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!”

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”

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”

Keeping Leopard Print and Leather Classic For Work

This weekend my husband started decorating for Halloween. We set up a “haunted front yard” every year, and I never really know what he’s going to do. One year he built a coffin with fake body pieces coming out of it. Another year, he built what looked like an underground cage with zombie heads and arms reaching out. On Saturday I came home from running errands and he built a queen size bed in the front yard. That’s right, a bed. It has sheets and a fake body on top of it. His decorating is a multi-day event and he’s not done yet. On Halloween night, we both dress up. He’s usually some kind of horrific host, and I dress up to look like I’m a statue of some sort and scare trick-or-treaters when I make a sudden movement as they walk by.

It’s all in good fun and we have visitors who return year after year to see what we’ve done. Although we have some pretty scary scenes, we keep everything G-rated because we still want kids to enjoy themselves. But when we see adults walk through the yard, well, we like to put a little extra efforts into our scare tactics. Continue reading “Keeping Leopard Print and Leather Classic For Work”

How To Style A Camo Bomber Jacket For The Office

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.

Continue reading “How To Style A Camo Bomber Jacket For The Office”

I Spy A Trench Coat

I’m a huge James Bond fan, from the early days of Sean Connery and Roger Moore to today’s Daniel Craig. But I have to confess that none of these dapper secret agents can hold a candle to the one and only international man of mystery. His teeth may be crooked, his hair a mop of messiness, and his style choices a bit flashy, but Austin Powers is and will always be the grooviest spy in my world. Yeah baby! Continue reading “I Spy A Trench Coat”

Falling For Florals

Happy Labor Day! Today celebrates the hard work and achievements that American workers make to the strength, well-being and prosperity of our great nation. We have celebrated Labor Day since 1894 when Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. It’s a great tribute to our workforce and I am so honored and thankful that I have the opportunities I’ve had in my professional life and with this blog to forge my own career path and contribute to our country in my own small way.

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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. 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.

Continue reading “Fall Transition Outfit No. 1 and a Rare Compliment”

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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