Thursday, December 18, 2014

Style Me Bloggers Christmas gift exchange!

Some of the Style Me Bloggers had the fun idea of having an Elfster gift exchange. If you are not familiar with Elfster, it's like Secret Santa. I was assigned a person to buy a gift for and I had someone assigned to buy me a gift. The idea was to buy a gift that represented our region. My gifter was Deena of Shoes to Shiraz. Deena is from Canada! I was so excited to get a gift from another country! I was out of town when the package arrived so my husband texted me a picture of it. When I got home it was waiting for me!
So excited!
It was pretty heavy and I couldn't imagine what could be in it. Tore into it and found the coolest stuff!
Sweet treats!
I was so surprised to find *four* containers filled with berry flavored yumminess, a note, and a printout explaining what kind of berries they were. 
Jam, salad dressing, syrups
So far I've only had the jam. Oh. My!! It is so good! I've had it on toast and I've swirled a little teaspoonful in my Greek Yogurt. It is sooo good! Next I will try the salad dressing, and durning the twelve days of Christmas (when I have a little time!) I'll make pancakes and we will try the two syrups!

I confess that I was a little confused how to find "something representative of my region" for a gift when we are fashion bloggers! I had figured that since we are Style Me Bloggers the gift would reflect that and be some sort of fashion item! So that's why I was a bit surprised when I opened Deena's gift and found food! I then thought of all the possibilities I could have done to represent Florida.  But, alas, I had gone with fashion instead of food for my gift. Sure hope my recipient likes what I got and can use it. She's from Canada too!

It's been so much fun getting to know (virtually) a group of ladies through the Style Me Challenges, and even more through blogging about it. I have wanted to blog more but something always seems to come up and I just don't do it. Participating in the Style Me Bloggers link up has forced motivated me to blog more. A rousing thank you goes to Alison, the lady behind these fashion challenges. I am participating in my third challenge and am still learning and having fun! You *can* teach an old dog new tricks!

Be sure to check out what the other bloggers received through their Elfter giver below!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

GYPO Winter and Holiday Challenge Week 2

This week was rough because I either didn't have some of the items or the OOTD didn't go with what I had on plan for doing that day. So here's how the week went down:

Day 4:
Plaid Shirt + Puffer Vest + Black Jeans or Leggings + Wedge Boots

On this day I did alright. I wore my black and white plaid flannel shirt with my black puffer vest but rather than pairing it with black jeans or leggings I added a pop of color by wearing red jeans. Since I don't have wedge boots, I went with my heeled booties from the fall challenge. I liked this outfit and was comfortable yet put together all day.
Comfy in this one!
Day 5:
Long Cardigan + Neutral Tee + Fur Scarf + Skinny Jeans + Riding Boots
On this day, I had to do some subbing. I don't have a long printed cardigan so I went with my waterfall cardi paired with a mustard layering tee and since I don't have a fur scarf I went with a blue knit scarf that is furry and fun. I did wear skinny jeans and riding boots. Another winning combo.
Comfy in this one too!

Then that night we hosted a wine and cheese gathering for a few friends and I changed into a Build Your Basics Challenge outfit: sheath dress, white button down shirt, black heeled boots, skinny leopard belt and a blingy grey pearl necklace. Loved it!
Felt stylish in this simple outfit.
Day 6:
Dressy Sweater + Gray Jeans + Black Heels
Here's where the outfits start to fall apart. We had planned Kib's Bay for the whole day so a dressy sweater and heels were completely out of the picture. I went with comfy in mind so I wore my striped shirt from the fall challenge under a white corduroy shirt, boyfriend jeans and comfy closed shoes. Aw man! The only picture where you can see me is riding the Segway in St. Augustine.
This was a fun day!
Day 7:
Plaid Shirt + Cable Knit Sweater + Statement Necklace + Black Pants + Black Heels + Dressy Clutch
On this church day I wanted to wear a dress so rather than wear this outfit, I went with one that I learned about from a past challenger: this striped sweater dress from Target. I paired the stripes with a floral and polka dotted scarf, cream tights and red flats.
Pattern mixing is still new to me
Day 8:
Long Sleeved Tee + Puffer Vest + Skinny Jeans + Fur Scarf + Ugg Boots + Boot Socks
It started warming up today so I skipped the puffer vest and went with a rust layering tank under the dressy sweatshirt from the fall challenge. I went with boyfriend jeans because they are so comfy and leopard flats since it's too warm for boots and socks. One of our challengers is battling ovarian cancer. Many of us incorporated something teal in our Monday outfits. I added a teal scarf for Terri in place of the fur scarf,
Teal for Terri!
Day 9:
Dressy Sweater + Skinny Jeans + Riding Boots
I shopped my closet and wore a sweater that I think of as dressy but it's not blingy, so I added my grey pearl necklace to it to spice it up. (When I bought this necklace last year I hardly wore it. Now I'm wearing it a LOT!) And since it was quite warm yesterday, I skipped the boots and subbed my trusty leopard flats. This was a perfect outfit for shopping at the Towne Center.
F21 necklace with Talbots sweater
F21 jeans with Merona flats
I'm really in need of a haircut. When it gets longer it gets flat on top. Adding that to my to do list for next week!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

GYPO Winter and Holiday Challenge Week 1

It's time for a new Challenge! This is my third one! (Can you tell I really enjoy these?)

I didn't have much money or time to shop for missing pieces. It's just a busy $ time of year where I cannot afford to spend so much on myself. For this challenge I will be mostly shopping from my closet. I did buy an asymmetrical tunic sweater at Ross for $25. I think that's all I bought for this one!

On Day 1 I was traveling with my son for the Regionals Rock Climbing Competition and as such I didn't have the right pieces with me.

Day 1: Neutral Cable Knit Sweater + Fur Scarf + Skinny Jeans + Riding Boots
I do have a cable knit sweater but it's navy blue and not cream. I do not have a fur scarf. I could have styled this outfit with what I have had I not been traveling. But since I was, I have no picture to share.

Day 2: Tunic Sweater + Puffer Vest + Leggings + Boot Socks + Riding Boots
Here's where I got to wear my new sweater! I added a cream scarf for added warmth around my neck and for some lightness as the colors were all pretty dark. No leggings or boot socks for this gal yet.
Nice and warm!

Day 3: Poncho + Long Sleeved Tee + Printed Scarf + Skinny Jeans + Wedge Boots
I don't have a poncho but I have a poncho-ish sweater. It has the poncho vibe. So I went with that and seemed to work. I added a warm knit scarf that picks up on the colors in the sweater and tee shirt. I don't have wedge boots so I went with the booties from the Fall Challenge.
Penny is mesmerized!
Check out what my styling sisters wore these first few days by clicking on the links below. (Can you believe that picture is an actual photograph of one of the gals' front yard?! She lives in Canada ;)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Style Me Bloggers: Favorite Holiday Meal

There are certain holidays that call for certain foods. I believe that the most renown one in the US is Thanksgiving. I know not everyone makes (or even likes for that matter) turkey for thanksgiving but it is the most well-known of the traditional foods. And I'm glad, because I really like it! So much so that I even make it once or twice a year "just because!"

My ideal Thanksgiving menu would include the following items which has been on our menu for roughly the last 20+ years with a few variations and/or additions, of course.

Roasted turkey with gravy (sometimes fried, sometimes smoked, but roasted is my fave.)
Sweet potato casserole (I've made this one, this one and this one in the past) 
Dressing (or stuffing, as some call it)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts (this is the recipe I made this year)
Cranberry Sauce (fresh, none of that canned stuff, like this recipe, 
subbing homemade truvia for the sugar)
Mashed potatoes (for my kids. I don't like 'em.)
Overnight salad (For me, because I like a little crunch.)

Since I've started eating the Trim Healthy Mama way, I've eliminated bread and off-plan desserts but if I *were* to cheat it would be with Apple Pie.Pecan for my hubby. Pumpkin for my son who loves it. 

We have quite a bit of family so everyone takes a dish or two to bring. No one makes everything for the meal. I love doing it this way because no one person is stressed out with all the shopping, cooking and cleaning. All the stress gets spread out. I'm interested to hear how others spend their favorite holiday with family and friends!

Linking this post with the other Style Me Bloggers. Be sure to check out their favorite holiday meals too!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Liebster Award Nominee

liebster award

I was pleasantly surprised to be nominated by Alison of Puppies and Pretties for the Liebster Award! The rules for this award are as follows:
  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions that the person who nominated you gave you.
  3. List 11 facts about yourself. 
  4. Name 11 bloggers to nominate for the Liebster Award that have under 200 followers .
  5. Give your nominees 11 questions to answer.

 Eleven questions for me:
  1. What is your favorite color? Navy blue with pink followed by a close second.
  2. What is your favorite book/series? Narnia and the Mitford books.
  3. If you could pick 1 article of clothing that you had to wear every day, what would it be? Umm…underwear!
  4. Dog or Cat? Dog. Definitely. And a Labrador at that.
  5. What is your favorite movie? Of more recent time: Knight and Day. Further back: Star Wars series.
  6. What is your favorite Trader Joe’s item? Wine! and cheese (so cheap!)
  7. If you had to pick 1 store to buy all of your clothes from, where would it be? Hmm. This is more difficult now that I’ve been doing the Style Me Challenges. A store I love but can’t regularly afford is Talbots. Or Brooks Brothers! :)
  8. Where was your favorite vacation? The south of France (Provence).
  9. Where do you stand on ugly Christmas sweaters? Yay or nay? Nope. Not at all.
  10. What is your favorite post that you have written? Probably some of my recipes. I actually use them on my blog. Like the Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta or Asian Flavored Chicken or Pumpkin Pie Spice.
  11. Weekly calendar – do you start yours on Sunday or Monday? Monday. I'm just programmed from school days. We homeschool so that’s when our week starts.
Eleven facts about myself:

  1. I was born and mostly raised in Italy until it was time for college (with a detour in Puerto Rico). I attended the University of Florida (Go Gators!) because I had one friend going there. (Hey, I was moving 5000 miles away from home! I wanted to know SOMEONE in the state I would be living in!)
  2. Yes, I’m fluent.
  3. I enjoy running and have run 2 marathons and 3 half marathons and am currently training for another half.
  4. I stutter. A lot of people don’t even realize it so they make fun of something I say. I know it isn’t their intention to be mean.
  5. I’m so incredibly happily married that it’s a passion of mine to encourage people in their marriages and it makes me sad to hear of couples getting divorced. (I met my husband in grad school at a copy shop.)
  6. I homeschool my kids and love it. Yes, they are socialized.
  7. I’ve never lived where it snows regularly. Growing up in Sicily, it would snow at our house once in a blue moon. In Florida, never.
  8. I grew up on the side of a live volcano (Mt. Etna) and have witnessed many eruptions.
  9. I love to travel. The furthest east I’ve been is Israel and the furthest west is California.
  10. I love to read which is what led me to my major (English). However, I don’t love to write. Wouldn’t you say that’s a Fanny Dooley? (If I only knew what that really was though!)
  11. I really hate roaches. And that’s a problem living in Florida. Raid is my friend.

My nine (rather than eleven) nominees are:

A Lovely Little Wardrobe
Foxy's Domestic Side
Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After
She Thought She Could So She Did
Traveling With Grace
Ramblin' Roads
See the Blue Sky
Pin Busting with Steph
The Raggedy Stitcher

My 11 questions for my nominees:
  1. Where are you from and where do you currently live?
  2. How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
  3. What is the meaning behind your blog?
  4. What hobbies do you enjoy?
  5. What book(s) is on your nightstand right now?
  6. Chocolate: milk, dark or white?
  7. What is your favorite color? Food? Pandora Station?
  8. What is one thing that you like about yourself?
  9. What is one thing you splurged on that you are happy you did?
  10. Where is the farthest place you've traveled to?
  11. What church/denomination do you attend?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Week 3 Build Your Basics Challenge

Can't believe week three is already here with only a few days of outfits left!

This week I didn't get to wear near as many outfits of the day (OOTD) since we were traveling for Thanksgiving and I didn't have all the right pieces. Then it warmed up and it was too hot to wear long sleeves and boots! But here's what I managed:

Day 10: Cardigan + Blouse + Black Pants + Leopard Belt + Black Boots

Since I still don't have a jewel colored blouse (and it was cold) I subbed a sweater. No leopard belt since these pants have no belt loops. I felt like I needed a little more color near my face so I added a light floral scarf, tied as an infinity scarf.
Added a mustard layering tee for warmth.
Day 11:Chambray + Skinny or Straight Jeans + Leopard Belt + Riding Boots

This was Thanksgiving day and initially I was going to wear something a little dressier but then I realized we were spending Thanksgiving on a horse farm, albeit a really NICE farm, but still a farm. So I went with the OOTD and was very comfy. (Barefoot in the picture since I was indoors, but I did wear my riding boots). Added a cable knit flowy cardigan for warmth.
Such a comfy outfit!

Day 12: Cardigan+ Striped Top + Bootcut Jeans + Black Boots

This was one of the days that we were traveling so I didn't have all the pieces for the outfit so I did my own thing. And forgot to get a picture.

Day 13: Black Jacket + Blouse + Skinny or Straight Jeans + Leopard Flats

Another travel day with doing my own thing. No picture.

Day 14: Neutral Sweater + White Shirt + Black Pants + Black Boots

Church day. I did wear the OOTD but I didn't actually put on my neutral sweater. I just draped it around my shoulders.
Day 15: Cardigan + Striped Top + Skinny or Straight Jeans + Riding Boots

On this day, the temps were in the high 70s so I subbed a short sleeved top and flip flops and nixed the cardigan. Since it was barely in line with the OOTD, I didn't get a picture.

Day 16: Blouse+ Long Necklace + Boot Cut Jeans + Heeled Boots

Too warm on this day too to wear boots and long sleeves so I subbed a ruby short sleeved blouse and my trusty leopard flats. Forgot to get a picture.

Day 17: Black Blazer + White Shirt + Skinny or Straight Jeans + Leopard Belt + Nude Heels

Today I am determined to wear the outfit, even if it means turning on the a/c in the car. I don't have nude heels yet so I subbed the ever trusty leopard again.
Casual yet feel pulled together. 
Only 4 days left in this challenge! We already received the shopping list for the Winter Challenge. Care to join me? Go here to sign up for this new challenge! It's not too late!

Linking up to Alison's I Feel Pretty Link Party!
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