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”
I’ve lived in Virginia for 35 years and I love it. But I probably would not have come here had it not been for my dad, who retired in Virginia after a 20-year career in the Air Force.
As the oldest child, I got to experience my dad’s assignments all over the United States as well as overseas. The only place I did not go was to Vietnam during the war. We moved back to Guam to stay with family while he was there. I remember hearing his voice on cassette tapes that he would send to my mom. We would listen to them in a bedroom. I was so young that I don’t remember much of what he said, but I do remember trying to talk to him in the tape recorder. It was a real treat to hear his voice after not seeing him or knowing when he would return.
I hate switching out the clothes in my closet when the seasons change. It takes away precious time that I could spend doing something more fun with my husband or kids. I usually wait until the last minute, and then I’m scrambling to pull sweaters and jeans out of plastic bins and from other storage areas when the temps get cold and my closet is still full of summer dresses, skirts and tops.
This year, though, I vowed that I would start early. I’m glad I did because I found this little treasure of a dress that is perfect to wear to a fall wedding. Continue reading “What To Wear To A Fall Wedding”
I was planning a visit to my parents and thought that I would bring them dinner. I figured they could freeze it for later or we could eat it together when I arrived at their place. They live in another state and it’s not often that I get to see them so I was excited to cook for them.
Chili is one of my favorite dishes and I started cooking early in the day so that the flavors would have time to meld together. I picked the best lean ground beef and used black beans because I knew how much they like them. I added my own special touch – a little cinnamon – and after a quick taste test, deemed it ready to go. The evening before my trip my dad sent me a photo of a meal that their next door neighbor had just brought over. Guess what it was? Chili!
If you follow my blog, you may know that when my husband and I married, we each brought two sons to our family. We struggled for a couple of years with transporting them around together in one vehicle because we didn’t own one big enough for six people. Then we found “Big Red.”
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?”
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.”
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.
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.
I am currently reading a book called The French Beauty Solution by Mathilde Thomas, the founder of Caudalie, an international skincare company that uses natural ingredients. I’ve always been fascinated by the legendary beauty of French women. Catherine Deneuve, Brigitte Bardot, and Juliette Binoche continue to look beautiful even as they have aged. In the beginning of the book, Ms. Thomas talks about the Pleasure Principle and says it means “your beauty routine should make you feel good at the same time it makes you look good.” She continues on to say that the Pleasure Principle “is about looking good and feeling good for your own sake – not because it’s trendy or to impress other people.”
When I first met my husband, “gardener” is not a word I would have used to describe him. Ever. To me, he was a city slicker with an affinity for the same cocktail, same local restaurants, and a love of celebrating anything and everything, He was definitely not someone who wanted to get dirt under his fingernails. Or so I thought. His garden has now taken over a good piece of our backyard and we enjoy fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and many other vegetables all summer long. This hidden layer beneath my husband’s urban exterior is a welcome surprise to me and adds another unique dimension to his personality. Continue reading “Adding Layers With A Denim Vest”