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Friday, October 31, 2014

New way to wear a scarf!

Have you seen that YouTube video that shows 25 ways to wear a scarf? If not you can watch it here. The filming is so clever! 

A couple of days ago I was trying to wear a leopard print scarf that had a different design on the ends. Since I wanted to emphasize the leopard part, I tried tying it into an infinity scarf. 
Since I really liked the way it draped, I did the same thing the next day with a salmon colored scarf. 
This is how I did it...

First you tie the ends together like this:
Slip the knot over your head and hide it in the back. 
Then loop one side over your head
Pull that loop down so it's not choking you...
And arrange all the folds so you like the way it looks...
And voilá! Big pop of color!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

My reflections on the GYPO Fall Challenge

This was my first challenge with Alison Lumbatis of Get Your Pretty On. I learned about it from Tiffany's blog on this post. I was a little unsure about it when I first started. You see, I'm a rather conservative person in general so therefore and I dress conservatively. I generally do things the traditional way and I'm a rule follower. So I was afraid at first that I wouldn't like it. What if she chooses articles I don't like? What if she combines pieces in a way I don't like? What if this is a waste of money? But the idea intrigued me and I was really ready for someone to push into trying some new things. Besides, there was no GYPO police...if I didn't like something I could just NOT BUY IT!

But when the list came out, I was pleased by what was on it. No huge surprises. Nothing too weird or funky. In fact, I already had a good many pieces and the new things I needed to get were not TOO far outside my comfort zone (well, except for maybe the leather leggings, which I never bought.) I was excited about learning how to style the new pieces with things I already had. Perhaps the biggest thing  that gave me confidence is that since Alison is in my age range, she would not be putting outfits together that only look good on teens or twenties! I wanted to look good but I didn't want to look ridiculous or like I was trying to look younger than I am!

I was surprised when I started seeing outfits on the Facebook page before the challenge even began. People were combining on their own! (Is that even allowed? Remember, rule follower!) Then I realized it was people who had already been in other challenges and they were experimenting with the pieces based on their knowledge from those previous challenges. Their outfits were cute! I was encouraged and my excitement grew. I was itching to get started!

Finally the day arrived for the challenge to start. I was so excited to see the first outfit in my email inbox! I loved it right away! It involved a striped shirt and I've always loved stripes! I was surprised to learn that for some people stripes were something new.

Although the weather was not cool enough where I live to be able to wear the outfits the way they were put together, I made modifications. Also, I plan to wear them as Alison styled them when the weather cools off.

I learned quite a few things from this challenge and I went outside of my comfort zone in a few areas. Here's my take-away:


  • Mixing patterns - I had never done that before. I didn't really feel comfortable doing it but obediently wore what was recommended and was surprised at how cute it looks (when done right).  
  • Booties - This was WAAAAY outside of my comfort zone. I've not been a boot person in general but a few years ago I did finally get some riding boots. I haven't worn them very often because I didn't really know what to pair them with. So when I saw booties on the list I was very resistant. I found a pair at Old Navy for $30. Since it wasn't a huge investment, I decided to give them a try. I've been pleasantly surprised that I don't hate them!
  • Long necklaces - The challenge called for a tassel necklace but I never did find one I really liked. The ones I found had a lot more bling on them (beads, etc) than I like. I'm a Plain Jane kinda girl. So I ended up buying a large pearl wrapped in silver wire on a long silver necklace (Old Navy) and used that in place of the tassel. I like having something besides a scarf to add interest, especially to a plain outfit. It really dresses it up!
  • Skinny jeans - I confess that I had one pair of black skinny jeans from Forever 21 in my closet pre challenge, but they were a size too big so they were not tight. For the challenge I got a pair of dark wash skinnies and, much later when I got comfortable in them, a pair of grey skinnies. For $7.90 I was willing to try them, and I found out that I love them! They make boots fit great, look good with flats as well as booties, and can be worn rolled up or down. They are so versatile!
  • Boyfriend jeans - All my jeans other jeans were either bootcut or straight. These jeans are so comfy and soft just a little loose but with a flattering taper! I found them on the clearance rack at Marshall's. The brand is Max Jeans, which I'd never heard of before, but I really like them. I forget about Marshall's. I'll need to check them out more often. 
  • Leopard print - This used to be way out of my comfort zone. It felt so *wild*! (tee hee!) Then one year I bought a tankini that was leopard print and I loved it! I didn't own anything else so wild besides a pair of earrings that my son had bought me. The challenge called for two leopard items: a scarf and flats. I've really enjoyed learning how to style these items in this print. I never knew it could be worn as a neutral and I would have never paired it with red if I hadn't seen other gals' pictures on the FB page. It's like having a new spice to add to the cabinet! 
So as you can see, I have learned quite a few new things that will carry over into other seasons and other pieces in my wardrobe. This challenge has changed the way I look at pieces when I shop. It has changed my shopping quite a bit, actually! It has made shopping fun again!

Feeling put together has spilled over into other areas as well. I've been wearing make up again and I take the time to fix my hair. And all of that gives me a boost of confidence and since I feel better it makes my husband happy too! And we all want to keep our husbands happy, don't we gals?

I really look forward to the Build Your Basics Wardrobe Challenge that begins very soon! Won't you join me? Click here to sign up! Then tell me in the comments if you do!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

GYPO - Final Week!

I cannot believe it's already the last week! It sure has been fun following all the posts on the Facebook page! I, however, have slipped pretty behind this past week. The weather has been just too gorgeous (and warm) to fully participate. Here's what was on plan for this week:

Day 10: Long Cardigan + Solid Tee + Plaid Scarf + Boyfriend Jeans + Oxfords

I still haven't purchased leggings as I am not sure I am ready to wear them. Some ladies over 40 have the legs to rock the look. I'm not sure I do. It was hot this day so I wore the jeans with a short sleeved tee and a colorful (not plaid) scarf with sandals. I realized I didn't get a picture since it wasn't really the OOTD (outfit of the day).

Day 11: Striped Tee + Puffer Vest + Dark Wash Jeans + Leopard Scarf + Riding Boots

This was the only day I was able to wear the OOTD and only for a short time. I later lost the puffer vest and just turned down the a/c in the car as I was driving around.

Day 12: Neutral Sweater + Solid Tee + Leggings (or Black Jeans) + Leopard Flats

Way too hot for a sweater this day! I just wore an oatmeal top, black jeans and leopard flats. No picture this day either.

Day 13: Puffer Vest + Plaid Shirt + Gray Jeans + Riding Boots

On this day we had a funeral so the OOTD was not appropriate. Plus I do not have grey jeans!

Day 14: Military Jacket + Striped Tee + Dark Wash Jeans + Leopard Flats

On this day I ran in the Pumpkin Run 10 mile race so I wore a Minnie Mouse "costume" for half of the day and the striped tee with dark wash jeans (no military jacket) and leopard flats for the other half. Care to see my race outfit? You can kinda see it here...

Day 15: Dressy Sweatshirt + Gray Jeans + Ankle Boots

I still don't own a dressy sweatshirt. I haven't been able to find one I like. I met a friend at the Towne Center and looked for one but no luck. I did, however, find some cute cognac shoes (sorta like bootie sandals?) and grey jeans! Jeans are Forever 21 ($8!!) and shoes are from Ross (Madden Girl $17)

Day 16: Neutral Sweater + Striped Tee + Boyfriend Jeans + Oxfords

Shucks! Still too hot! I did wear the bf jeans since all my shorts are packed away, but I wore them with a striped tank top layered over a black cami and sandals.

Day 17: Long Cardigan + Solid Tee + Leopard Scarf + Leggings + Neutral Flats

Another beautiful day! I don't want to complain about it being too hot because it's not *hot* really. At least not for Florida. It's just too hot to wear the OOTD! So instead I am wearing my new grey jeans, a navy blue tshirt and leopard scarf with my new sandal booties. Trying out the sloppy tuck.

I'm sad that the challenge is almost over but I'm excited about the new one coming up! Actually there are two! You might want to check them out! I'm doing the Build Your Wardrobe Basics for sure but I'm not sure about the winter one. Not sure it gets cold enough here!

Also, check out my fashionista sistahs below for how they wore the OOTD.!


Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah | 
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa | Sheila | Lauren | Anna | Alison

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GYPO Fall Style Me Challenge Week 2

I've been having fun watching everyone style the given outfit each day on the Facebook Group page. However the weather has still been too warm here for me to fully participate in the challenge. Most days I've had to heavily modify the outfit to the point that it's unrecognizable. On those days I don't even bother taking a picture. But I take mental notes on how others are doing so when the weather does finally turn cool, I'll know what to wear!

For example, several ladies dressed up their plaid shirts with pearls or other bling. That really made the outfit feminine when it threatened to border on "lumberjack style." Others are making the outfit "work appropriate" by swapping out jeans for tailored pants or even a skirt and tights. Cute modifications for sure!

Here is what we were told to wear with a few pictures of outfits I did manage to wear:

Day 3: Plaid Shirt + Dark Wash Jeans + Tassel Necklace + Ankle Boots

No tassel necklace so I subbed in this long necklace with black beads.

Day 4: Dressy Sweatshirt + Boyfriend Jeans + Leopard Flats

No dressy dressy sweatshirt so I subbed in this Coldwater Creek top I already had.

Day 5: Long Cardigan + Solid Tee + Plaid Scarf + Gray Jeans + Ankle Boots

It was too hot so I swapped in this flannel plaid, sandals and replaced grey jeans with dark wash.
Day 6: Neutral Sweater + Dark Wash Jeans + Plaid Scarf + Riding Boots
It was too hot so I didn't dress in anything from the challenge.
Day 7: Long Cardigan + Striped Tee + Gray Jeans + Leopard Flats
Same as day 6.
Day 8: Military Jacket + Plaid Shirt + Boyfriend Jeans + Ankle Boots
Same as day 7.
Day 9: Dressy Sweatshirt + Striped Tee + Leggings (or Black Jeans) + Leopard Flats

No dressy sweatshirt. It was all I could do to wear this lightweight top. Added the red for a pop of color.

Day 10: Long Cardigan + Solid Tee + Plaid Scarf + Boyfriend Jeans + Oxfords
Too hot for the cardigan and plaid scarf so I swapped it the scarf for a lightweight floral one.
As much as I might be tempted to complain about the weather, I will not. We've been having gorgeous days with clear, clear skies, low humidity and pretty sunshine! The cold will be here soon enough! I know many of my friends to the north of me are already having cold temps. I'm happy to wait!

Curious about how the others are styling their outfits? Be sure to check out their blogs at the links below!


Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah | 
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa | Sheila | Lana | Lauren | Anna | Alison

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Addicted

Okay, I gotta admit it: this Fall Style Challenge is addicting!

The ladies in the challenge are posting their pictures on the Facebook group page and I'm having a hard time tearing away from the feed! Everyone is so encouraging and positive. Plus, it's so fun to see how everyone is styling the given outfit for the day. Here's what my version looks like! Oh I like what she did in her version! Well that version is certainly...different!

It's sort of like following a recipe: this shirt, with those pants and these shoes and that scarf. Voila'! Instant cute outfit! Plus I don't have to think of what to wear; the decision is made for me.

It's also fun to see how people are adapting it for warm weather (subbing shorts for jeans or short sleeves for long), for work (swapping jeans for pants, a cardigan rather than a military jacket) or swapping things out because they don't have a certain element such as booties or black skinny jeans.

Wanna see what I'm talking about? Okay, here's my day one outfit:
 The "ingredients" were boyfriend jeans, striped top, booties, tassel necklace.

I selected my new skinny boyfriend jeans (Max Jeans-Marshalls clearance), black and white striped top (Forever 21), tan suede booties - (Old Navy), and long dangly necklace in place of a tassel necklace (Old Navy. 

However, it was going to be a hot day, so the second picture is what really happened. I thought it would be fun to stick to the theme. I wore a striped, short sleeved top (Liz Clairborne-old), jean shorts (Gap-old, rolled up boyfriend style), black flip flops (Clarks from Bealls this summer), and a short, freshwater pearl necklace (Shell World in Key Largo). I was just staying home after all, wasn't feeling well and didn't want the longer necklace to get in the way.

For day two the ingredients were oatmeal, long sleeved top, black skinny jeans, cognac riding boots, military jacket and plaid scarf.
Again I had to adapt to the weather so I wore a short sleeved oatmeal top (Jones New York - old), black skinny jeans (Forever 21-last year), leopard flats (Merona-Target), and a lightweight scarf (H&M - Paris, 3 years ago). A funny thing happened: I accidentally posted my picture on my Facebook page, not the challenge page. I was in a hurry to take my daughter to co-op and didn't realize my mistake til later. When it occurred to me, my first impulse was to delete it and just repost it in the right place, but then I realized that several people had already made likes and comments. So I shrugged my shoulders and let it go. And happy coincidence: several people who don't usually comment on my stuff left me compliments! Made me feel all warm and yummy inside!

This challenge is certainly teaching me new things, getting me out of my comfort zone and helping me to feel pretty! What about you? What are you doing to help you feel pretty? Tell me in the comments!



Deena | Christy | Jordan | Carrie C. | Shaunacey | Danielle | Beth | Joy | Sarah | 
Leslie | Katie | Jennifer | Carrie M. | Lisa | Sheila | Lana | Lauren | Anna | Alison

Monday, October 13, 2014

Trying on a new style!

Now that my kids are older, I'm finding time to do more stuff for me. One thing is to get back in touch with fashion and style. For the looooongest time, I have neglected myself. First it was that I didn't have time, between raising kids and homeschooling. Add that to I didn't like the way I looked in clothes and I didn't want to spend money on *that* size. Recently things began to change.

The change began when I started losing weight with Trim Healthy Mama. Suddenly, clothes were fitting better on me, loose even! I started thrifting for smaller sizes. A good friend let me go through a large pile of her cast offs and let me pick what I wanted in my new size. She has excellent taste and the clothes are high quality from some of my favorite stores. I started to get excited about clothes again!

Recently, I found out about the Get Your Pretty On Fall Style Challenge and I jumped onboard! Alison Lumbatis is a mom with three kids (like me!) who guides you through new ways of styling yourself. She provides you with a shopping list of items you'll need for the challenge. You start by shopping your closet for the items and then you can fill in with things you are missing. You don't have to buy *everything* and she gives you ideas of how to sub items. Some of the pieces are standard, basic items and some are more trendy, getting you out of your comfort zone and into trying new things!

The other fun aspect is the closed Facebook group of ladies who are also participating in the challenge. They provide feedback and encouragement as you step out of your comfort zone and try things that are new to you. They offer constructive, but not critical or disparaging, comments to help you achieve your new look.

Once the challenge begins, you receive a different outfit combo, complete with pictures, that is created from the pieces on the list. You then style the outfit using your wardrobe pieces in accordance with your tastes. I really look forward to everyone's pictures and their interpretation of the daily outfit!

I have had fun going on shopping sprees with my daughter, who has excellent taste, as well as with a friend who has also joined the challenge. I looked for some new pieces to add to my wardrobe, scouting out the best prices, shopping sales, clearance racks and discount stores and even thrifted a few items to get all the pieces for my capsule wardrobe. If you're interested, it's not too late! You can still sign up here!

In case you are curious to see what I'm talking about, here are some (but not all) of my capsule pieces:

 Pants, sweaters and scarf
 Layering tees and tops
 Some of my vest collection
 Some of my shoes that I'll be using

And here's an outfit that I styled after seeing how some of the people who have already done a style challenge were putting their outfits together.
Here are a few things that I've already learned:
  1. Layering is good, even if it's still hot out. 
  2. Wear a long dangly necklace to add interest.
  3. In place of booties, wear taller shoes. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Black olive pesto

I threw this recipe together in desperation last night after working all day in the garden. I didn't have any meat defrosted. I wanted pasta (quick! easy!) but I didn't want to do a tomato sauce. What I really wanted was pesto since I had been planting basil seeds that day but in the absence of fresh basil I thought of sun-dried tomato pesto. But when I went to the pantry I was OUT of sun-dried tomatoes!! �� I had already pressed two garlic cloves so I quickly shifted gears and switched to black olive pesto.

Into the Cuisinart went two handfuls of pitted black olives, a half cup of sliced almonds, a tablespoon of capers. A quick whirrr. Hmmm...what else? It needed something green but the only fresh herbs in the garden were sage, thyme (both pretty strong flavors) and oregano! Yes! That would work! A few springs, then added some extra vergin olive oil and about a quarter cup (ok more like a half cup) of freshly grated parmiggiano. Perfect! Dinner is served!
Today mom used the leftovers to coat artichokes. So delish!