Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Striped Dress & Snapshots from a Cuban-themed Party

Banana Republic

When I saw this picture I thought of a certain striped dress that I purchased at the LOFT during the spring sale this year. Combining the dress with a grey blazer seemed to work for the now fall season.

So with a touch of warmth outside I'd wear it this way...

It was cooler than I anticipated, so I added patterned tights...

Found these patterned tights at Target for $3
Outfit breakdown:
Dress: LOFT
Blazer: White House Black Market, found at GoodWill - $5
Shoes: Consignment
Purse: Tommy Hilfiger

Linking up with the very stylish Because Shanna Said So today.


A few snapshots from the Cuban-themed party I attended with my sister a few weeks ago. It was a birthday party for a special lady - my sister's MIL who, as you might of guessed, is of Cuban decent.
We greeted everyone with the customary kiss on the cheek and had our picture taken on the beaches of Cuba. Wink. Wink. I know. You can see the dance floor.  Already music was playing but at 9:30 the night was young so few dancers graced the floor just yet.

Some of the early dancers

My sister and I settling in...

My sweet niece
...traditional dinner of rice, beans, pork, salad - and yucca (tastes like potato)

Wish I had a better pic!

Then the band arrived and live music filled the room, beckoning more to come and dance...

Dressed in traditional Cuban wear, these ladies and gents gave us a beautiful display of their warm culture. It was all I could do not to go borrow a dress to don. 

At midnight they came out and danced around the birthday girl. :)

The men took the floor...

They finally dragged my chair-glued-bottom out onto the dance floor...and sister too.

Another Photo Opp with the beautiful birthday "girl"...

A birthday shared...(Hey, I want folks to sing AND dance around me on my birthday too!!)  

I was captivated the whole night through, observing and even participating. The highlight for me was watching couples that have been dancing partners for many years now. How fascinating that each one had their own style and rhythm...twisting, turning, twirling, quick foot steps...A beautiful night. A beautiful people. 

Random Closing thoughts...No latin culture is the same. They all have their own history and traditions, but I couldn't help but travel down memory lane and think of my own sweet grandmother, who spoke little English. A short, soft-spoken Puerto Rican woman. She always had a pot of rice, beans and chicken (delicious!!!) waiting when we would come to visit - oh and a package of soft-baked cookies for the road. Abuela welcomed everyone who crossed her threshold. She made all visitors feel like they were family.  Me hace falta mi abuelita...

As always, thank you for reading!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Grey Returns With a New Shirt

Don't let crazy hair stop you

Stacking bracelets..almost an arm party!!

I found this shirt at Nordstrom Rack for $9 at the beginning of the month when it felt like I had so much blow money - $50 goes quick in 30 days! Now the end of the month is here and you can probably guess at how much money is left. Yeah, no trips to GoodWill or anywhere else for right now. Oh, the things I'm missing out on!!! Lol. I will be just fine and before I know it the new month will bring another installment of blow money. I'm just thankful that we are able to have that!!

Already I have worn this shirt a few ways...grey, white and black are full of possibilities.  What I love about the shirt, other than it's color, is the comfortable sweat shirt feel. Wanna hear something sad? I washed my new shirt yesterday and forgot to pull it out when throwing all the clothes into the dryer. It shrunk.  Now it will be a regular shirt, as opposed to the longer length it was. WAhhhhhh!! Just another reminder that material things are temporary (some more temporary than others) and therefore bring momentary satisfaction.

Where would you wear this outfit?

Outfit breakdown:

Top: Nordstrom Rack - clear the racks event $9
Jeans: White/Black - old
Blazer: White/Black - GoodWill
Shoes: White/Black - gift
Clutch: Fossil (macys - gift)
Bracelets: Premiere on one wrist; Pandora & Lia Sophia on the other
Elusive Ring: Lia Sophia
Necklace: Lia Sophia - Reflections
Crazy Hair: FREE

Real Girl Style Link UpI'm linking up with today. :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

This Week's Cobalt Casual

It's officially fall and right on time, a cool chill greeted me this morning.  Perfect for layers and three quarter length sleeves. :) So I pulled out the cobalt capris and Pantone's "Koi" (I say orange) shirt.

As the day warmed up...Simple and Comfortable

By mid-day the hair gets crazy. Time to change tactics...

Have any special fall-related plans? We went camping this past weekend. Drug the camper out and met up with a few other families. I love to see the boys get out and play. They rode their bikes, fished with their dad and the other kids. And when it rained they all (12 of them!) piled in the camper to watch movies while the adults huddled under the coverings and talked the afternoon away.  Love life's simple moments.  So glad fall is here. Just two more trips planned (2 more than I usually have in the fall!) that I look forward to experiencing and sharing with you. :)

He was so excited!!
Next time I will remember to bring my memory card so I can take more pictures!! BOO!!

*Outfit breakdown:*

Jean Jacket: LOFT - O.L.D.
Top: Banana Republic
Capris: Nordstrom Rack (COMFY!!)
Shoes: GoodWill, $5
Purse: Clarks
Watch: Quartz at Publix (makes me laugh - $5)
Bracelet: LOFT - snags all my tops and scarves! :(


Friday, September 20, 2013

Loving that Cobalt Blue

Just chilling at the camper - ha!

I had fun tying in some of fall's trendy colors, grey and cobalt blue, with this outfit. The only newer item is the clutch, purchased with "blow" money for $10 at Khol's.  After hitting GoodWill a few times in the last couple of months and paying $2.50 to $5 for purses, $10 feels like quite the splurge. No worries. I'm over that...after all what is blow money if not to spend without "thinking". Must I even stress on how I spend my blow money??? Ah, Chrissy.

And what is with the folding of the pant leg? It's not the "boyfriend-jean" way, but I liked how the lighter side of the jeans pulled from the lighter grey in the shirt.  Sometimes you just like it. What do you think?

Outfit breakdown:
Shirt: GAP (last year)
Jeans: White House Black Market (old)
Shoes: Nine West (Nordstrom Rack - $9.97)
Belt: LOFT
Bracelets: Pandora, LOFT
Purse/Clutch: Khol's 9&Co.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Black and White Trend & Little Detours

Oh happy day! I dropped off my two little ones at a friends' home and headed out to run errands.  Music was playing in the afore mentioned mini-van and fingers were tapping on the steering wheel. My head might have been bobbing to the ryhthm and I might have been singing too. Can't say for sure.  Then I see it..."Boulder Creek Coffee". I heard rumors that their pour over coffee was delicious and would have me forever spoiled.  Already a coffee snob of sorts, I decided to take a detour from my list of errands..

C'mon minivan. You can do it.  This is fun already!

On the way into the shop, I see a friend I haven't chatted with in awhile.  What a pleasant surprise, making my detour feel like a mini-adventure. Ouuuu. I love those.  We chat for a bit and promise to call so we can catch up.  Time to order coffee. "Um, Yes, can I have some of that pour over stuff? " By now, I'm impressing everyone in there. The barista makes a suggestion. I go with it.

Now to find a comfortable spot.  I sublty glance around the seating area. Now wait a minute. There is the camera man I worked with on that extra job. This adventure is getting better. We exhange a few greetings and he tells me the project is almost finish...out the door he goes.

My coffee comes, I take out my book. Then I snap a picture for Instagram - don't judge! It's fun. Anyhoo, then I bring 12 0z cup to mouth and taste. Mind you, there is no cream and there is no sugar. Now lets sip. Delicious. There is nothing bitter about it. And was that a hint of peach I tasted? I really must investigate and experience this once again. Next time I'm bringing Mr. Rowden.

Let the relaxing begin. Soon I am lost in the pages of my book and where I am matters not.  I chuckle to myself out loud at a clever twist of words in my reading. No worries. The woman accross the way is actually having a conversation with herself.  I finish my coffee and walk outside.  What a pretty seating area.  No one was out there. My camera and tripod were the van...could I muster up the nerve to seize an opportunity to grab some pics?

One of My Takes On the Black and White Trend

Wristlet for running around the mall 

Big bag holds it all from coupons to snack...$5 from Goodwill!

Outfit Breakdown:

Faux Leather Jacket: Nordstrom Rack
Tank: White House/Black Market (old)
Shorts: GAP (end of clearance last year)
Pocahontas shoes: Nordstrom Rack
Bracelet: Wrap bracelet by Premiere, Ring: LOFT, Earrings: Gift from friend

Have you been wearing the black and white trend? Most folks have plenty of options to choose from in their closets...

Linking up with Real Girl Glam today.

Real Girl Style Link Up

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Old With A Smattering of New

Picture with me if you will...I've cleaned up this morning (yes, somedays that is quite the accomplishment). My hair and makeup has been applied. I've settled on an outfit, including all accessories, also quite the accomplishment somedays.  Now, all is in order and I head out the door, purse in hand.  Smoothly, I slip on my shades to protect my eyes from the sun's glare and minimize squint lines.  I glance around my surroundings and take a very brief moment to smell the roses as I  continue down the path. All the while I am tuning out the chatter that follows behind me.  Then I approach my vehicle, and reaching for the door handle my daze is rudely interrupted by the re-occuring realization that I just walked up to a minivan. How did this happen??? How do you wear anything "cool" and step into this??

What style fits the minivan I ask you. Now I know they are wonderful. They drive like a car, are lighter on gas mileage than a truck or SUV and they fit your kids and sometimes more. We even have the stow away feature, which has allowed me to cart home some furniture from yard sale hunting adventures, but that hasn't helped.  I see no point in investing in cool shades. I just can't envision it. Sitting there stopped at a red light, music playing and turning to the driver to your left with a nod and smile. "Hey! Look at my shades not my vehicle, man!"Ok, I am exaggerating a little and by no means am I making fun of my fellow minivan drivers. Just having a little fun here.

About to get into my cool ride! Is this outfit minivan style? If there is such a thing...oh and does a camper in the drive add to the cool factor??

Here's a good pic for you.  "Yes. I drive a mini-van." 

Outfit breakdown:

Adding a couple of new accessories to clothing you've had around for awhile is a great, inexpensive way to feel updated. And if you can practice trading and borrowing every once in awhile, even better. The necklace and bracelet are one of the jewelry trends for this year - chain link.

Top - Consignment Store
Skirt - GAP - upteen years ago
Purse - Goodwill last week ($5)
Belt - LOFT
Necklace & Bracelet - Premiere Jewelry (borrowed)
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack

***Disclosure: I fully embrace our mid to large family size and am proud to cart those precious gifts around in a minivan - I'd be proud to cart them in a clown car. Well, it kind of feels that way anyway.***

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Blush and Bashful"

Remember that scene from Steel Magnolias?

Dolly Parton's character just asked Julia Robert's (Shelby) what her wedding colors are. She replies with blush and bashful. Her mother "Melin" interjects that her colors are pink and pink.

"My collahs are blush and bashful momma." "Pink is my signature collah."

Why did I love such a sad movie? I can remember watching it with my mom as a young girl, crying (no sobbing) along with her when Sally Fields does an amazing performance at the scene during Shelby's funeral.

"WHY? I wanna know WHY??" She cried out in a tremendous display of grief stricken pain.

My throat catches and my eyes well up just writing about it! But I also remember just enjoying time spent with my mom. We loved to watch girlie movies together and still do! Thinking about those days makes me wish I had a little girl. Well, I guess I will have to borrow my nieces every now and then.

This is how my brain works people.  I go from thinking about shades of pink, "blush and bashful" to sad funeral scenes.  What an emotional roller coaster I like to live on!

Moving on...I'm not sure that these photos show all the shades of pink very well. Even the ball cap, hailing from Puerto Rico has pink over the green. This pink fest was inspired by my adventurous nail colors for this week. Yup - blush and bashful.  This outfit won't be selected to be featured on other blogs but I had fun wearing it.  And to be honest I really need a hair cut and have no other recourse but to wear hats and feature side braids, pony tails and bun styles.

Do you have a movie from childhood that seems to "stick" with you?

Being Adventurous with my nails - a first for me!

Pink Scarf, pink shirt and...brown boots. ha!

In honor of my cap from the Mother Land - some SAD salsa moves


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Red & Orange Go Quite Nicely...and a Sneaky Friend

This outfit was thrown together in under 5 minutes. (See the why below!) The inspiration to put red and orange together was from the cuff bracelet.  Otherwise, I don't know if I would have thought to wear the red shoes with the orange and white tank. Where have I been??

Outfit breakdown:
Real Girl Style Link Up
Sequin tank: Banana Republic (clearance in July)
Jeans: GAP (clearance - Labor day!)
Clutch: Fossil (Gift)
Shoes: White/Black (gift from MIL)
Cuff Bracelet: Target
Necklace: Premiere (borrowed - not too proud to beg)

***Surprises Keep Life Interesting...***

My birthday is already a thing of the past, so why should I suspect anything when a friend texted me and asked if I could help her with a "project" she is working on? She would need a few pictures of me in something I would wear out to eat or shopping.  Sure. Why not? 

When she arrives at my home I still haven't had a chance to change yet. She hurries me along and I make quick work of putting something together.  Rushing out the front door I stop midstride. All four of my boys are sitting around a high school friend, who doesn't usually just drop by.  What in the world? They all start laughing and I'm informed that I am being whisked away, sans children! Sneaky, sneaky friend! With babysitting arranged and pizza on the way...

Goodbye boys. Momma loves you! 

After meeting up with a couple more ladies, we make the haul to the Food Truck Alley event held weekly in an "old" town in Georgia. After acquiring a parking space we make our way to the sign for a photo opp, which leads to the pulling out of smart phones. Let the posting and tagging begin!

Live music played familiar songs and, you guessed it, food trucks lined the street as folks milled around to have dinner served hot from a highly decorated vehicle.  There were tacos, barbecue, all natural, Puerto Rican cuisine, dessert trucks and popsicle carts.  We walked by each truck and then made our selections. The rest of the evening was just girl talk. Yup...laughing and even a little touch of crying. I am very thankful for all the sweet ladies in my life...

Crowded Food Truck Alley

This one is for my dad...

Chicken Sandwich & Beet Salad. Yes, it was good!
Local Popsicle Joint with unique and delicious flavors
Being silly...I was soon be wearing some of that delicious chocolate and sea salt popsicle! It was bound to happen...

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