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.

Continue reading “Gift Ideas for Teen Boys and Black Friday Preparations”

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”

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.

Continue reading “Adding Elegance To a Floral Pencil Skirt Outfit”

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”

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”