Friday, August 30, 2013

How I Spruce Up My Casuals

Today I want to share about how I take my casuals and add what is to my thinking a little pizazz. There is nothing wrong with the way I am wearing this ensemble in the first picture but it's amazing how different I feel with a few added accessories, 5 extra minutes on my hair, etc. So, please allow me to present to you the before picture, featuring what I wore to stroll the neighborhood.



I could go pick up the bigger boys from school in this, but I feel much better when I leave the house like this...


Still nothing fancy, but that's a more confident smile right there. ;)





I quickly braided my hair, tucked in the shirt some, changed out the shoes for some complimenting sandals, added a few pieces of jewelry (one bracelet has some of the purse color for some "tie-in" fun), a pair of shades and I'm ready to go.

My husband is not a fan of the sandals and has been sweetly vocal about it. He refers to me as Pocahontas when I wear them, so I thought I should have at least one braid just for him. :)

How do you spruce up your everyday casual wear?

Outfit breakdown:

T-shirt: Banana Republic ($7)
Shorts: Gap (old)
Sandals: Nordstrom Rack ($5 find)
Bracelets: LOFT & Pandora
Crossover Purse: Clarks
Belt: Nothing Special




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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sequins and Stripes


Remember me telling you about my adventure with the boys over the summer at the mall? Well this sequined tank was one of the items that came from my labor (their torture) of dragging all 4 of them into Banana Republic. The orange color of the stripes is one of fall's "in" colors, so it will definitely be a transition piece, making the $12 I paid for it stretch even further!


The skirt was a treat from my MIL on her last visit in July and has already shown it's worth and versatility in all the ways I've been able to wear it.



Featuring the camel wedges and purse once again just shows that I am trying to get all the bang out of a buck that I can. :) 

Yeah, the chair went back further than I had anticipated...
Cool factor and all grace out the window yet again...That chair is so much deeper than it looks!!

Play it cool. 

Allow me to muster up my remaining dignity and close by stating that this will not be the last time you see the sequined tank. Why did that sound more like a threat by a cartoon villain? Anyway, you know what I mean. :) Have a wonderful week!

Chrissy



Outfit Breakdown:
Tank: Banana Republic
Skirt: LOFT
Shoes: old
Purse: gift - purchased on HSN


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Monday, August 26, 2013

Fuschia & Dark Denim

We had our first day of sunshine in a week at least...the little ones and I were going OUT! I stepped outside only to be greeted by a humid heat, that seemed to wilt hair and clothing in an instant.  Did I seriously put make up on? It was as if we had moved to the marshlands. Determined to go out anyway, I packed waters, snacks, camera and tripod and headed to the park. Yes, I did say camera and tripod.

Tip toeing around my neighborhood does not hold a candle to toting camera and tripod to the park, full of moms and children, who smartly wore their sport shorts. Freak!! You can bet I waited until most of the traffic of children and watchful moms died down before I started snapping pictures! Even then I was as inconspicuous as I could possibly be.

Nothing out of the ordinary here folks. Just pushing kids on the swings. Nothing to see here.


Of course I can't go to the park without multiple requests to go down the slide...Away I went! (Camera and tripod covertly hidden between primary colored columns.)





We did not stay at the park long. The stifling humidity was making us all cranky, but it still felt good to get out of the house for a bit.

As far as the outfit goes...I like pairing dark blue denim with bright colors or white. Then adding a contrasting color with an accessory brings more fun to the day. Well, not really. Just look at my expression in the full length photo! Doesn't give the impression of someone having fun, does it? Regardless, wear it anyway!

What do you wear with your darker denims? I wonder what a light chambray shirt would look like? Guess I will have to try that out...

Outfit breakdown:
Shirt: LOFT
Bermuda denim shorts: LOFT
Necklace: Birthday present - Macy's
Sandals: Clarks
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rainy Days, Chambray & Play

Hello to the makers of Twilight! Let's have another movie and call it "New Rain"...come to Georgia. I promise you days upon days of dreary, rain-filled depressing-ness - perfect for the pale, blood thirsty characters we all know and love.

Oh, wait. We have plenty of those right here. I just walk outside and find myself immediately accosted by mini-vampiric, creatures of the day and night - looking to light on any exposed flesh.  Durn skeeters!

Truth be told, the continual rain is not getting to me as much as it usually does. In fact, yesterday the little men and I did our best to keep busy. We made bread, muffins, and prepared pancake batter. I even tried a few new outfit combinations, while they scrawled maps for a treasure hunt.


So with no where to go but the afternoon carpool lane we played...








My loved Quartz watch with LOFT bracelets, Target cuff, and Lia Sophia necklace


If these cuties were to do a fashion blog, this would be their signature outfit. One variation might be a set of superman pajamas and batman pajamas. Sigh. It's just not worth battling over, save for wash day. Seriously! I have to wash the shirts sometimes. One of the boys has been sleeping and day living in that shirt!

Well! It looks as if the sun will shine today!! Hope you have a wonderful day and if it's raining where you are - go out and play anyway!

Chrissy

For those curious:

Shirt, Skirt & Belt: LOFT
Boots: Wet Seal
Purse: B Makowsky

*Everything but the necklace, bracelets and belt were gifts from birthdays, Christmas and just-because-I-love-you moments. Blessed indeed. 
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Grey or Gray? How Do You Spell It?

Upon retiring for the evening the rains sang their familiar song; more familiar than I would like for this summer. However, one of my four year olds reminded me this morning that we need the rain and so do the flowers. I won't tell him, but just the same I could use a break!  Fall's fingers are reaching into August...my fingers are reaching for clothing of comfort.

Rainy Day Blues




After perusing the upcoming trends and colors for fall, I was pleased to see that one of the colors is grey. How convenient! I have a grey stash to choose from.  Gray sweater, grey and black shirt-dress and grey leggings.



Hey, Guess What?????




After traipsing around town for most of the morning, I decided I didn't like the boots after all and made a switch or two...

That "felt" better. What do you think?

Regardless of any fashion errors I may or may not have made, my helper and I had a great time! Hope your week is off to a wonderful start - rain-filled or full of sunshine. Oh, and I must know. Do you go for the American spelling (gray) or English spelling (grey)?? I just can't decide. 


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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Red Shoes & Random Thoughts on Trends

My mom has wanted to take our boys on a little trip and that trip was confirmed at the last minute, so my hubbs and I had an impromptu date. When I stepped outside of my home that morning I was assaulted by fall winds. Back inside to regroup and change! Where did 80 to 90 degrees go??

Whatever would we do?? It felt as if the world was our oyster so to speak, but since my poor husband's only pair of jeans now have a growing hole in the knee, we decided to go shopping - yay for me! Dinner, shopping, coffee...here I come. :)







I'm not actually sure why I reached for the red shoes, but I like how the outfit turned out. My big girl shoes were very comfortable to walk around in. In fact, they kept me from purchasing other shoes that I tried on that night because they didn't measure up in comfort.

I like how the jacket added to the look, though I left it in the car once we got to our destination.

Look, here he comes now! Ok. Not really. I don't know who is driving that car...

Closing thoughts that you may want to read if you are super bored. :)

 As I people watch, blog hop and get hit with ads left and right, I can't help but notice a trend with trends that I am struggling to wrap my brain around.  Let's take for example the bubble necklace that was really big in the spring. Is it already out?? Now I see long necklaces on a simple chain or fan necklaces. Of course there are a lot of others, but this is just for case in point.  Ok, a trend comes in. We buy that trendy piece that looks just like the ones so many others are wearing. Then before you know it, another style replaces it.

This is how I feel sometimes when I think about it...

I know. Not dramatic enough!!
Do you see where my thoughts are leading?  Do we need to have the bubble necklaces, the newest bracelets, purse styles, latest cut in pants and shirts AND all the rest? Or can we choose one or two items that we love and make them work with what we already have? Maybe this is where originality comes in as well.

These thoughts have disabled my shopping some. So, as my husband and I walked from store to store, I tried things on but I couldn't commit.  It's time to go back to a plan, list, etc.  I don't want to buy just to buy.  Is there a trend that I absolutely love? Great, I will put it on the list. Are my white shirts stained? Fine, add "white shirt" to the list. I don't want to be out there grabbing things that are in style just because they have great prices.

I think that by checking color charts (I almost always have shirts or pants in one of the "in" colors), mixing my favorite trendy pieces with classics, thrift store hop for fun and stick to the list, I can support a healthy budget and still look up to date. Not to mention keeping my "needs" in perspective.

So, I am still figuring out this balance, but look forward to the challenge of sticking to a list that I may add a "splurge" clause to.  What are your thoughts or suggestions on this topic?

Btw, I am linking this post up with Real Girl Glam. :)

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

No Yucky Ingredients - Hamburger Helper

Our household loves pasta with cream sauces, but I am not a big fan of the canned creamed soups due to all the extra additives, hydrogenated oils, etc. Though often pushed to the last minute for getting dinner started, I thought I'd give it a go once more.

Here is what I threw together...


Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the pan and whisk in equal amounts of wheat flour, until a paste forms. Begin whisking in 2 cups of milk and once it begins to bubble, add a teaspoon or two of the Better Than Bouillon. Season to your preference with salt, pepper and parsley. That's all I do for my white sauce.

I mix this in with my browned, ground beef and pasta. For veggies and greens I threw in a handful or two of spinach and some sauteed summer squash. This dish is ready to be served to the young men clamoring around the kitchen.

Of course I always want to fancy up my own plate hamburger helper, by adding sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms and extra spinach. Let them say what they will - it's good!!






It is not always convenient to whip up my own cream sauce, but I know we are better off without the yucky ingredients in the can. Do you have a cream sauce recipe you could share?
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Color Just Because

Have you been taking advantage of the color craze?? Well, I am wearing and have worn several times, a pair of deep pink shorts...a color I never thought I'd be wearing on the bottom. So why not add some more?? Orange, lime green and then let's throw in some navy to tone it down a bit.

The sun shines brightly in the pictures below. The mosquitos attacked in swarms (oh and something else attacked too) and the humidity was thick enough to be rain.  Well, two hours before it actually was raining. It rained for most of the morning, hence the half boots I decided to wear to finish up back to school shopping..


Boots hail from Wet Seal - a gift





So here I am. Enjoying a few peaceful moments to myself. Even chuckling to myself as I thought of how silly I must look doing all these poses - alone. Inspiration hits! Lean on the fence and smile. How well this is going. That is until a full on attack from the other side of the fence   caused me to lose all grace and poise...


What in the world????? 


No kitty!! Our outside cat is very sweet but she loves to play and is pretty good about catching one unaware - obviously.  Ah well, now I have this hysterical (to me anyway) image of my nonsensical posing and leaping attracting the attention of our cat from the front yard. I can't help but wonder what she must have been thinking?? 

One shouldn't sleep at the swing...bad joke, i know

So have you been wearing some bright colors and would you wear half boots with shorts??

I hope your summer is closing out well. I hope you are not taking yourself too seriously. 

Chrissy

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Variety Feature: From Trash To Treasures

Tuesday Morning, 2006 - MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Meeting

I can clearly remember being seated at my assigned round table, listening intently to the guests speakers. They were interior decorators giving us tips for decorating fire-place mantles and table center pieces.  To the left of us were two large tables loaded down with various decorative items and silk flower arrangements.  Each group received instructions to go and choose a few items to decorate their table with.  It was a fun exercise that gave inspiration to spruce up that mantel at home with items one may already have. This was before Pinterest, you know. :) Then at the end of the session they had a drawing for a free consultation in your home.

Not expecting my to hear my number called or even thinking that this prize would be appropriate for our home, I absent-mindedly looked around the room.  When they repeated the number for the second time, I came to and realized that it was my number being announced.  Oh no. They would take one look at my house and turn right back around.

My husband and I had recently purchased our small, older 3 bedroom ranch, with nothing updated but the carpets.  So I was embarrassed with a just a touch of hopeful.  Most of our furniture was given to us, all light fixtures were originals and our laminated counter tops were coming up at the edges. Little had been done to improve on its outdated appearance, not to mention meager funds to do so. I didn't think they would have much to work with.

When the day arrived for this special duo to come over they treated me with grace and dignity - as if I could be one of their biggest clients.  They made suggestions for each room, using what I already had on hand and some very inexpensive spray painting projects. The day was a total blessing, gifting me with hope and purpose to make our home one I could be more proud of. Who knew if I would ever see them again and share how much that day meant to me?

*********

Fast forward about 7 years and here I was sitting in the home of one of those kind women, who I had re-connected with through a Bible study we attend.  She invited me over to lunch, just because, and has kindly agreed to let me share some photos of her home.

Meet Kathy. Full of smiles, quick to laugh, accessorized beautifully and ready to impart a kind word, which I would be remiss not to tell you where she says her joy and talents stem from - God and His love for her explained beautifully in the Bible. (Click here if you have questions about the Bible. Very cool site.) And now...Bringing you Trash to Treasure!

Oh, and her sweet pup!
Looking around her home was so fun. Most pieces had a story to tell...a trunk that her grandmother brought over from Ireland, a table that she hauled down the road once upon a time, while towing her two small children. There was story after story of discarded items that she repainted and/or made new uses for.

the trunk from Ireland

Loved the glass vase pictured below...Truly there was something to see where ever you turned!


The lunch I was spoiled with. I must add that my two 4 year olds were with me as well and they got to eat outside on the patio.


My favorite part of the visit? Time with a new friend, gleaning wisdom from a beautiful lady inside and out. The visit reminded me of the importance to practice hospitality by opening my home to others. There is no need for frills and hours of cooking, unless of course that is one of your talents and something you enjoy doing. Coffee and dessert. Finger-food Friday (yeah, I just made that up).  Just something to get us talking to others - face to face.

Thank you Kathy for a delicious lunch and a wonderful example!

P.S. We still live in that same house, working on updates, dreaming of expansions and sometimes praying for a different house as our numbers grew (mostly me - not hubby).  Today whether we stay or go, is no longer an issue for me. I am enjoying the adventure and the people who live here. Life is too full, too short to be consumed with what is next on the horizon. Besides there are still plenty of projects we can do to improve on our space challenges. That is not to say I won't have my days. But I am basking in the freedom that contentment brings while it is here!! Thank you God for even the smallest amounts of growth.




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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Another Year Older - Who Cares!?

This week is my birthday week. Another year older...I try not to be a gal bothered by advancing years though admittedly, now that I have spied a few more grays, I want to buck the system!!

But it's not so much about the age as the tendency to feel as if you have to dress your age.  In many ways I do agree, but I am going to live right on the edge and hopefully keep folks guessing. Darn you grays!!

They say you are only as old as you feel. So regardless of how I feel I'm going to jump on the trampoline, run ridiculously through the grass to keep the kiddos wondering and play in my frilly skirt.




**See Disclaimer Below**
Ed Hardy Tee (hand-me-down), Lace skirt (Wet Seal - gift), Sandals (Clarks)

 I would wear this outfit to run errands, go shopping and maybe on a outing with my hubby, depending on where we went - a concert maybe? Where would you wear a get-up such as this?

Well, I better go and gulp down another green smoothie for those youthful vitamins! I hope you are having a wonderful week and if it's your birthday month - Happy Birthday!! Stay young at heart and take care of yourself so you can feel young too!

Chrissy

***Disclaimer: That's the only running I have done in quite some time.  Don't want to give any false impressions here.***  

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