Gift Ideas for Women and Black Friday Sales Update

If you’re braving the Black Friday crowds today, here is another set of gift ideas for the women in your life. I have a few of these myself and I’ve included information on those items that I thought would be helpful to you. Links to each item are included below the graphic. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a start.

I’ve also updated the Black Friday sales info below the graphic. Again, this is not a comprehensive list, but these are the places that I shop regularly for me and my family. Continue reading “Gift Ideas for Women and Black Friday Sales Update”

Gift Ideas for Teen Boys and Black Friday Preparations

When my kids were younger, it was easy to pick out their gifts for Christmas. One year, we got them a Wii game system. One game system for the four of them. I remember them whooping and hollering in the living room, anxious to get it up and running. These days, we wouldn’t dare to give them one gift to share. They have all developed into completely different individuals with their own interests and their own gift ideas.

A few weeks ago I did ask them to give me some ideas of things they would like under the tree and I wanted to share them with you. I put their ideas in the graphic below with links below it. They’re not groundbreaking, but they are things that my boys said they would like. And I’d rather give them something I know they’ll use and be happy with. I  hope that these ideas may be able to help you as you think about gifts for your loved ones. For reference, my sons range in age from 14 to 17 years old.

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A Shimmery Pleated Skirt for the Holidays

We visited my in-laws this weekend for an early Thanksgiving celebration. While we were waiting for the turkey to cook, my husband, our four sons and I decided to take a hike on a walking trail behind my in-laws’ house. With our dog in tow, we started off on a cleared out path that led into a forest. It was a warm and breezy day and leaves were falling all around us as we made our way deeper into the woods. Continue reading “A Shimmery Pleated Skirt for the Holidays”

A Floral Maxi Dress for Thanksgiving

My husband told us this week that he wants to fry a turkey this Thanksgiving. We tried this a few years ago and it was a spectacular  failure.  After 4 hours in the fyer, the turkey was still pink. Pink, I tell you! To this day, we’re not exactly sure what went wrong because we thought that we followed all the directions. If we hadn’t agreed to put a “backup” turkey in the oven, then we would have been eating a meatless Thanksgiving Day meal.

I once had a boss who said if we were going to fail at something, let it be a  spectacular failure. That way, everyone would know that we gave the effort everything we had, and then some. We certainly learned a few things from our last turkey frying attempt and we’ll be putting those lessons to use this year.

And I’ll be buying a second turkey, just in case.

Continue reading “A Floral Maxi Dress for Thanksgiving”

Why We Should Shop Local

Shopping local is something I love to do throughout the year. Buying items in your local non-big box store is just plain good for so many reasons. For starters, by shopping local, you’re helping that business grow and hopefully, become more successful. That way, they can continue to bring you their goods and services. Starting a business is also part of the  quintessential American dream, that a vision coupled with hard work creates an opportunity for success. Why not help move that dream closer to reality?

If you buy local, your money also goes toward the community in which you live. Local governments collect sales tax revenue from businesses. Having worked for a long time for a local government, these revenues are used to make communities a better place for you to live, work and raise a family. Who doesn’t want to improve their community?

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Thrifted Chic Style Challenge Winner!

I woke up early Saturday morning to learn that I had won the Thrifted Chic Style Challenge from last week! Excited can’t even begin to describe how I felt. This was my first-ever contest for a style challenge and my first win. Continue reading “Thrifted Chic Style Challenge Winner!”

Make My Day with Leopard Boots and a Blanket Poncho

In one of my English courses at George Mason University, my professor made us watch the famed 1954 Japanese movie Seven Samauri. We were studying Japanese culture at the time and his lesson was centered on the similarities between that movie and the spaghetti westerns that became popular in the mid-1960s. Seven Samauri was actually remade into the American movie, The Magnificent Seven, but there is one name synonymous with spaghetti westerns. C’mon, take a guess. But first, you’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya? Continue reading “Make My Day with Leopard Boots and a Blanket Poncho”

Stepping Back In Time With A Red Swing Coat

During my dad’s first military assignment on the island of Crete in Greece, we lived off base in a small apartment. It had no central hearing nor air conditioning. My parents had space heaters in some rooms, but they weren’t enough to keep us warm during the winter. Not that it gets super hot or cold there. The average temperature in January hovers around 52 degrees Fahrenheit with the hottest temps reaching about 79 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.

Still, I remember plenty of cold nights in our little apartment during the winter. My parents didn’t feel it was safe to leave the space heaters on all night, so we would wrap ourselves in coats, hats and gloves. Then we would crawl under our many layers of blankets. In a family of four kids, we didn’t have separate coats for separate occasions. The coat I crawled in bed with was the same coat I wore to school, to play outside, to go to church, etc.

Maybe that’s why today I have a decent collection of coats. Trenches, casual coats, jean jackets, leather jackets and anoraks are all in my closet. I enjoy wearing each of them throughout the year. Continue reading “Stepping Back In Time With A Red Swing Coat”

Adding Elegance To a Floral Pencil Skirt Outfit

My youngest son found out last night that he got his first job! I’m so excited for him! It’s only part-time at a fast-food restaurant, but he is still in high school so he can’t take on too many additional projects. This is a huge accomplishment for him. He applied on his own and didn’t tell me until after he sent his application in. I took him to the interview and he thought he didn’t get it because he didn’t hear back from them right away. But he received an email last night asking him to come to orientation.

First jobs are always exciting in my opinion. He’ll feel that little streak of independence with something that is completely outside our family world. And then once that first paycheck comes in…..I’m sure it will feel like a million bucks to him!

My first job was at a Roy Rogers restaurant. Remember those? Maybe I’m dating myself. I had to wear a red polyester short-sleeve shirt, a denim overall dress, nude-colored nylons and – this is the best part – a cowboy hat.

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Poncho Sweater, Burgundy Booties and the Ageless Style Linkup

When I was little, my mom used to make pumpkin soup every Halloween. She would scrape out all the meat in a pumpkin and then boil it down until the meat was tender. She would then add some half and half, salt and pepper and heat it through. In the meantime, she would have egg noodles boiling on a back burner. When they were done, she would drain them and set a ladle full in each of our bowls. Over that, she would pour the pumpkin soup mixture. I’ll be honest, it may not have looked appetizing at the time, but it was still the best tasting soup I ever had.

I looked forward to eating that soup every Halloween. In my eyes, it heralded the official start of fall in our house. I knew that no matter how cool the autumn evenings would get, that pumpkin soup would warm me right through. Continue reading “Poncho Sweater, Burgundy Booties and the Ageless Style Linkup”