Seeing Red

A quote by American author Alice Hoffman sums up how I feel about the color red: “How could I have been so stupid to have ignored everything I’d had in my life? The color red alone was worth kingdoms.” I couldn’t agree more. Red is my favorite color. According to the fashion experts, we will be seeing a lot of this color in the coming months.

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Animal Prints: A Trend or a Classic?

I always find it interesting when magazines and retailers start touting the new trends at the start of every season. It seems to me that some of the trends they are referring to are things we’ve all seen before in some shape or form. For example, according to the fashion industry, animal print is going to be big this fall. But I’ve had animal print pieces in my closet for years! I’ve got leopard and cheetah gloves, scarves, purses, shoes, belts, tops, sweaters, and coats. You can see one of my leopard print tops here and my leopard print shoes here. I also have a zebra-striped poncho that I love (and bought last year). Personally, I don’t consider animal print a trend, but a classic, which is why I rarely get rid of any of my animal print pieces. I know I’ll wear them every year all year long.     Continue reading “Animal Prints: A Trend or a Classic?”

Fall Transition Outfit No. 3 and Summer Revelations

Today means that there is just one more full week before my kids go back to school. It’s been nice having them around because I’ve been able to learn little things about them that I didn’t know before.

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Fall Transition Outfit No. 2 and the American Dream

Last week, one of my neighbor’s kids knocked on my door in the middle of the afternoon. When I opened it, he said “We are selling lemonade and muffins. Do you want some?” I looked across my yard and sure enough, there was his brother and another neighbor’s daughter sitting at two tables loaded with goodies, an umbrella to keep the sun at bay and a few handwritten signs. I told him I needed to get some money and would be right over. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one who they queried. The kids took turns running up and down the street, knocking on doors, asking people to come outside and have some lemonade and muffins. They had all their earnings in a Mason jar. I loved that these little entrepreneurs were trying their hands at the American Dream. Maybe they will expand their operation next year to run all summer long. Continue reading “Fall Transition Outfit No. 2 and the American Dream”

Fall Transition Outfit No. 1 and a Rare Compliment

When you’re a mom of teens, compliments from them to you do not come fast and furious. At least not in my household. My teens seem to be mainly concerned about themselves. I don’t say that to be insulting or critical; it’s just a fact of life in Teen World. But last week, I received a compliment from one of my boys and it’s one of those moments that will stay with me forever.

Before my son Hunter had his knee surgery in July, he went on a hike with some of his friends. He said they were complaining about their troubled relationships with their mothers. I think at one point they looked at him to add some validation to their diatribes and he said, “Honestly guys, I don’t have that type of relationship with my mom. She is actually a lot of fun and I like being around her.”

Say What?

I asked him if he really said that or was he telling me he said that just to make me feel good. He assured me that he said that.

Wow. I know I felt my eyes well up with tears but I didn’t want him to see that because you, know, teens don’t want to be caught hanging with their crying mom. So I turned around quickly, grabbed that moment and locked it away till later.

And when it was later, I couldn’t stop thinking about what he said. Remember Sally Field at the Oscars (yes, I’m that old). You like me! You really like me! I was Sally Field in all her tearful glory. My son actually liked me and he wasn’t afraid to tell his friends. I’m welling up again.

Parent Performance Evaluations?

In a blended family of step-kids and step-parents, the blending takes time. Even when the blender is going really strong, things don’t always come out as smoothly as we’d like. But my husband and I try our hardest to ensure that each one of our kids knows that we love him no matter what.

Sometimes, it is hard to know how we’re doing. At work, most people are evaluated on their performance. I always knew I did well based on my boss’ feedback, the scores in my evaluation and subsequent raise. But parents don’t receive a performance evaluation (unless you base it on the number of rolled eyes, grunts and time spent in their bedrooms as feedback from teens), and we certainly don’t receive a raise from our kids. Sometimes it feels like we’re just grasping in the dark. But then you hear a compliment from your kid masked in a story about an afternoon out with friends, and all I can say is that I’ll take that over a raise any day.

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A Pink Dress In A Secret Garden

I’ve talked before on this blog about all the unique places in our downtown. I am amazed that for as long as I’ve lived here, I still find little nooks and crannies that I have never seen before. That happened to my husband and me after we went out to dinner earlier this week. We like to explore after our meal just to see what’s new in town. After pulling into a parking area so we could walk around, he noticed this little pathway between two buildings. It was lined with shrubs and had climbing plants on one wall and the lattice at the back. It connected two different parking areas between buildings, but really led nowhere special. Still, standing on this pathway made us feel as if we were in a secret garden. It was magical.

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Going Retro With A Gingham Dress

Do you remember the AMC television show, Mad Men? It was set in the 1960s ad world of Madison Avenue in New York City. The show ran from 2007 – 2015. I reserved every Sunday night from 9 p.m. – 10 p.m. so I could watch Mad Men. I loved every bit of it from the characters to the storylines, set pieces and best of all, the authentic costumes. To me, the fit-and-flare dresses, pencil skirts, and sheath silhouettes celebrated women’s figures in a tasteful way. Continue reading “Going Retro With A Gingham Dress”

Accessories Rescue a Black Swing Dress

I have mixed feelings about a swing dress. When I see them on other women, they look wonderful. When I see one on me, I cringe. On my body, they seem shapeless and frumpy. But this black one from J. Jill is so comfortable, I can’t kick it out of my closet. The material skims the body, is extremely soft, moves easily and is the perfect lightweight dress for summer. The length is just right, hitting slightly above my knees. Although you can’t see it, there is a cute inverted pleat on the back, giving this dress a little something extra to stand out among its colleagues. Did I say how comfortable it is? I could sleep in this dress! Continue reading “Accessories Rescue a Black Swing Dress”

A Work Outfit For All Seasons

Finding a work outfit that is appropriate no matter the season is a bonus for your closet! I’ve had this navy blue blazer and red dress in mine for several months and just this week paired the two for an office meeting. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Navy blue and red are a classic combination and can work any time of the year. I’ve worn a different version of this mix before in this post. 

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Pink and Polka Dots for Work

Most of my week is spent telecommuting for my part-time job, but every now and then I head to the office for a meeting. Because of a new project at work, this week has been especially busy and I’ve had a few meetings to attend. This means stepping up my daily outfit so that I look professional and appropriate when I visit the office.  Continue reading “Pink and Polka Dots for Work”