Putting a Thrifted Red Blazer To Work

I dig through my trashcan and I’m not afraid to admit it. Those plastic water bottles? They could become a throw rug in someone’s house. A cardboard cereal box? That could be the next great American novel (maybe even mine some day!). An aluminum can? That could be part of your kid’s next bike. I hate seeing recyclable items thrown into our trashcan and I will dig them out and stick them into our recycling bin.

I’ve tried to teach the rest of my family about the benefits of recycling and they are getting better about it. But I still find recyclable items in our trash that I dig out.

These materials can be recycled into things that we use every day. But if we throw them out, then they just sit in a landfill where they are buried and left to decompose. The landfill process is much more complicated than I’m describing here and there are systems in place to protect the environment. Still, that doesn’t take away the fact that landfills cover acres of our buried garbage.

This is one of the reasons I love secondhand items so much. Instead of throwing them out to decompose in a landfill, their previous owners donated them for someone else to love. I love searching for unique pieces in thrift stores and consignment shops. I look at my thrifted outings as little treasure hunts because you never know what you might find. Case in point: my mom and I were shopping at an antique/thrift store in North Carolina a few months ago when in the corner, on the bottom shelf of a bookcase, under a pile of books and magazines was a Kate Spade handbag, for $5! That’s right, $5! That bag will be coming to the blog soon.

That brings me to the other reason I love thrifting. You will never pay full price for a thrifted item because it is not hot off the fashion racks. Items may be used, although you may be lucky enough to find something with the original price tags still attached. The savings can be pretty amazing.

Thrifted items can update your wardrobe and showcase your personal style. I love to mix my thrifted finds with new pieces or things that I have  in my closet. In fact, this week, you’re going to see me doing just that. I’m trying something new and participating in the a thrifted challenge with some other bloggers. You can check it out on Instagram at #thriftedchicstylechallenge. I hope you will also follow me on Instagram via @cathyvstyle.

The group is showcasing a thrifted piece every day. The pieces can be home decor, accessories or clothing. I have several thrifted pieces of furniture that I love and I may try to incorporate them toward the end of the week, but today I’m showing you a great outfit for work with two pieces of thrifted items. Continue reading “Putting a Thrifted Red Blazer To Work”

How To Layer A Warm Outfit for Fall Sports

My husband and I seem to be getting to a point in our lives where we want to make everything as easy and comfortable as possible. Our goal is for us to enjoy more quality time with our kids. With two of them graduating from high school this year, this time is even more important to us. Our motto is if someone/something can do it better and faster, let ’em at it!  Continue reading “How To Layer A Warm Outfit for Fall Sports”

A Holiday Outfit That Works From Day To Night

It’s November 1st and you know what that means. You should already be done with your Christmas shopping and started your planning for Valentine’s Day! Of course, I’m being facetious, but it sure seems like retailers hurry the holidays along and I can’t stand that. I enjoy the excitement leading up to the holiday, the actual day itself and then relaxing and reminiscing with family and friends afterwards. In our 24/7 instantaneous world, it’s so nice to sit back and spend some unplanned time with those you care about the most. Continue reading “A Holiday Outfit That Works From Day To Night”

A Good Belly Laugh Does The Body Good

This weekend I visited my parents in N.C. and on the ride down, I tuned in to a radio show during which the host was playing a recording of him ordering food from a restaurant. The bit from start to finish was about 10 minutes long, and I laughed uncontrollably during the whole piece. It was the funniest thing I had heard in a long time.

I was laughing so hard that tears were flowing down my face. I thought about pulling over because I almost could not see the road in front of me. I’m sure other drivers were wondering what was going on, but I didn’t care. Once the bit was done, I wiped away my tears and composed myself. But I know I kept smiling for at least the next half hour.

The funny thing was on my return trip, I tuned into the same radio station and they were playing the same piece again! And this was at a completely different time of the day. Yep, I belly laughed like before until I was crying. It was great.

I think we all need a laugh like this at least a few times a week in our lives. It feels so good to laugh at something with your body, heart and soul. Turns out, there are reasons why a belly laugh is good for you.

Continue reading “A Good Belly Laugh Does The Body Good”

What I Would Have Worn To The Pumpkin Patch

Last week my son came home and I thought I heard him say, Mom, I want to go to the pumpkin patch. My heart skipped a beat and my eyes lit up. I love going to the pumpkin patch! But I haven’t been for years because my teens don’t think it’s cool to hang out with mom and dad on the weekend at the pumpkin patch. But maybe my son had a change of heart.

When do you want to go? I asked.

I’m going tonight, with a girl from school, he said.

Aaaahhh. So it’s a date?

No, not a date. Just a friend. 

Guess I can’t come along and take some pictures for the blog?

Mom, that would be weird. 

Then my other son came downstairs. Mom I need a pumpkin. 

Yessss! I get to go to the pumpkin patch after all!

Mom, let’s just pick it up at the store.  My son had a busy Saturday planned and a party that night. He said he wouldn’t be able to make it to the pumpkin patch.

Sigh.

Continue reading “What I Would Have Worn To The Pumpkin Patch”

Layering With A Faux Fur Vest

I’d give up chocolate but I’m not a quitter.

This is a saying that is painted on a plaque in our house. I love it because it’s so tongue in cheek. But it’s also true. Chocolate is my number one addiction. I don’t care what kind of diet or exercise plan I’m on, I just can’t give it up. It tastes good, it feels good, it looks good. Why would I want to give something like that up? Continue reading “Layering With A Faux Fur Vest”

A Black Anorak Styled Two Ways

My husband is so creative when it comes to giving gifts. Over the years, he’s given me tickets to the ballet and the opera, taken me on a haunted house tour, had an artist sketch a portrait of our family, brought home a china cabinet and an antique roll top writing desk in a vintage store that I love, and taken me to a bed and breakfast for a weekend getaway. My birthday gifts this year were no different. He gave me a beautiful cocktail dress and then took me to dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Richmond. He also gave me a gorgeous anorak that doubles as a raincoat. Continue reading “A Black Anorak Styled Two Ways”

What To Wear To Your Kid’s School Function

When my boys were little, I loved visiting them at school. Sometimes, I went to see them during their lunch period and I would bring them a special lunch from their favorite restaurant. Or I’d attend an event in their classroom. Since I worked full-time back then, it was always fun to spend a few extra minutes with my kids while they were in school. Continue reading “What To Wear To Your Kid’s School Function”

Five Tips For Dressing For The Office

After working in the corporate world for 30 years, I’ve learned quite a few lessons about dressing for the office. In my last job overseeing a Human Resources Department, I was often asked to talk to other employees about their work attire. It isn’t easy telling people what they can and can’t wear to work, and I almost always met with some resistance. I tried to provide the best guidance I could while not squashing their individual style. I hope I can do the same thing today with these five tips for dressing for the office. Continue reading “Five Tips For Dressing For The Office”

It’s My Party and I’ll Mix Patterns If I Want To

My birthday was on Saturday and I thought it would be fun to show you an outfit that celebrates all the styles that I have loved throughout my life. No matter where I’ve been and when – high school punk rock lover, college retail worker, young journalist, midlife public servant – these are the styles that I’ve gravitated back to time and time again. Continue reading “It’s My Party and I’ll Mix Patterns If I Want To”