoy and that challenges me--that's a gift.  I still get to spend more time with my kiddos than most working moms,--what a blessing!  I had eleven years of bath times, story times, long afternoon walks, crafts, snuggles, tears, quiet daily routines, impromptu ice cream parties, long meaningful talks, water balloon fights, free style two minute dance parties, learning, loving, and watching these two amazing little people grow and change--that is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime gift.  I have a beautiful farm that daily brings me unexpected beauty like this delicate ribbon frost decorating the fields.  I am blessed, my friends.  And you are too, if you choose to see it.
Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Blessed New Year!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Snow and Mistletoe

    While on my morning commute the other day I spied some hoar frost on the ground.  If you've never seen it before, it's a naturally occurring ribbon of frost that gathers on the ground around the stems of plants.  It's absolutely stunning and I loved to find it in the woods on frosty mornings as a child.  Just the lightest touch from my warm little hands would make it melt, so I learned not to touch.  It's different with my children.  They know that if they touch it and it melts, it will come back again tomorrow or the next day and they don't worry about it the way I did.  S, on this particular morning, I stopped the car and hopped out with them to take a few pics and let them hold a few pieces of it for the moment that it lasted.  It was a very small thing, but it made them immensely happy and sent them bounding into the school to tell their friends when we arrived. 
Now they're out for the holidays and it's time to start getting our Christmas outfits ready to wear.  I selected mine and had it proudly on display...until I realized it almost matches Beverly D'Angelo's outfit in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  Awww, man, we're dressed alike!?  It could have deterred me, but what the heck, it's a great movie.  Why not wear it as an homage to a lady who kept her cool  and looked good during a very stressful Christmas.
Shop the Look:
Hollow Out Lace Crop Top-$16 from: SheIn
Green A-Line Midi Skirt $39.90 from: ChicWish
Qupid Heels from ModCloth