The Indispensable Utility Jacket

20191004_154422.jpgThis is the perfect time of year to wear the utility jacket–it has a lightweight warmth and is a great closet staple that goes well with denim. And not only denim, but just about everything from shorts, skinny pants, dresses and even a…shag skirt.shagskirt
I had to do a double take on the above skirt as I had never thought of pairing this creative combo which comes from this site 21 Practical Ways to Wear a Utility Jacket.
20191004_160251 (1)The utility jacket is a classic transitional piece that every woman needs in her wardrobe.20191004_15431720191012_181456The jacket I am wearing is by Cabelas, classic fit, and is made from 100% pure comfortable cotton. Another aspect I like about this jacket is that it’s machine washable so any doggie slobber on my sleeves can be easily rectified which makes it dog proof. And my navy blue button-down shirt is from L.L. Bean and is “wrinkle free.”
I wanted to share with you a recent visit to T. J. Maxx and bring you into my dressing room. The colors that are trending right now are true autumnal shades such as earthy brown, butterscotch gold, and chili pepper red.  Since my seasonal color analysis is “fall,” I gravitate towards these colors like dog hair to velvet. And animal print not only continues to be popular but is one of the biggest fall fashion trends according to this site: Animal Print Fall Trend 2019.
20191009_13501620191012_145256 (1)20191009_123107 (1)20191009_135939 (1)Well, I loved all of the items and was forced to narrow down my choices.  I will have to surprise you with future blog posts as to which ones I decided on and Mabel’s not telling.20191006_094742 (1)

Bountiful Harvest

“A drop fell on the apple tree
Another on the roof;
A half a dozen kissed the eaves,
And made the gables laugh.” (Emily Dickinson)

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This year our apple trees yielded a great abundance of apples on our Yellow Transparent trees and our Macintosh. Our UPS driver, while delivering a package, recently asked if he could pick some as he uses them to make homemade apple cider. I thought that was a fair exchange not to mention it was putting them to good use. My favorite apple is the Cortland and my family enjoys them in my homemade cinnamon apple cake and apple pie.
20190907_160854I remember my father would buy bushels of apples every fall and he would literally eat the entire apple, seeds and all, except the stem.
While this delicious fruit is healthy and what the doctor recommends to eat daily, I was thinking about a common misconception of what apple seeds contain. I have heard some say they contain traces of arsenic and others say they have ricin. After doing some online research, I found this interesting link (Medical News Today) that states apple seeds contain “amygdalin which is converted into cyanide when the seeds are chewed or crushed. Cyanide is highly poisonous and can be deadly in high doses.” The article further goes on to say “you would probably need to thoroughly chew and swallow over 150 seeds before you experienced any adverse symptoms. So if you accidentally eat a few apple seeds, there is no need to worry.” So my father apparently tested that concept and suffered no ill effects.
20190907_155148I am wearing a Levi’s Red Tab denim western shirt with pearl snap buttons. The skinny jeans are by Kensie and called Effortless Ankle. The booties are Naturalizer’s Greyson Ankle Boot. These booties are the most comfortable pair of shoes I own besides sneakers.
20190907012047_IMG_2130The deep pink tank top is by Chico’s Travelers Collection. It is comfortable and wrinkle free.

littlegreenworms

(From Pinterest)
From the “Wizzard of Oz”:
Scarecrow: Come along Dorothy. You don’t want any of those apples.
Apple Tree: Are you hinting my apples aren’t what they ought to be?
Scarecrow: Oh, no! It’s just that she doesn’t like little green worms!

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20190907_160413 (2)Enjoy your week; I have to go bake a pie now.

Living in the Moment

“There comes a warning like a spy
A shorter breath of Day
A stealing that is not a stealth
And Summers are away –” (Emily Dickinson)
20190901_165101The fact that we are nearing the end of summer hasn’t quite hit me yet. Summers always go by too quickly but this year it went by at lightning speed. However, I love the upcoming season and the many crisp and invigorating offerings of Autumn.
In an effort to slow down the passing of time, we can practice the art of living in the moment. Stop worrying about the past and do not be anxious about the future; worrying drains our energy and prevents us from living in the moment. In fact, this reminds me of the scripture at Matthew 6:34 that says: “Never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties.”
So how do we live in the moment? Here are some tips I found to be very thought provoking at this link (10 Tips to Start Living in the Present).
I particularly liked tip number 3:  “Fully appreciate the moments of today. Soak in as much of today as you possibly can – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the emotions, the triumph, and the sorrow.” Our life as we experience it in the moment is what our life is about; not yesterday and not tomorrow; but right now.
My post at this moment in time, pertains to different ways to wear a tunic style shirt. I tend to be an “untucked” type of girl but there are some general guidelines that I tend to break on occasion. If the shirt has tails, it’s supposed to be tucked in, but if it has a flat bottom hem, it’s meant to be worn untucked. Well, I am wearing my shirt untucked, partially tucked and completely tucked:
20190823000355_IMG_2036_120190822235542_IMG_2021_120190823000618_IMG_2040_120190824_08460720190823004627_IMG_207320190823004341_IMG_2067Which look do you prefer? I am wearing skinny jeans which usually look good with a long, untucked tunic top.  But I think I could get away with the tucked in look. By the way, my shirt is by A.N.A.
Puppy update:  Mabel is officially six months old and almost 60 pounds now! Resized952019082495151648(0) (1)20190825040144_IMG_21252019082495151430 (1)Resized952019082495151708She has the most amazing smile. Enjoy your weekend and try to “live in the moment.”

Lengthening a Skirt Part 2

In my last post, I had talked about how to lengthen a skirt or dress by simply adding lace to the bottom. This is the skirt I lengthened in my previous post here. It was my supervisor who had given me the idea, and now I am out of control adding lace to every skirt and dress I own (okay, I am exaggerating but only slightly). Here is another skirt I have sewn lace to and my next project will be one of my dresses. My skirt is now is an inch and a half longer. What do you think? 20190813_193448.jpg20190813_193247.jpg20190814_12205920190814_131748.jpgI cannot get Mabel to look at the camera as I do not have my photographer’s assistance today.
Another way to lengthen a skirt or dress is by wearing a slip extender. Slips do not always have to be hidden and they can add a classy, chic style to your outfit in addition to serving as an easy solution in keeping you covered.  20190817234215_IMG_1988.JPG20190817232253_IMG_1979.JPG20190818_133138This white knee-length floral lace skirt is approximately 23.5 inches in length and works with most of my skirts and dresses.
My brother wanted me to explain the meaning of the title of my last post as being a play on words in the word reveal versus revel which brings to mind Shakespeare’s “Midsummer’s Night Dream.” The title of my last post is using the word “reveal” of midsummer in a way that pertains to summer revealing its fresh greenery through my photography. And it was technically midsummer in the pictures.
The following images are a continuation of the reveal of midsummer as these were taken in early July. The gardens below belong to a friend of mine who is an amazing gardener as you will see:20190720_20042920190720_19592720190720_195006 (1).jpg20190720_195016.jpg20190720_194821.jpg20190720_194551.jpg20190720_200418.jpgThese are the three stages of our early evening sky last week on August 8 all within a few minutes of each other. I thought we were going to get a severe thunderstorm but it bypassed us.
7:14 p.m.20190808060329_IMG_18837:34 p.m.20190808063100_IMG_18877:56 p.m.20190808065156_IMG_1890
I hope you enjoy the remainder of summer and follow me as I explore the reveal of early fall which is near at hand.

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The Reveal of Mid Summer

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Is it still mid summer? Let’s see–summer officially started on June 21 and will end on September 23, so technically, August 4 still qualifies as mid summer.  I took a couple of “mental health” days last week and visited the Emily Dickinson museum in Amherst, MA.  For those who know me, I am an extreme fan of hers and dedicated a post to her here.
I will be sharing some pictures of that visit in a future post. In the meantime, I wanted to talk about a simple but effective method on how to lengthen a skirt. My supervisor at work shared this idea with me and I immediately loved it. The skirt I am wearing was slightly short for my taste and I was able to add 1 1/4 inches to the length by hand sewing this lace to the hem. It took me literally 10 minutes to sew it by hand. I have added lace to another skirt that I will be presenting in another post.20190804_163653 (1)20190804_163331-e1564954172570.jpgI love this skirt now that it’s a little longer as I was previously thinking of donating it.20190804030738_IMG_1854The following pictures were taken in the original historic village adjacent to my hometown.20190725005716_IMG_1827.JPG20190725011848_IMG_1845.JPG20190725005452_IMG_1821.JPG20190725010017_IMG_183620190725005255_IMG_1816_120190725005735_IMG_1829_1resized95snapchat-768887211.jpegMabel is going to Dunkins for her munchkin.20190804030625_img_1852-e1564962758383.jpgThis was a mini post (but no mini skirts) and I hope you are all enjoying your summer.

A Summer’s Day

Summer came to visit one day
Abruptly I greeted thee
With moist skin and hot breath,
I politely offered tea.
Stay and linger for a while, if it so pleases ye –Sarah Connor
20190714035150_IMG_1675Happy summer, finally! We’ve had a stretch of beautiful weather and I don’t want it to end (as none of us do). It seems we went from winter to summer…abruptly. What are some of your favorite things to do in the summer? I had the chance to go canoeing with my husband this past weekend on a pond that is a restricted body of water as it’s a drinking reservoir. Only kayaks and canoes are allowed; no swimming or motor boats; some fishing is permitted during the summer (no ice fishing is allowed much to my husband’s disappointment). We had the whole pond to ourselves with the exception of loons, turtles and fish. All of the following pictures of the pond were taken with my smartphone.20190713_134706.jpgOur maiden voyage in this non-motorized watercraft. These padded canoe seats are sturdy and comfortable.20190713_143359.jpg20190713_135851.jpgWe thought this was a turtle sunning itself on the rock until we got closer and realized it was–a rock on a rock. I was expecting its “head” to move. 20190713_141643.jpgI want to bring my oil paints next time, Claude Monet. 20190713_144054.jpgOne of the few cabins on this pond. I would love to live year round on this quiet body of water.20190713_141902.jpgA reflection of the cumulus clouds in the water. 20190713_140237.jpg20190713_141727.jpgThis is my post-canoeing outfit that I want to share in today’s post. I am wearing a Liz Claiborne top, a pencil skirt by Talbots, and Naturalizer N5 Contour Okira Pumps. In spite of the 2 1/2 inch heels, these pumps are extremely comfortable and gently hug my feet. The “Imelda” in me decided to count the number of shoes I have by Naturalizer, and I currently have a mere 4 pairs. The only issue I have with this brand is that depending on the style, they can be slightly tight in the vamp. But these particular pumps are a beautiful exception to that. I highly recommend this pump.20190714035150_IMG_1674 (1).JPG20190714035940_IMG_1710_1.JPG20190714040723_IMG_175220190714040148_img_1720.jpgEven though I am not a big jewelry wearer, I love earrings and…bracelets. This is one of my frequently worn bracelets and has two of my favorite colors–turquoise blue and a warm red. What are your favorite colors for jewelry?20190716_195632.jpgMabel says stay tuned for more summer adventures to come.20190714_195021 (1).jpg

On Top of the World

20190707_132305This is one of my favorite secret spots which is referred to as “the top of the world,” with its panoramic views, surrounding hills, and open fields.  In an effort to escape the mosquitoes, I decided to venture up to this special place to sneak some pictures.20190706231919_IMG_1492.JPG20190706234418_IMG_1557.JPGThe dress I am wearing is by Westport 1962 which I purchased on sale at TJ Maxx for $12.99.  It redefines comfort as it contains 5% of stretchy spandex and is very lightweight. 20190706233009_IMG_1522 (1).JPGSimply put, this place is a “piece of paradise.”20190706233941_IMG_1538.JPGAnd the best part? There were NO MOSQUITOES!  20190707_153338I just love the greenery this time of year. I am back in mosquito land on my park bench at home.20190707010558_img_1575.jpgWith the help of one of my co-workers, I was able to create this beautiful bracelet with a variety of blue beads. It’s one of my favorite pieces. (Thank you, Nanette.)20190709080516_IMG_166120190707_155319.jpg20190707_15262320190707_152416.jpgHere is a glimpse of my garden which is in full bloom right now. 20190709055058_IMG_1640 (1)20190709054931_IMG_1636_1.JPG20190709055531_IMG_164920190709055338_IMG_1646I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.
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