Something is Brewing

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I had the opportunity to attend the 15th annual New England Brewfest which was held at Loon Mountain Resort on June 22.  This was my first time going to this type of event and I can confirm that “beer is good for what ales you.” Non-drinkers attended, too, and had access to bottles of water, live music and good food which included a BBQ food truck, wood fired pizza, and a cajun/creole food truck. While everyone looked like they were having a great time, it was a very peaceful crowd with the hum of good conversation and eager expectation of what the next beer sample will taste like. The beer tasting shot glass held approximately three ounces of delicious nectar. So even if one consumed 12 “glasses,” that would equate to approximately 3 beers at most throughout the course of the day. Do you like my pretzel necklace by the way? That is the “fashion” part of my post (ha!).
Resized952019062295154253It was a gorgeous day for the event; in the 70’s, sunny, and there was a refreshing breeze.Resized952019062295162813001

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20190622_151734A little Pig’s Ear Brown Ale anyone?  Brewed by the Woodstock Inn Brewery, this beer is tart, medium bodied with hints of caramel, sweet chocolate and roasted malts.
This was one of my favorite beers:  Springdale’s “But I Digress” New England IPA. It is fruity with a hint of pineapple, peach, and orange with floral and spicy notes. I thought it was smooth and delicious.resized_20190622_152823_1913.jpeg
Speaking of digressing, here is a pic of the sunset that my husband took on July 2. It’s breathtaking and is what the locals in my town call the “the overlook.”
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This post is short and sweet but please stay tuned as I am on top of the world next.

Cabin on the Lake Fashion

We had the opportunity to stay at this charmingly rustic and cozy cabin on the water for a week in early June. Since the cabin is only 4 miles away from our primary home, it has many “staycation” advantages including going home to feed the kitties and water the plants.

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My clothing checklist for a week on the lake in order of priority:  black dress by Michael Kors, heels by Life Stride and off-black pantyhose. Secondary items:  bathing suit, shorts, tank tops, sandals, and other “regular” beachwear.

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I love the incongruity of my black dress with the rusticity of this cabin.
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This warm and welcoming cabin includes all of the comforts of home and feels like a true “getaway.” I was able to capture the sunrise early one morning near the dock. The mornings here are tranquil and restorative.

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20190615_213442 (1)Caught the night sky over the little island one evening. Can you see the faces in the clouds? Some of them look rather sinister.
20190610_152447Celebrating “Margarita Monday.”
20190608_082413The cabin has a little beach area which makes for easy in and out of the kayaks which is no small feat to perform gracefully.
20190611_072437I am in control of my own small floating vessel and master of my destination.

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The happy ferns love all of the moisture we’ve had lately. Caught this pic during one of my power walks.

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This guy’s overbite is a little more pronounced each year I was told.
One of the first things that Mabel did was jump in the water. Here she is drying off and thinking about another dip.

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Celebrating our last night at the lake.

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Lupines are my favorite perennial. These showy flowers improve soil fertility by mixing nitrogen in the air and making it usable by other plants.
Thank you for letting me share my week of vacation with you.  Stay tuned for beachwear pictures…

 

Menswear Inspired Style

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Okay, so I meant literal menswear inspired style. And thanks to my younger son again I was inspired to wear this…suit. It actually pertains to my femme-fatale fashion style ideas which I touched upon in my last post and will continue to explore. My inspiration: Scarlett Johanssen and Kate Blanchette:
scarlett johanssonPhoto by Russel James
Doesn’t Kate Blanchette ooze confidence but in a sensual way?
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Published March 26, 2014, Vogue Australia

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Marlene Dietrich in Paris, 1933. (Photo by Mercedes De Acosta.) Her style of dress was the epitome of elegance and sophistication. At a time when women rarely stepped out of a skirt, she embraced menswear fashion in full force, defying social norms, resulting in a sexy, powerful look.
The simplicity of menswear helps to produce a polished look and when feminine elements are added, the end result is classy and chic.
I think a skinny black scarf would be the perfect accessory to this slightly masculine blazer. And the ruffled collar of my blouse and high-heeled pumps give it a feminine twist.
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The moto jacket which I previously featured here is a combination of masculine and feminine; it is also a timeless and convenient wardrobe piece. 20180929_151849-e1560729610842.jpg
While my menswear inspired suit below may not be something I would wear to work, I might wear a more feminine version of it combined with a colorful skirt. How would you feminize a masculine tailored blazer and tie?

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I have been on vacation this past week and I will be sharing many photos of my recuperative break including new pictures of Mabel.  Speaking of my sweet puppy, here she is smiling at 15 weeks of age and 33 pounds.

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Enjoy your week!

The Fog

The Fog (Hours by Tycho; please play song while reading post)
The Fog
I see a glimpse of something bright amidst a hazy path
Dark shadows follow close behind oppressive in their wrath
The light ahead, an untold life, a promise of delight
It’s there I go, this path unknown unfolding in the night
The fog begins to lift while it reveals a sacred mystery
And the ray of light grows stronger still to record rewritten history
That can be mine if I so choose, a life I lead, control and rule
I see a glimpse of something bright,
My life untold, and finally set aright   –Sarah Connor
Today’s post is a conglomeration of recent photos, puppies, poems, music and a new fashion style. I discovered the song featured above called “Hours” by Tycho and it makes me reflect on life with a sense of poignancy. The music has a faint melancholy echo and evokes the past in a brooding, sensual way. I feel like my entire personal memories are compressed in this one song that in turn directs my thoughts to an infinite expanse of time.
Spring is one of my favorite seasons and I welcome its freshness and beauty. Even though we haven’t seen a lot of sun this spring, I am trying to appreciate the dark, dismal and dreary days through the following photos I took one misty morning. There is an element of hope silently emerging through the fog.

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Puppy update:  Mabel is almost 20 pounds now. Here she is at 11 weeks of age and growing like a weed, and chewing on them, too (not the cannabis kind, ha!).20190511_212401
One of my recent new interests is the fashion of film noir, meaning dark movie in French. Film noir is defined in the dictionary as a “style or genre of cinematographic film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace. The term was originally applied (by a group of French critics) to American thriller or detective films made in the period 1944–54 and to the work of directors such as Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, and Billy Wilder.”
The irresistible femme fatale, French for fatal woman, is a key element in film noir. This link interestingly mentions that she is a fantasy character for BOTH men and women through her ability to compete in a man’s world; she is confident, independent and rejects the idea of family. Likewise, she is sexy, seductive and provocative in an alluring but dangerous way. (https://www.entitymag.com/history-femme-fatale-fantasy/)
Her character reminds me of the attitude that the Flappers had in the 1920’s seen in my post here The Age of the Flapper. There is a definite correlation between the age of the Flapper fashion and femme fatale fashion such as in this photo. I just love the dramatic effect of the lighting.
Courtesy of FAYA—Canadian-PhotographerFilm-Noir-Fashion-Faya(https://glamourdaze.com/2015/04/film-noir-fashion-a-retrospective-photoshoot.html)
I absolutely love this picture below; its shadows and subtle imagery. And I have that same antique mirror and candle holder; just need to find a similar dress.
(Courtesy of Femme Fatale Fashion from Pinterest)women in mirror
Do you recognize this woman? It’s Lauren Bacall from the 1948 film “Key Largo.” I love the graceful neckline of her dress.
(Photo from Pleasurephotoroom at https://pleasurephotoroom.wordpress.com/)laurenbacall
The secret to recreating this style of fashion and intrigue through photography is the ability to create dark and moody images which is something I want to explore. The pictures below are not dark but they are black and white which produces an interesting mood and effect I think. What do you think? The gloves are to hide bruises caused by my puppy, seriously true. She is in the dog house right now.

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Stay tuned as I explore the fashion of the femme fatale. I don’t need sunlight for that–just a slightly darkened room with proper lighting and camera exposure causing the right shadows and contrast (and I don’t mean the kind under my eyes).

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Here is Mabel at my workplace behaving like a good girl with her toy. She was warned that any bad behavior would result in her being expelled and performing endless hours of community service. That certainly scared her–look at the worry in her eyes.
The fog has lifted. Enjoy the rest of your week everyone. 20190516_123542.jpg
Did you like the music?

Mabel “Black Label”

Be prepared for cuteness overload…20190427222906_img_1108-e1556481165106.jpgMeet Mabel, the newest member of our family who has stolen my heart. She is a Bernese Mountain dog (aka Berner), 8 weeks old and 14 pounds here in these pics.  Look at the size of her paws!20190427222847_IMG_110720190427223019_IMG_111220190427_084505.jpgResized_20190428_144211_3762
I feel like a parent all over again with a brand new baby. There is no end to all of the things this baby requires which include but not limited to:  leash, collar, car seat covers, harness, chew toys, dog bed, puppy pads, brush and comb set, teething rings, flea and tick protection, puppy food, training treats, and lots of LOVE.  I know I am biased, but she is so gosh darn cute and perfect!
She is also very mellow and laid back for a puppy. One of the reason we chose the Bernese breed is because of their good-natured and affectionate temperament; they are calm and easy going and they also make great watchdogs. However, they are not vicious or aggressive and are known to be patient and gentle especially with children. They make the perfect family pet. 20190427_121324 (1)No, we are not going to let her sleep in our bed, ever!20190427_121300 (1)Never ever in our bed20190427_110752.jpgThis link talks about the history of the Bernese (where did Bernese Mountain dogs come from).  The Bernese is a very old breed “brought to Switzerland by the Romans 2,000 years ago.”  
I did manage to take a few fashion blog pics before we brought our new puppy home. My next endeavor is to take some fashion pics WITH Mabel. 20190421_173543Here I am wearing my long denim jacket again which I love. You have seen this silk blouse before and this skirt.  This silk blouse can be put in the washer and dryer and not shrink which I did by accident, so it’s tried and tested.20190421_200949.jpg20190421_17375020190421_17411020190425_205135.jpgThis is a combination of casual and dressy.  I like to mix it up in this way. These booties are Coconuts by Matisse and are extremely comfortable. 20190425053843_IMG_1091_1.JPGWhat is missing in these pictures?  Mabel, of course. Stay tuned while I round her up for my next post.20190425053122_IMG_1058My find of the month: these black slingback shoes, G.H. Bass Pippa Comfort Heel. They were originally $70 and I got them for $39.99 at the local Bass Shoe Outlet. They have  a 1.65″ heel, flexible lightweight rubber sole, and a pillowsoft footbed. They redefine comfort. 20190428050842_img_1126.jpg20190421034407_IMG_0978They can be worn with a dress, skirt, or even jeans. I am wearing these shoes with both skirts featured above.
Thank you for stopping by and my next post will feature me and Mabel together on this bench. 20190425_210747

Spring Florals

20190407_181753Hi Everyone, Happy spring!  I vowed that I was going to keep a daily journal for the entire month of April as it’s my favorite month and want to savor every moment of it. How did eight days escape me and no journal yet!  That could be because I am now wishing the month of April to go by more quickly. You will find out the reason why in my next post. But in the meantime, let’s focus on April!
I think of light floral skirts when I think of spring. These are part of my pencil skirt collection which I did a post on here. These two pencil skirts are both lined, do not wrinkle and are so comfortable. Both skirts are worn with my versatile denim jacket by Liverpool Jeans Company.
20190408_14155920190407_19290520190407_194437.jpg20190407_183709This dark blue floral top is something I literally wear all year long. It is made of 7% spandex and 93% polyester so it washes well; is light weight, and is soft and stretchy.
20190407_18225420190407_182414The first picture was taken in early March; the second one the end of March; “in like a lion, out like a lamb.”
The night sky when I went for a walk this past weekend.20190406_20073020190407_182732Stayed tuned for my surprise in my next post which I am sooooooo excited to tell you about! Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your week.
What I wore:
Purple floral skirt, Talbots, thrifted
Blue floral skirt, Talbots, thrifted
Pale pink blouse, a.n.a., JCPenney
White top, Chicos, thrifted
Dark blue top, Westport, Dress Barn
Dark denim jacket, Liverpool Jeans Company, Amazon
Beige sandals, Rockport, Cobb Hill collection, http://www.rockport.com
Black pumps, Cole Haan, eBay
Black sandals, Naturalizer, thrifted

 

 

The French Dressed Woman

Hi Everyone, Why do we think of the French when we think of fashion? I have been doing some research into the styles of French women, and I had an “aha! moment” when I realized their sense of style not only aligns with mine; but it fully captures the essence of classy and chic. And the French accomplish this in an easy carefree way.  It makes me want to simplify my wardrobe, save time and money by not giving in to trends, and thereby eliminating the quandary of what to wear. The end result:  less is more.

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The timeless styles of French women encompass some straightforward guidelines as follows (see here for more tips):
   – Wear neutral colors such as ivory, beige, black, white, gray and navy
   – Do not wear all casual or all dressed up; mix it up
   – Do not over accessorize; keep jewelry to a minimum; delicate and feminine
   – Don’t look too perfect (this is the part that aligns with my style, ha!)
   – Say no to trends
   – Easy on the makeup
   – Balance fitted and loose clothing
   – No flashy logos
   – Wear black stockings or tights
   – Keep your look effortless and natural
   – Simplify your look
What do you think of the above guidelines? I embrace all of them but still want to create my own signature look in the process. And I think it’s okay to wear bold colors but in small doses. The bottom line: any style rule can be broken if it complements who we are. (See: Style mistakes and breaking the rules)
20190402_183732Casual and dressy20190331_191132-e1554250529648.jpgEffortless and natural20190331_194619Carefree simplicity20190331_190059Neutral colors with a small dose of color20190331_195725.jpgBlack pantyhose and neutral colors20190331_200118Did you know that actress Catherine Deneuve “wore a single pair of Roger Vivier buckled low-heeled pumps throughout her 1967 classic Belle de Jour, which got us thinking—you don’t need a thousand pairs of shoes to look fabulous, you just need one or two really great pairs to get the job done” according to Stylecaster.com/french-women.
Au revoir, Imelda. I’m in love with these shoes.
Image from https://agnautacouture.com/2013/08/25/roger-vivier-called-the-faberge-of-footwear
20190331_190650-e1554253999355.jpg20190331_194707.jpg20190331_185747-e1554162787612.jpg20190402_183621.jpgAll of the clothes in this post are not new and were found in my “French” closet.  The red shoes are the only “new” item and were purchased for $21.56 and they are Ros Hommerson’s leather classic low heel pumps (and they are very comfortable). 20190331_195941.jpg
That’s it for now and I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their week!
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