Ordinary Amy - Denim Love

If you follow fashion bloggers at all, then you see loads of cute outfits and put together looks, that sometimes leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed. I know I feel that way. There are many bloggers who show lovely outfits and gorgeous photos. For me they are a source of inspiration, but they can also be a source of dissatisfaction.

There are times I come away from looking at another blog feeling like I want to crawl under a rock! Unfortunately, I feel that way more often than I would like in the long winter months. I want to hide and become invisible, yet, at the same time, I want to be noticed and recognized for something, not sure what, but for something. This is a dichotomy I have struggled with most of my life. Being an introvert often leaves me being misunderstood as aloof or stuck up. It also puts an added burden on my shoulders to push myself outside my comfort zone. That alone, is not a bad thing. It forces me to grow and learn as an individual. It has helped me to overcome fear and be able to reach out to others who have similar feelings. 

Unfortunately, it also weighs on me most of the time. I never really feel free to express myself or my opinions. Yes, I am one of those individuals who has had my opinions shot down, laughed at and even ignored. Obviously, that makes it harder to be confident and bold, not only when it comes to my writing, but to my fashion as well. I often reach for what is comfortable.

Ordinary Amy - washing day

When I was growing up, my mom always hung the laundry out on the clothes line when the weather was nice. I remember when I was really young, we still had a ringer washer. I always thought washing day was so much fun, because my mom would let me help her feed the clothes through the ringer, which squeezed the excess water out. I loved to put my hands in the cold rinse water, especially on hot summer days. When I was tall enough, my mother would let me help her hang clothes on the lines outside that ran from our house to a large maple tree.

I used to play amongst the flapping clothes, imagining they were the curtains to a stage where I would be a singer. There weren't many kids in our neighborhood, as we lived out in the country, so I learned to play by myself using my imagination. Sometimes I would sing a story and other times I would imagine I was lost in the jungle and dinosaurs were after me. To this day, I still love to imagine and I also love to do laundry. Hey, everyone should have at least one household chore they like to do! 

When I took these pictures a few weeks ago, the temps had gotten up into the mid fifties. I had a set of sheets and a few smaller throw blankets to wash, so I decided to hang them outside. Ever since those early years, I have loved how things hung outside, smell! 

Ordinary Amy - washing day

This is me. Denim, cozy knit vest, sneakers and a little bit of jewelry. I am wearing my Christopher and Bank jeans. The knit vest I have worn on the blog before here. It is Chaps brand. Chaps is a brand found at Kohl's. It has a little higher price point than some of their other brands, but the quality is good. Sizing seems to run a little small, so I usually size up. I found this vest on clearance.

Ordinary Amy - denim and knit vest

In the above picture you can see some of my pearl jewelry and details on the shirt and vest. The polka dot chambray shirt is SO brand and was thrifted. And looky there, I did some print mixing! Ha, ha. 

Ordinary Amy

Once again, my satchel, from Walmart is making another appearance on the blog. I love the neutral colors and the firm structure. Many of the bags I use are more a hobo bag and slouch when put down. This one is a tote and stands up well. Here is the same one.

I'm also wearing my Keds sneakers that I have had for a while. Here is another cute navy pair, or there is this slip on

Ordinary Amy - Denim and knit vest

What is your go to outfit, when you want something comfortable, but don't want to just hang out in your sweats or pjs? Let me know by leaving a comment below. I love hearing from you!

I hope you enjoyed this post and that you'll have a wonderful weekend! 

I've included a few shopping links for similar items. These are affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link, I get a few cents. If you purchase something through my blog, I get a little commission. I appreciate all you do. All opinions are my own. 

Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style

Pantone Spring 2018 - Ultra Violet, Cherry Tomato and Meadowlark

Welcome to the second installment in my Pantone Spring 2018 series. Since last fall the Pantone Color Institute has been featuring two color palettes for both the fall and spring seasons. With two palettes to choose from there are so many more color combinations to create fun outfits. 

For today's outfit I combined three more colors. All three of these colors are found on both the New York and London palettes. This week my classic grounding color is Warm Sand. I am glad that the four classic colors were added this year to the palette. Sailor Blue, Harbor Mist, Warm Sand and Coconut Milk are the perfect colors to either use as a foundation for an outfit or to accent a more colorful outfit with accessories. Last week I wore Coconut Milk (white) jeans as the grounding color for my three more colorful pieces. You can see that post here

Pantone Spring 2018 - Ultra Violet, Cherry Tomato and Meadowlark

Ultra violet is a lively medium purple. These jeans, which are Not Your Daughter's Jeans, are not truly Ultra Violet, but these colors serve as guidelines for putting an outfit together, not rules. If you don't have the exact shade in your wardrobe, then try a different shade. The outcome will still be a stylish, colorful outfit.

The Cherry Tomato striped tee is has 3/4 length sleeves and a small line of ruffles around the button area at the top. 

Pantone Spring 2018 - Ultra violet, cherry tomato and meadowlark

For Meadowlark yellow, I added my bright yellow bracelets and necklace. I love how adding just a touch of color can really make a statement. I don't wear a lot of yellow, but using it as an accent in my accessories is a great way to still incorporate the color into my outfit. 

Everything in this outfit is thrifted except the jewelry, purse and shoes. When I bought this sweater it had toggle closures. I'm not a big fan of toggles, so I took them off and simply use the sweater as an open front cardi, or in this case, I added a belt. I thought this worked quite well, as pairing purple and red can be a little bit overwhelming. The sweater really helps to break up the two more bold colors. 

Pantone Spring 2018 -

My suede Sonoma ankle boots are old, but I thought they were perfect for this outfit. The pants are very long, so the heel on the boot helps and they are that sandy color, like the sweater, belt and bag. The bag was a recent purchase from Walmart

Pantone Spring 2018 - ultra violet, cherry tomato and meadowlark
Pantone Spring 2018
Pantone Spring 2018 -

Do I look like I'm running for the house in this last pic? Ha, ha. It was a cold day when we took these photos as you can no doubt tell by the snow.

I hope you enjoyed this look at more of the Pantone Spring 2018 colors. Dig around in your closet and see if you have any of these colors. I bet you would be surprised at how many you do have!

I've shared a few shopping links below. These are affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge and Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish

Outfit Inspiration - Eva Trends

I was contacted a month or so ago, by Eva Trends, a online retailer that features trendy, over size pieces including tops, sweaters, dresses and more. They asked me to feature their products on my blog and gifted me three fun and unique pieces that I was able to choose from their large selection of styles. This is the first of those items. These items were given to me, but all opinions are my own. 

Eva Trends - Asymmetrical sweater with fringe

This pretty pinky mauve tassel knitted sweater top is made of light weight knit fabric and will be perfect for spring and summer. The feel is silky soft. I was inspired to style this as two different outfits: casual and more dressy. 

Casual Look

For this look, which I decided to pair the sweater top with my Gloria Vanderbilt olive skinny jeans, a lace trim cami, my SO flats and a new Massini crossbody bag from Meijer. 

Eva Trends - asymmetrical sweater

This is what the sweater looks like left open. Unfortunately, when I took the pictures I didn't realize the one side was hitched up behind me. Oops! However, the sweater is fairly symmetrical when open. The fringe side hangs a tad bit longer due to the fringe, but it looks nice open. I'll show you another picture when I show you the dressier outfit. 

Eva Trends - asymmetrical sweater

In this photo you can see how the sweater buttons at the top opposite corners making the criss cross front. I like the way this drapes at the neck and how the fringe cascades down the front. For this casual look I added my yellow pendant necklace to tie in the yellow flowers on the bag. 

Dressy Look

Eva Trends - asymmetrical sweater

Because this sweater is a pinky purple, it looks great with pieces that are pink, blush or purple, but it would also look fabulous with navy, gray and brown. This time I paired it with a Faded Glory gray tee, a plaid skirt, my Life Stride gray heels, and a purple gray tote. 

Eva Trends - asymmetrical sweater

Here is another view of the sweater open. I like it both ways. 

Eva Trends - asymmetrical sweater

I wanted to show you this cute necklace I got on the clearance rack at JC Penney. It goes perfectly with this sweater outfit.

I was very impressed with how Eva Trends packaged their pieces when they arrived. Each item was in its own durable zip lock bag, a great way to protect them from the element. Items are shipped from China. 

Eva trends
Eva Trends

These are the three pieces I received, but you'll just have to wait to see how I style the other two. 

Here is my casual and dressy outfit side by side. 

I am pleased with my gifts from Eva Trends so far. I haven't washed anything yet, so I will let you know how that goes in a future post. The company does give washing instructions on their site, and most items are hand wash or delicate wash, so that is something to consider. 

Eva Trends is offering a 15% discount off your entire order. Just use the code AC15 check out. Be sure to head over to their site to check our their unique, trendy pieces. There is something for everyone! And stay tuned for my other two pieces from Eva Trends, coming up in a few weeks. 

Have a great weekend. 

Friday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style

Pantone Spring 2018 - Chili Oil, Arcadia and Lime Punch

As I sit here beginning to type this, it is snowing some of the largest snowflakes I have ever seen! Just two days ago it was almost sixty and now Old Man Winter is back. We expected that, however. Winter will end and spring will come. To help us along it is time to start my Spring Pantone color series. 

I feature the Pantone colors twice a year, spring and fall. The reason I do this is simple. I love color! When I first discovered the Pantone Institute and began keeping track of their seasonal color palettes, I thought it was fun to see all the pretty colors they came up with. Frankly, now I am obsessed. I love to see the new colors each season and try to build outfits around those colors. 

Last week I introduced you to this year's spring palettes for both New York and London. There is a good deal of overlap this year. Considering there are twelve colors on each palette I was relieved for the duplicates. I wasn't about to subject you to that long of a series, just on color. This time around I am combining up to three colors in each outfit, plus a foundational color using one of the featured classic colors as well. 

Pantone Spring 2018

These pictures will not look very springy, seeing as it was a blustery, snowy day when we had our shoot, but I think they look pretty, even if the wind was whipping and I was freezing. 

These three colors are spicy and fun! Chili Oil and Arcadia are on the New York palette, while Lime Punch is featured on both. My classic color for this outfit is Coconut Milk, or white. 

Pantone Spring 2018

This thrifted Covington jacket worked perfectly as a Chili Oil piece. Not quite brown and not quite red, this color makes me think of Mexican fiestas and earthy tones. Arcadia partners well with the heat of Chili Oil, as if to cool the temperatures before things get too hot. Then throw in just a smidge of Lime Punch and you have a great transitional outfit. Still warm and grounded, but with just enough color to make you giddy for spring. 

The Arcadia turtleneck sweater is a recent purchase from Chico's. This sweater is soft, stretchy and not at all itchy. They don't seem to have this color any more, unfortunately, but I'll include a few links at the end for similar colored items. 

Pantone Spring 2018 - chili oil, arcadia and lime punch

I found this cute metal and bead necklace at a thrift store. The Lime Punch beads are a nice contrast from yellow or green. 

Pantone Spring 2018 - chili oil, arcadia and lime punch

Once again, I am wearing my Gloria Vanderbilt white jeans. I think white really helped this outfit to pop and to be a great transitional outfit for spring. 

Pantone Spring 2018 - chili oil, arcadia and lime punch

For my bag I chose this cute little thrift store find from Relic. The yellows in the bag are very similar to the Lime Punch color of my necklace. I thought this was a unique piece and I think it works very well to add print to this otherwise solid colored outfit. 

Pantone Spring 2018 - chili oil, arcadia and lime punch

For my shoes I chose this pair of dark burgundy heeled ankle boots. I like the different twist these Life Stride boots have on the side. It is sort of like ruching for a shoe!

Pantone Spring 2018 - chili oil, arcadia and lime punch

What do you think of these Pantone colors? Which is your favorite on this outfit? I've been seeing a lot of Arcadia various places, but Lime Punch is a fun color for the warmer weather. I also like the international flavor of Chili Oil....so many colors and so little time! Ha, ha.

I hope you enjoyed this post. I'd love to hear from you, so leave me some love! 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a shopping link I get a few pennies, if you purchase something through one of my links, I get a little commission. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish and Shelbee in the Spread the Kindness link up. Friday linking up with Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots and Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane


Old Becomes New (or Not)

Have you ever bought something only to hang it in your closet where it seems to disappear? Not that it really goes any where, but you just never reach for it. Or, if you are a clothes horse like me, things have a tendency to actually disappear in between other clothes, in a pile on a shelf or the floor. This is one of the problems with having too many clothes. However, this is not a post about how to declutter, though that may be a good idea for a future date. 

I wanted to start this monthly column to force myself to reach for those items that I've had for a while, but haven't really given much thought as to how to style them. I know many people are very organized. Their closets are pristine and when they go shopping they know exactly what they want to get and how they are going to style that piece with something else. I really wish I was more that way, but frankly, I am not. I love to shop and I love to have lots of choices. Believe me when I say, I am much better than I used to be. In fact I have been trying to cut back even more, so that I am able to put money towards other things we will need, like a new car.

I have a little four door Saturn, a company that does not exist any more, but one that manufactured reliable, simple cars. Mine is a 2002 and it still starts right up, even on the coldest days. I'm going to miss that little beast, but it rattles and shakes and makes lots of noise, so we know the day is coming that it will have to be replaced. 

I would also like to use this column to help me weed out my closet. I thought of styling a piece two or three different ways over the course of a couple months. If at the end of that time, I haven't felt the piece lived up to my original expectations I will get rid of it. 

This week, I looked at my many jackets, blazers and other such pieces and decided to build an outfit using this suit wear jacket. Longer than a regular blazer this light weight piece is rather dull. The reason I bought it at a thrift store is that I thought it would be a versatile piece. I have worn it once or twice to work, but other than that don't often reach for it. 

Old becomes new column - suit jacket

For this look, I decided to pair the jacket with white, off white and blush. The jacket is a brand called Braetan. This brand currently is known for their coats and outerwear. The one I'm wearing is more of a suit coat without a lining. It is very light weight, so a good choice for a transitional spring outfit. The jacket is plaid, though at a distance it is hard to see and depending on the lighting, it looks taupe, brown, gray or olive. 

Old becomes new - suit jacket

I am wearing my Gloria Vanderbilt jeans. I love this pair of white jeans as they are a thicker material and not see through. Here is a pair at JC Penney.

Old become new - suit jacket

This top, I bought a few years back at Kohl's. I love the cute Bambi print. Lauren Conrad did a whole line of Disney themed pieces, which were very cute and whimsical. While she doesn't have the Disney line at Kohl's anymore, here is another cute top. 

Old becomes new - suit jacket

For my accessories, I chose this cute little pink clutch, a recent clearance find at Kohl's and my fun beaded necklace with blush and gray. I added my blush SO flats, but didn't take a picture, since you have seen them so many times before. Ha, ha .

Old becomes new - suit jacket

My first impressions of this piece are not favorable. I feel that the jacket is too boxy. I am going to style this piece again next month in this Old Becomes New column and we'll see if it gets to remain in my closet, or gets the boot. 

What do you think so far? is this a piece you would wear? How would you style a jacket like this? Let me know in the comments. I love to hear from you. 

Here are a few Braetan brand coats from Kohl's that would be perfect for spring. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Pantone Spring 2018 - Introduction to the New York and London Palettes

This spring, the Pantone palette is full of pastels. Both the New York and the London palette have a number of overlapping colors that instantly say spring. I am excited about introducing this series to you and even though the colors have been on the Pantone website since last fall, I feel that the end of February and beginning of March are the perfect times to introduce spring colors. 

I'll confess, up until a few days ago, I couldn't even think about spring. As much as I want it to be here, I know there are still cold days ahead. However, with a forecast of temps in the forties and fifties, I think I can finally blog about spring, knowing that it will soon be here in all of its splendor.

The above graphic as well as the photos in this post are done by Rebecca Trumbull. Rebecca, not only takes amazing photos of all varieties from pets, to weddings, to seniors, to models, she also dabbles with managing social media accounts. If you need someone to manage your social media Rebecca might be a good choice. She is organized, has strong business savy and knows her way around the internet. (She didn't ask me, or pay me to advertise, I get something better, she's my daughter!)

As you can see by comparing the two palettes there are seven overlapping colors that appear on both palettes. These are :

Cherry Tomato - an orangey red described as "...impulsive....demanding attention...courageous..."

Blooming Dahlia - a peachy salmon.."subtly alluring...with understated appeal."

Meadowlark - a pretty yellow, described by Pantone as "glistening with joy and illuminating the world around us."

Pink Lavendar - lavender with a little more pink and a little less blue. Described as, "..soft and romantic...that charms with its soothing sense of quiescence."

Ultra Violet - Medium purple with a "complex and magical" hue. This is Pantone's choice for Color of the Year

Almost Mauve - this ultra light blush is perfect for using as a neutral and pairing with any other color. 

Lime Punch - appropriately named, this color makes me think of citrus fruit and warm sunny days. 

In addition to these duplicate colors each palette has five other colors:

New York Palette

Little Boy Blue - the color of sunny skies and a feeling of "expansiveness"

Chili Oil - think spicy for this deep reddish brown. 

Arcadia - a green with blue undertones, reminiscent of tropical waters.

Emperador - a rich chocolate brown.

Spring Crocus - described as a "...witty and flamboyant...fuchsia shade...."

London Palette

Palace Blue - not quite royal, but "...sparkling with energy...."

Ash Rose - a more earthy darker pink.

Nile Green - reminiscent of sage and honeydew melons.

Spiced Apple - similar to Chili Oil, but with a deeper brown.

Rapture Rose - a pinky red "...that brings flirtatious charm to the Spring 2018 palette."

In addition to each palettes' twelve colors, this year they added four Classic Colors which can be used with any palette choice for a foundation from which to build an outfit. These are the same for both New York and London and are:

Sailor Blue - dark navy.

Harbor Mist - light to medium gray.

Warm Sand - tan with more yellow tones.

Coconut Milk - white to off white. 

The following photos are some sneak peaks at my series that will start next week, where I will feature outfits using two or three of the palette colors as well as a classic color. 

Spring 2018 Pantone
Pantone Spring 2018
Pantone Spring 2018
Spring Pantone 2018
Pantone Spring 2018
Pantone Spring 2017


I hope you'll join me next week as I begin my Pantone Spring 2018 series. Check back on Thursday for my Old Becomes New column. 

Have a great day. 

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Shelbee in The Spread the Kindness link up and Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish. Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style

Outside the Box - Styling PJ Pants

This new monthly column on my blog is going to deal with fashion ideas and trends that I don't really buy into. Most of the time, it will involve me trying a different trend that I would have never tried before. It will also, occasionally include posts about color, print and texture pairings that we wouldn't usually think about putting together. Once in a while, I might use this monthly column to discuss ideas in the fashion world that I find hard to swallow. I hope you will enjoy this new column and I would love to hear from you. If you have an idea of a trend or fashion style you would like me to feature as something you are not used to wearing or don't have any idea how to style, this will be a good platform for that as well. You can leave me your ideas in a comment here on the blog or send me a Facebook message.

This week, I decided to try a trend that I have seen come and go on the runways: wearing pajama pants as part of an outfit. I'm sure we are all used to the idea of pajama pants as something we put on before we go to bed, or something we put on when we want to lounge around the house, but wearing a pair of pj pants out in public...uh, no! Okay, so I get it. I see more and more people running to Walmart and the grocery store with their fuzzy pajama pants on, but that is hardly stylish, let alone, something a stylish 50 something year old would wear to work or out to dinner. Remember, we are doing a fashion blog to help ourselves and you look and feel better, not end up imitating a walking pile of laundry. 

Pajama pants outfit

I found these striped pajama pants at a thrift store. They are Sonoma brand and a size large. If I do this again, I think I will try to go down a size and see if I like that look better. Sizing really depends on what you want to do with them and what look you are going for. If the only thing you are going to do with the pants is watch tv and get cozy, then by all means size up. The roomier the better. But for a sleeker, more stylish look it might be better to have the pants fit a little tighter. Let me know what you think.

Look 1 & 2 - Casual

Pajama pants outfit

For this first look, I paired the pants with my Paris graphic tee, a Loft green cardigan, Keds gray sneakers and an olive American Eagle bag. Here is another option on the Loft cardigan.  I also added my pearl, velvet and silver choker as well as a pearl bracelet.

pajama pant outfit

For the next casual look, I swapped out the graphic tee for a long sleeve Mossimo tee from Target. Here is a bell sleeve one.  I did the front tuck to give a little more definition to my waist. Over the top I have on a heavy weight Liz Claiborne button up, that works great as a light weight jacket. I am wearing my SO taupe ankle boots and carrying a Nine & Co. bright blue tote. 

DSC_0079 (1).jpg
pajama pant outfit
pajama pant outfit

I also added a silver and blue chain necklace as well as a green cocktail ring. 

Look 3 & 4 - Dressy

The next two outfits I dressed up a little bit more. These would be good for work or even for a date night, if your hubby doesn't mind being seen in public with you wearing a pair of pajama pants. Ha, ha. 

In the first look I am wearing a navy crocheted top that I bought a few years ago at Christopher and Banks. It is more of a tunic, but I decided to tuck the top in and add a belt to give me a more defined waistline. I think this is a good idea when your pants are more bulky or billowy. 

DSC_0083 (1).jpg

The belt is a simple crocheted number that is stretchy. For jewelry I just added a neutral beaded necklace to pull in the colors of the shoes, belt and bag. The bag was a recent find on the Kohl's clearance rack. It is Madden brand. Here is the same one from Nordstrom on sale. I got a better deal at Kohl's, but clearance is what it is. When it is gone, it is gone. 

Pajama pant outfit

These SO peep toe heels are another recent find from Kohl's clearance. Here is another pair from Kohl's that is very similar. I am looking forward to warmer temps (and painting my toenails, of course), so I can wear these more. 

Pajama pant outfit

Even though my top is navy and matches the navy in my bottoms, I've got some print mixing going on. See how I did that? Print mixing is not always about color. It can also happen with textures and the weave of fabrics. 

This second dressy look is, perhaps my favorite. This outfit uses a button up top from JC Penney and a thrifted suiting piece, that I'll just call a vest. It is more like a blazer vest. You'll get what I mean if you know what a coat vest is. If not, don't worry about it. For the purpose of this post it is a vest. 

Pajama pant outfit

I think this is one classy outfit and yes, I am wearing pajama pants. Ha, ha. In addition to the button up, which has fish on it (more print mixing), and the vest, I added a beaded necklace and bracelets with an olive hue. I also grabbed my velvet clearance find from Meijer. This is Wallflower brand. Such a cute bag, and I don't care that it is velvet, I'll be using it in the spring! My loafer heels were the last touch. 

Pajama pant outfit

Here are all four of the outfits:

What do you think? Would you wear pajama pants as part of an outfit? I think this is a great idea, especially for summer, when you need something cool and light. I think part of the process in figuring out if a pair of pj bottoms are good for style wear is to see how they fit and what sort of outfit you can make out of them. I personally would not wear my Eeyore pajama pants, but this striped pair or maybe a plaid, why not! 

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it gave you a new perspective on those cozy duds we wear to bed!

Here are a few fun options. How would you style these into an outfit? This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style, Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots. Saturday linking up with Rena of It's All Fine. Whatever Tickles the Fancy. 

Spring Trends

I know most other bloggers have already been talking about the trends for Spring 2018, which makes perfect sense since the Spring clothes are already in the stores. But I have never been one to keep up and I have a hard time thinking about Spring clothes, when it is still in the teens at night. We are supposed to get some warmer weather this next week, so maybe that will get my Spring sap moving...ha, ha. 

 Photo credit  Rebecca Trumbull

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull

In the mean time, I thought I would at least talk about what is up and coming for Spring this year.

Romance is In

Flowing fabrics, and florals highlight the romantic vibe that seemed to be taking the runways by storm.I like this trend, because it is feminine and flirty. 

Here is a piece in my collection. While it is not made from flowy fabric, it is bursting with florals and the bell sleeves add a romantic touch. I'll be styling this little dress at a later date. 

Floral dress

Shimmer and Shine

Dressing in shiny tops, dresses or tops isn't just for night time any more. Now you can wear your shimmer to the office. Pair a glittery top with a pair of jeans, ankle boots and a cute bag and you are ready for shopping with your gal pals. Add a denim jacket to a party looking skirt and you are ready for work. 

I've styled this top on the blog before. You can see that post here

shiny top

The Check Please

Checks and plaid are still holding their own as a go to pattern. Now they are being found on bags, hats, tops with embroidery, pants and jackets. Colors vary from cool blues and reds to warm peaches and pinks. 

I pulled these two pieces out of my closet and when I took the picture I thought, hey those pieces could be worn together for some fabulous print mixing. 

checks and plaid

Lucious Lavender

I have always been a fan of purple in all its varying shades. This spring the shades range from Pantone's Color of the Year, Ultra Violet, to the soft pastel of lavender. Which ever shade you choose purple is a must have item for this spring. Don't wear purple on a regular basis, add a pop of color with these pretty shoes and bags. 

I couldn't pass up this beautiful lavender sweater from Ralph Lauren when I was out thrifting. You will probably see this on the blog soon too. 

lavender pullover

Fabulous Fringe

This trend seems to be hanging around for the long run. While it isn't prevalent everywhere for every season, it does seem to appear here and there, especially on bags and shoes. Fringe is a fun textural element to add to any outfit.

You've seen this on the blog before too. No need to run out and buy new things when they are already hanging in the closet. Original post on this vest here

fringe vest

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Have a great day. 

Tuesday linking up with Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish and Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge. 

Ordinary Amy - Tomboy Memories

I am using the word ordinary as a term to mean usual, not plain. I don't want any of you thinking I only think of myself as ordinary...okay, so once in a while I do struggle with the old self image, but that is not what I am intending to address with this new monthly column on the blog. 

Ordinary Amy is going to be a monthly column emphasizing outfits that are my go to's. These will be pieces that I frequently reach for, because I find them, comfortable, easy to wear and pair other pieces with, yet still stylish. 

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A v-neck sweater, red in honor of Valentine's Day, a pair of skinny jeans and a pair of combat boots. Casual, comfy, warm and a masculine edge. 

I grew up in a home with two older brothers. Being the only girl and the baby, it was my goal to try to keep up with the boys, as annoying as that was to them. Ha ha. From playing in the creek behind the house, to making trails in the field down the road for their dirt bikes, I tried to follow them everywhere. As far as I was concerned I was a boy, just like them. I had a short hair cut and wore pants as often as I could. I can still remember my mother and I fighting about the fact that she thought I should wear dresses to school. She gave that fight up before too long. When we went swimming in our pool, I would wear a pair of shorts and that was it...no top. I was a boy. why should I have to wear a top? (This was before I began to blossom and hit puberty, so flat chested, was flat chested.)

I can still remember when I got my first period. I explained to my mother what was happening and when she told me what it was, I ran from the house angry and crying. I didn't want to be a girl. Gradually, hormones did their job. I started to change in shape and I also began to notice boys! I became extremely private and modest, even around my brothers, and I became interested in clothing, hair styles and eventually make up. 

However, I still prefer pants over dresses and I like looks that have an edgy, military or masculine vibe. 

Ordinary Amy - red sweater, skinny jeans, combat boots

This type of look is something I turn to again and again. I love boots. I also like skinny jeans. I used to never wear them, so when I finally tried them, I fell in love. The thing I like about skinnies is that I can wear them all year round. In fall and winter I tuck them into boots and in spring and summer, I roll them up and pair them with ankle boots, sneakers, flats or flip flops. 

A chunky, cable knit sweater is stylish, but forgiving enough that I don't have to worry about my bulges. This particular sweater is Chaps brand from the Kohl's clearance rack. I am wearing a short sleeve lace tee underneath which provided an extra layer of warmth and a touch of ivory around the neck line. 

Ordinary Amy - red sweater, skinny jeans, combat boots, bomber jacket

When I started putting this outfit together, I chose the sweater and jeans first, but then I thought of adding this fun bomber jacket which I introduced on the blog earlier in my travel post from last March. This little number is actually quite warm. It was a JC Penney clearance rack find and is Arizona brand. I think I paid about $5.00 for it. 

With the bomber jacket I knew I had to wear my thrifted combat boots, giving the whole look a WWII feel. With that in mind, it made me think of my dad. 

My dad, who grew up in a pacifist Mennonite family, was a hard working farm boy with a fascination with airplanes. When he was old enough he left home and went to work for the Curtiss-Wright airplane factory in Buffalo, NY. making wings for the P-47 for WWII. My dad, however was not content to make wings, he wanted to enlist. When he went to sign up, they asked if he was employed. When he told them where he worked they rejected him, saying his work was more important to the war effort than being in the service. Being the man he was, he waited a little longer, quit his job and went back to enlist. They let him right in. His enlistment came late in the war and he ended up serving in Air Sea Rescue on a B-17

Ordinary Amy - airplane necklace

I found this little pendant necklace somewhere along the way, possibly at Charming Charlie. What originally drew me to it was the bling, but it suddenly occurred to me that it would be a good piece to remind me of my dad. My dad passed away eleven years ago, but obviously I still think of him often. 

Ordinary Amy - bomber jacket outfit

There you have it...ordinary me, on an ordinary day. I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you have an extraordinary weekend! 

(With the awful tragedy that occurred yesterday morning in Parkland, Florida I thought to add a note to this post. I pray for the families, friends and school staff left behind after the mass shooting. My heart is heavy as you deal with the aftermath and I pray that time will bring healing for the loss you are feeling.)

Friday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge, Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots

More Ideas for Valentine's Day

I thought I would put together a collection of looks from the last two years that would work for a Valentine's Day date either with your significant other or with your friends. 

Pleated skirt with velvet floral top

I love the multiple textures involved in this outfit from the patent leather heels and the embellishments on the leggings, to the pleated skirt and fringe on the woven belt. The floral velvet top is a perfect piece for a romantic candle light dinner. See the original post here


I love the richness of the burgundy of this dress and it's perfect for those of you who don't like a bold crisp red or a light whimsical pink for your Valentine's Day color of choice. Since the dress has short flutter sleeves I topped it with a lacy romantic hoodie. See the original post here

Leopard print skirt and pink top

This was one of my earlier posts. My daughter who takes my pics is probably cringing right now. I think it is neat to see how far we have come, both her and I! Anything leopard can be dressed up to look romantic. There is something special about this animal print and I think pairing it with this light pink top was a great way to showcase the skirt and add an additional feminine touch. See the original post here

Berry tunic with faux leather vest

For a more casual look choose black for your base pieces, but add a pop of berry, or red to really make the outfit Valentine's Day perfect. I like this melding of colorful feminine with edgy biker chic. See this original post here

Berry velvet jacket and over the knee boots

This outfit uses the same pink top seen in the picture worn with the leopard print skirt. My favorite piece in this outfit is the velvet blazer. It is such a cozy, lux piece and the color is perfect for a Valentine's night out. The tote bag adds another dimension of fun and whimsy to the entire look. Original post here

Red flannel shirt and skinny jeans

This extra casual look would be great for a quick bite to eat and then a comfortable night at home watching a movie. Just kick off the heels and put on the fuzzy socks. Or skip the socks so your hubby can massage your feet while you cuddle on the couch. See the original post here

How do you pick out an outfit for a special occasion like Valentine's Day? Do you stick to the traditional colors of the holiday or do you reach for your usual go to look? This year, if you are doing something special, try picking out an outfit that wouldn't be your norm. Layer a dress  over jeans, add a moto jacket over a more dressy outfit, add a bright red hand bag or a pop of pink to a more monochrome look. There are all sorts of ways to up your styling game using what you already have. 

Have a great Valentine's Day everyone, whether you are with your hubby, significant other, kids or girlfriends. Make it an occasion to get dressed up for. 

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, and Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge. Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style

Outfit Inspiration - Jacket, Chambray and Colored Pants

I decided to start four new columns on the blog to replace those I had last year. Thursdays seem to be the days I like to focus on a particular fashion idea, whether it be inspiration from a source outside myself or how to style a particular piece. Today being the second Thursday of the month, I am going to feature outfit inspiration from other sources. Last year I devoted this Thursday to other fashion bloggers in my Beautiful Blogger Bests column. While I will still be featuring different bloggers once in a while, I wanted to focus on other sources to show you that you can be outfit inspired in so many different ways and by so many different people. 

What got me started on this idea were several sources including a Chico's catalogue/ad, and a home decorating book focusing on color. The outfits I saw in the Chico's ad were lovely, but I couldn't afford to run right out and buy all the beautiful things I saw. I thought to myself, "I wonder if I could come up with a similar outfit using my own closet as the pool from which to pull the pieces." Today's outfit is my version of one I saw last fall in a sales flyer I received from Chico's.

Due to copy right infringement I cannot show you a picture of the original outfit, but I have included a few shopping links to give you an idea of a similar outfit. 

The outfit included a herringbone blazer, mustard colored ankle pants, a dark blue chambray shirt and orange jewelry. The original model also wore a pair of black loafers. 

This is my version.

Outfit inspiration - A Chico's ad

My jacket is not Herringbone, it is Houndstooth. I found this little gem made by Pendleton  at a thrift store that I've driven by hundreds of times, but never stopped at. Silly me! Pendleton is an iconic American made brand that has been around since the mid to late 1800's. They are known for their manufacture of quality wool blankets and clothing. 

Outfit Inspiration - Chico's Sales Ad

The difference between Houndstooth and Herringbone lies in the pattern. Herringbone is more compact and looks like zigzags, where as the Houndstooth looks like each spot has little teeth attached at the opposite corners. 

My darker chambray shirt is Canyon River Blues, a brand that has been sold at Sears and K-Mart and is also sold at Walmart. This one is also thrifted. 

I chose a rust color pant, because I don't own any yellow ones. These rust colored pants I got at Chico's just recently. These are their So Slimming Slim Leg Pant. They are high waisted and have no zippers or belt loops. Just pull them on and go. 

Outfit inspiration - Chico's sales add

Because I went with rust for my pant color I thought olive green would go well with the rest of the outfit, so I added by olive beaded necklace, an olive bracelet and my new SO olive suede ankle boots. I also picked up my olive colored tote to complete the ensemble.

Outfit inspiration - Chico's Sales Ad
Outfit inspiration - Chico's sales ad

Do you see my clenched fist? Ha, ha. It was pretty cold and got colder as we continued our shoot. You'll see some of the blustery pics when I start my Pantone Spring 2018 series. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Next time you are at a bookstore or library, take a look at a few fashion magazines. These are great places to look for inspiration. Don't let the glamorous models and glossy pages make you lose heart. The goal is to find YOUR style, not someone else's by taking bits and pieces from different places.  

I hope you have a good weekend. 

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull. Make up Rachel Christensen.

Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style, Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots


A Fun Casual Valentine's Look

I am going to take a break from my series on Working Undercover, to post a couple of Valentine's looks this week and next. After that I am going to start the Pantone Spring 2018 series. Don't worry, I will get back to more posts on hiding our "flaws" at a later date.  

Today's outfit revolves around a summer dress by Vera Wang. I got this fun watercolor print from Kohl's a few summer's ago and thought my Florida trip in December would be the perfect place to wear it. Unfortunately, the temps were not conducive to wearing it as a dress, so I chose to style it as a longer tunic over a pair of skinny jeans.  Take a look. 

Casual valentine's outfit - Florida

I added a light pink tee to wear underneath for extra warmth. It was the perfect combination and went with the light pink in the dress. In addition I threw on the SO flats. I am not as much a sandal type of girl due to my vein issues (yes varicose veins can cover the feet too). So I like to wear ballet flats or sneakers in the warmer months. 

Casual valentine's outfit - Florida

I have been intrigued by Vera Wang's Simply Vera, line of clothing at Kohl's since I first became acquainted with it a number of years ago. I love that she chooses patterns and colors that are out of the ordinary. I am not a big fan of everything she puts out on the run way, but she does have many cute pieces that are available to the average shopper. Many of her pieces have unique and interesting details. The prices aren't too bad and even better when you can score something off the clearance rack. 

I added the distressed cropped jean jacket as another layer. I kid you not, it was only about 50 degrees. so I not only added the cropped jean jacket, but before we left to go play mini golf, I also added a wind breaker. Ha. ha. 

Here are a few silly pictures of me being cold. 

In addition to the jean jacket I decided to wear the dress over my Rock and Republic jeans. 

I think this outfit would work well for a casual Valentine's date. The dress is flirty and feminine, but I made it my own, by adding the edginess of denim. I also wore minimal jewelry to let the dress take center stage. 

What do you think of this outfit? Would you wear something like this? Do you like Vera Wang's line of fashion? I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts. 

A Casual Valentine's Outfit - Florida

I hope you enjoyed today's post. Check back on Thursday for the start of a new monthly column. I think you will enjoy it. 

Below are a few links to a few other Vera Wang pieces. This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link, I get a few cents. If you purchase something through a link in my post, I might get a little commission. As usual all opinions are my own. 

Have a great day!

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.

Photo credit Rebecca Trumbull.

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish. Friday linking up with Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane

Layering Love - Wearing a Vest over a Cardigan - Another Look

After last week's post on layering a longer vest over a longer cardigan, I got curious to see how a shorter vest would look over a shorter cardigan. Finding different ways to use the pieces we already own, not only gives us more choices, but it helps our brain to stay active and learning. In the same way we benefit from learning a musical instrument, solving puzzles or taking on a new activity, figuring out how to put outfits together, helps keep our brains healthy. Check out this older post from Jodie of Jodie's Touch of Style, about how restyling our clothing can help our brains. 

I decided to give you two outfits for today's post. The Rock and Republic jeans are the same for both outfits.  I just bought these for my birthday in January. Kohl's was having a buy one get one 50% off, which doesn't happen too often, so I took advantage of it. 

Look 1: Monochrome

Just like last week's post, I decided to do a matching sweater and matching vest. For this look, I chose black. I chose this shorter A.M.I. cardigan with the big buttons and bell type, 3/4 length sleeves as something different from the usual standard cardigan. Since this was thrifted I had a hard time tracking down the original brand. There is an AMI out of Paris featuring Alexandre Mattuissi designs which are mainly for men, although he is launching a menswear for women this year. There is also an AMI Clubwear, which features more sexy and cute styles for going out, dancing and parties. If you click over there, just be prepared for a bit of skin. All that being said, I am not sure where this sweater originally came from. Ahh, the beauty of thrifting. Ha, ha. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardi - short

I used my Selene Sport (older brand-thrifted) quilted faux leather vest and added my Ralph Lauren leather ankle boots and my sparkly clutch to go with the bling on my necklace and pants. 

Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi
Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi
Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi

Look 2: Not Matching

For this outfit, I switched out the black cardi for a leopard print version by Karen Scott. Karen Scott brand is sold at Macy's. Once again it has 3/4 length sleeves, but a more traditional cardigan shape. The vest is Christopher and Banks that I got a few years ago. I thought the burgundy denim was a perfect compliment to the print of the sweater. 

Layering love - wearing a shorter vest over a cardi

I swapped out my black ankle boots for my knee high Unisa shearling ones. I thought these pulled out the brown in the cardi quite well. You can see how I styled these boots in another post from fall, here. I grabbed a simple burgundy clutch and threw on a few silver pieces of jewelry to go with the silver buttons on the vest. 

Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi
Layering love - wearing a short vest over a short cardi

Here are the two outfits side by side.

I think this is a fun way to get more wear out of both your vests and your cardigans. It is also a perfect way to add an extra layer of warmth around your core. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Leave me some love in the comments section. I love to hear your thoughts. If you ever have a suggestion for something you'd like to see me feature on the blog, please let me know. 

Have a great weekend!

Here are a few shopping links. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style, Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots, Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge and Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane

Working Undercover - Battle of the Bulge - Part 2

For any of you who may have missed last week's post, I am doing a series on covering our flaws. Most of us are not completely satisfied with our own bodies, although it is good to try to accept ourselves and our flaws. I created this series for those of us who are still in the self acceptance stage. 

Last week I showed you my own bulges and a series of waist lines, specifically on dresses that help to cover those extra flabs. The waist lines would work on tops as well. If you want to read that post click on the link here: Battle of the Bulge - Part 1

Before I get to that here is another outfit from my Florida trip.

Florida outfit - floral bomber jacket

I'll talk more about this outfit after we discuss a few other things.

This week I want to show you a few other ideas for covering those stubborn bulgy areas. 

1. Banded pants.

Instead of jeans or trousers with a zipper and belt loops there are now pants that ride higher on the waist that are overall stretchy and cling more tightly through the hips and waist. You might wonder how something that is tighter can actually cover the bulges instead of making them worse. Take a look at this pair of pants from Chico's.

This is the So Slimming Slim Leg Pants. I happened to walk in, on a sale day, so I got this pair for $29.99 as opposed to the normal price of $89.00. They are definitely worth the money. This is the first pair I have had, and I love them. They pull on and they stay up. I have a few other banded waist pants and they have a tendency to sag throughout the day, but these stay put and are very comfortable. They are also made of a heavier bi-stretch fabric, so great for the cooler months. 

This type of pant works well under tighter fitting tops and because it rides higher it covers some of the those problematic tummy bulges. 

2. Waist bands that sit on top of your pelvic bones.

Another waist band to look for are those that rest just on top of your pelvic bones. Rather than cinching you right where the bulges pop, pants that rest just below that point, and are not too tight give a smoother look. These pants are a Kohl's clearance and are actually wide leg cropped pants, so i am excited to feature them in a future post. For now, you only get the waist band. Ha, ha.

Obviously, if your main problem is a tummy, you will be better off with a higher waisted pant, like the ones above. It really is a matter of trying different brands and styles until you find the ones that fit and work for you.

3. Two ways to wear tees. 

Tee shirts are always a conundrum for me. If I get them in my normal size they are usually too tight around my bulges. If I size up, in many styles they are too big on the top. I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to tees, I have to try different styles and different sizes in those styles. 

The next two tees i recently bought at Kohl's in the Junior's department. I usually stay away from that department, because so many of the clothes do not fit my over middle age body. However, I will be the first to admit they do carry cute things that you don't always see in the regular Misses department. If you read my Layering Love post last Thursday then you know, I found that cute duster vest at the same time I found these tees. You'll also see the first tee below in that same post. 

Working undercover - wearing a tee

For these graphic tees I sized up. I can wear a medium with confidence at a store like Christopher and Banks. Those clothes are made for "average" sized women. In the Junior's department I size up to a large or in this case an extra large. This worked great for these tees. They run smaller through the bust and shoulders, but wider through the middle. This tee is Wonder Woman.

This next one is from Harry Potter. I love the color. It is a bit longer, so I could wear it long, or do a front tuck. I show you both ways. 

Working undercover - wearing a tee
working undercover - wearing a tee

i'm glad I tried these on and I expect these will get some wear as the weather gets warmer. 

4. Wear a vest or a jacket. 

These are two easy ways to give yourself extra coverage when you are feeling less than confident. 


This brings me back to my Florida outfit.

Working undercover - Florida outfit

This outfit includes a tee, which I'll show without the jacket next, and a jacket. It was a bit chilly in the Sunshine State while we were there, so a light jacket was appropriate. 

Working undercover - Florida outfit
Working undercover - Florida outfit

I love this top so much that I bought two of them. I think it is fun, romantic and figure flattering. The seams up the front give the tee shape, but it skims, rather than clinging to the bulges. Another clearance find at Kohl's. The tee tops my Rock and Republic jeans.


I bought this little purse a few years ago (Kohl's clearance....yes I have issues - ha, ha), and it is the perfect size for a day at the shops. I love the little bird and thought the colors went well with my floral bomber jacket from JC Penney. You can see wear I wore this jacket before in this post from fall. 

I also wore my layered bracelet and my chunky wood bead necklace. 

Working under cover

And of course, my blue SO flats. 

Working undercover - Florida outfit

I hope you are enjoying this series and that you are finding it helpful. Obviously, there is so much information out there on how to dress and everyone is different. The tips I am giving might work for some of you, but not for others. The best advice I can give is try things on and see how you feel in them. 

I'll be back next week with a few more tips for working undercover. Be sure to check back Thursday for more layering love!

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb. Tuesday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge and Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish

Layering Love - Wearing a Vest over a Cardigan

When it comes to layering there are so many possibilities. I have learned so much from other bloggers about adding layers and how to make my outfits more fun and interesting. I noticed a few bloggers a number of months ago layering with longer layers and I thought I'd give it a go. 

Today's outfit involves layering a long vest over a long cardigan. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

The color of these two pieces are a perfect match, so it is barely noticeable that they actually are two separate pieces. The duster cardigan is Chaps brand from Kohl's and the vest, also Kohl's. is Wall Flower brand from the Junior's department. Both pieces were clearance. I don't usually shop in the Junior's department for obvious reasons, most of their stuff doesn't fit me, but once in a while it pays to look. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

The knee length cardigan is light weight and will be a good transitional piece going into spring. It has pockets on each side in the front. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

For a fun casual look I paired the sweater and vest combo with a graphic tee. This particular one is Wonder Woman. I like the words. These are words I want to epitomize. 

Layering Love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

Because it is cold, I thought my OTK boots would be appropriate. I also chose my burgundy cross body bag and bracelets to got with the red "W" below the words on the tee. 

Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan
Layering love - wearing a vest over a cardigan

I think this vest and sweater combo would look cute over a dress or a top and skirt. This would work well even if the sweater and vest were different colors. It adds a layer of interest and warmth to an outfit, which is a plus in this chilly weather. 

Layering love

What about you? Have you ever tried to wear a vest over a cardigan? What do you think of this loo?. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a few words in the comments section.

Here are a few shopping links. If you click on a link I get a few cents. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I might get a small commission. I don't get paid to blog, so any help you can give in that regard is much appreciated. All opinions are my own.

Friday linking up with Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style and Jennie of A Pocketful of Polka Dots. 

Working Undercover - Battle of the Bulge - Part 1

One of the biggest struggles we have as we age is the increase in weight around our middles. Here is an informative article By Elsie Velazquez about the issue, Middle-Age Bulge - Why Does it Happen and What We Can Do to Prevent it.  Velazquez points to 5 common mistakes we make that contribute to our bulges, including stress, decrease in sleep and mindless eating. She also points to exercise mistakes such as doing cardio only and never changing up the routine. I am so guilty of all of these.

The reality is, however, that without totally revamping our lifestyles those bulges are not going away easily. Until, I actually come to the point where I am willing to put in the work, both mentally and physically to change, I have to live with my extra baggage and find a way to either accept it or cover it up until I feel better about it. Since this series is about covering up our flaws that is the area I am going to concentrate on. 

I'm going to take a few weeks to get through this, because there is so much to share. 

Florida outfit - camouflage

This outfit was one I wore while we were in Florida. I thought it an appropriate outfit to start off my series on "camouflage". I found this cute top at H&M on a sale rack. While my husband is a big fan of camo during hunting season, it is not a trend that I have gotten into for my blog until recently. I've seen numerous bloggers wearing camo, as it seems particularly trendy now, and I will admit, when worn the right way it can make a fashion statement. 

In order to understand the bulge dilemma, I thought I would show you a few pics of my own spare tires.

I am fully aware that wearing tight pants will make bulges more prominent, but I did that for the sake of the pictures and because I do like my pants to fit securely around my torso. I feel like I am continually pulling them up if I don't have a belt on, but to get them to fit around my bum and legs they have to be the size I wear. The joys of being a woman, right?

Bulges make us curvy. There are women who are thin and straight and would give their right arm to have bulges. As I said in last week's post we are on a journey to self acceptance, but we also want to look and feel confident and put together. I do not feel confident if my bulges are sticking out inappropriately, so for me, wearing a tight tee shirt is not going to happen. 

So, how do we dress in a way that is stylish, but still covers our bulges? The word you want to remember is skimming. It isn't just about fabric. There are fabrics that cling and fabrics that flow or skim. We want our clothing to show off our shapes, but at the same time be forgiving of our bulges. 

Here are a few examples of dress waistlines that offer a forgiving or camouflage feature. 

1. Empire Waist

The empire waist is a high waist that falls just below the breasts. This is the point where the material is gathered in some way to make the high waist more fitted. From this point the clothing piece subtly flares out either in wide flare or a straighter more a-line silhouette.

Working under cover - empire waist
Working under cover - empire waist
Working under cover - empire waist

2. Ruched Waist

Ruching is a technique used on fabric to gather or pleat a particular area. This technique is done on tops, pants, skirts, and dresses. Ruching in the right spot can cover a plethora of flaws. 

Working under cover - ruched waist
Working undercover - ruched waist
Working undercover - ruched waist

3. Fitted waist

A fitted garment is one where panels of fabric are sewn together to give the piece a more curved look in through the bust and waist area. In a dress like this one, the panels then flare out making this piece more of a swing type dress. 

Working undercover - paneled waist
Working undercover - fitted waist
Working undercover - fitted waist

These waist lines are available in tops as well as dresses, so when you go shopping start looking for articles of clothing that have some of these features. 

Next week we'll look at some other ways to camouflage our bulges. Just because we want to cover things up a little bit doesn't mean we can't wear fun things like tee shirts. I'll show you how next week. 

Here are a few more pics of my Florida outfit. Be sure to check back tomorrow for a new faith post and Thursday for some more layering love. 

Working undercover - camouflage top
Working undercover - Camo shirt
Working undercover - camo shirt

Tuesday linking up with Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish. Thursday linking up with Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge

Layering Love - A Leopard Print Jacket

Every now and then I come across a piece in a store I just love. Sometimes I don't know I'm in love until I try it on, other times I can tell as soon as I see or feel it. When I saw this leopard print jacket on the clearance rack at JC Penney, I had to touch it. When I felt its soft velvety texture, I had to try it on. When I tried it on, I said, "This is coming home with me."

Layering love - leopard print jacket

I tried to take pictures outside, but it was only 11 degrees. Which would have been doable, if the camera hadn't decided it was too cold to be outside. I kept trying to use the remote and it wasn't having it! Ha, ha. I did take a few photos right next to the house, but when I looked at them I realized I had an electric meter coming out of my head, and green mold decorating the aluminum siding. I want to be real, but maybe not that real! Instead you get indoor pictures with bits of clutter and Christmas decorations here and there. I probably should take down the Christmas decor pretty soon. What do you think? How many of you still have Christmas up at your house? Please tell me, I am not the only one.

Layering love - leopard print jacket

I wore this outfit to work and I was so glad. The heat was off on one side of the store. Did I mention it was only 11 degrees? Of course it was the side with the cash registers, so anytime we had a customer we had to leave our toasty back office and go to the cold side...sort of like the dark side, but you don't get a light saber. This Libby Edelman jacket and Croft and Barrow turtleneck kept me warm and cozy all day. Here is the link to the jacket online. I'm not sure why, but the it is still full price, unless you buy more than one thing, and they only have small sizes left.

Layering love - leopard print jacket

For this casual work look, I paired the jacket with my Rock & Republic skinny jeans, and my Rialto black riding boots. 

Layering love - leopard print jacket

I chose my Butterum hobo bag and added a simple beaded pendant necklace that I just found at Penney's on clearance. I thought it linked well with the colors in the jacket. 

Layering love - leopard print jacket

I think this jacket would look fantastic with a red or burgundy dress or skirt, as well as navy or even cobalt blue pants. A leopard print jacket like this can be worn with many other pieces for both dressy and casual occasions. What do you think? Would you wear a jacket like this?

Be sure to leave me some love in the comments section. I appreciate your input.

Here are a few shopping options. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

Monday linking up with Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb. Friday linking up with Jo-Lynne of Jo-Lynne Shane. 

Working Under Cover: An Introduction

Welcome to my first series of 2018! Due to the aging process changes occur in our bodies, resulting in weight gain and redistribution, loss of muscle and skin elasticity and other physical changes such as varicose veins, foot problems and arthritis. The ability to deal with these issues starts in our heads. Frankly, we just need to accept the fact that we are getting older. We are no longer 25 and we never will be again. 

While we need to take care of our bodies by eating well and getting exercise, the changes that come after menopause are not easily gotten rid of. Instead of obsessing over our bulges by trying to do millions of sit ups, or worrying over the veins that show on our legs or hands, there are other things we can do to cover our flaws and still look and feel beautiful. 

As you can see by the title of this series, my intent is to share with you different ways of dressing that will cover the changes that age has brought about, so that we can still look fashionable and well styled. This week, I'd like to look at a few things we need to think about first before we start our under cover operation.

pixabay - fat cat

1. Accept what you can't change.

This slightly fat kitty seems to pay no heed to the fact that he/she is overweight. We have a myriad of articles and news stories available on positive body image, body shaming and self esteem. I think it is important that we create a culture of acceptance, while at the same time encouraging one another to be the best we can be. Health and self confidence are the key issues we ought to be pushing, not skinny or fat, tall or short, black, white or rainbow colored. I believe we are all created equal, by a Creator, so there is no room for bullying, body shaming, racism or comparisons based on external factors or even internal preferences such as religion or political affiliations. 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;
— Declaration of Independence

I recommend taking an inventory of the things you don't like about your body. For the sake of this series, I am only going to discuss physical body issues, not emotional or mental characteristics. Stand in front of a full length mirror and look at yourself, preferably with no clothes, or with just your underwear. Look at yourself from head to toe. Take a piece of paper and make four columns. 

Column 1 - Things I don't like, that I can't change

Column 2 - Things I don't like, that I can change

Column 3 - Things I like

Column 4 - Other

Column 1 would be things like a big bottom, or no bottom at all, long arms, knobby knees, small feet and so on. You may not like these things, but you cannot change them.

Column 2 would be things like pale skin, extra weight, varicose veins, breast size, or other issues that could be altered whether by using make up, exercising and eating better, or having some sort of surgery or procedure. 

Column 3 should be the things you like about your body. My husband has always told me I have pretty collar bones. Some women like their strong shapely arms or legs. Maybe you have very pretty decolletage (a fancy word for cleavage), or you have smooth, beautiful skin. Write down all the things you like and don't say you don't like anything about your body. God made you beautiful, you just need to agree. 

I added column 4 because for some of us there are things that could be changed, but perhaps at this point in time resources do not allow that particular procedure or maybe you are just not sure about having major surgery to help with weight loss or breast reduction or implants. I have bad varicose veins, but currently they do not bother me. Without a diagnosis of pain or necessity, it is doubtful that our insurance will cover a procedure to have them dealt with. However, I will put them on my sheet as something I would like to change in the future. Maybe you just had a baby and have 30 pounds of extra weight you'd like to get rid of, but right now, you are just trying to get to know your little one. Put that in this column as something you want to address at a future date. 

Acceptance of what we cannot change or have no control over, is the first step to healthier, more confident way of viewing yourself and the world around you. 

2. Accentuate the positive.

Look back at the list I had you write. More specifically look at the things about yourself you like. These are the things that you need to pay attention to when you are buying clothes, and getting dressed. 

If you are a woman who has shapely, blemish free legs you can wear skirts and dresses, as well as cropped pants and shorts. Show off those beautiful gams. Maybe you have strong, well defined arms. Don't be afraid to expose them with sleeveless tops or even tighter fitting sleeves in the cooler weather. Perhaps what you love most about yourself is the color of your eyes. Look for make up as well as tops, scarves and accessories that will make those beauties pop. 

In our information friendly world you can find all sorts of articles on line about how to dress for your body type, complexion and hair color just by typing in a few words. Check out a few of these:


How to Dress for Your Body Shape

10 Ways to Look 5 Years Younger 

40 Eye Makeup Looks for Brown Eyes

You can find all sorts of tutorials, articles and advice on how to accentuate your positives. 

3. What you can't change, camo!

I'm not saying that we need to cover up anything and everything that we are not happy with when it comes to our bodies. If that were the case some of us would be wearing a bag. What I hope to do over the next few weeks, is show you ways to dress that will cover up a few of those problem areas and make you feel more confident and put together. 

Camouflage is nature's way of hiding. God gave critters an amazing ability to hide in plain sight and that is exactly what we want to do. We want to hide the things we view as flaws but still feel comfortable to go out and live life. 



I hope you'll join me next Tuesday as we start looking at those problem areas and how we can put them under cover. 

Until then, have a great week. 

Be sure to check back Thursday for more Layering Love. 



Layering Love - Styling a Summer Skirt

One issue with living where the seasons change is the need to change our wardrobes from cooler weather to warmer and back again. Due to my clothes horse tendencies and the small amount of closet space in our home, I have to actually put my change of season clothing in bins when not in use. Since I became a blogger, I have been trying to use more of my wardrobe all year round. 

This particular Jones Wear skirt I have styled on the blog earlier this fall when I was doing the Pantone Fall 2017 series. You can see that post here. It was intended for summer use with a light weight whimsical print layered over a full length sateen lining, thus no need for a slip. However, I thought the colors in this skirt would transfer easily to fall, which I think I showed in the Pantone post. 

I started thinking that if I could use it for fall, why not try a winter outfit as well. What you see below is what I came up with. 

Bonus holiday outfit

 I first came up with this idea before the holidays, so it does have a little bit of Christmas vibe to it, but you could easily swap out the maroon scarf for something drawing on other colors in the skirt. The skirt has a purply blue, golden yellow.and various shades of green. It would also look pretty with a cream or ivory scarf as well. 

The sweater is thrifted and Old Navy brand. A simple cardigan, I really like the bright, Kelly green color. The biggest problem I have found with these types of sweaters is pilling. Do any of you have special ways you deal with pills?  I have tried razors, sweater shavers and just plain old, pulling off the pills with my fingers. Let me know what you do. I'd love to know. 

Bonus holiday outfit

The scarf is a oblong rectangle, made of light weight material and trimmed with gold threads and fringe. I also chose bracelets with the same burgundy/maroon colors to go with the scarf and red colors in the skirt.

Bonus holiday outfit

I chose my brown corduroy hobo bag and brown corduroy quilted ballet flats, although this outfit would also work with my mid calf brown suede boots. 

Brown corduroy ballet flats

Of course, because these Thursday posts are all about layering, I have a cami under the sweater. Another way to wear the sweater would be to skip the scarf, add a tee or long sleeve top under the sweater drawing on one of the other colors in the skirt and add layers of necklaces. 

Layering Love - styling a summer skirt

I hope you all are doing well, and that if you made any New Year's resolutions you are sticking to them. Ha, ha. It is always an uphill battle isn't it? Don't give up.

Have a great weekend. 

A Look Back at 2017 - My Favorite Outfits

It seems that many of my blogger friends have New Year's posts that review their favorite outfits from 2017. Since I am usually a bit behind, and I just got back from my trip to Florida, I thought I would do the same thing, until I can get some new outfits put together for you. 

I had a wonderful time with my family in Florida. It wasn't the warmest that it could have been, but we all had fun and got along, which is always a plus, since most families have the typical internal strife. It was fun to see my younger daughter interact with her son. She really has become a great mom! It was also fun to get to know my son-in-law better. He and our eldest are a pretty easy going couple. We ate good, had some time on the beach, played mini golf and played Pictionary a couple different nights. 

My hubby and I spent two nights on the road to get home, but although I am sad that it is over, I am glad to be home. Unfortunately for my kids when they got back on Wednesday evening, my younger daughter's car wouldn't start. Once they got that running, my eldest and her hubby went home to an apartment where the furnace wasn't working and the pipes were frozen. Ugg. These arctic temps are taking their toll everywhere. Thankfully our place was still up and running, so the kids brought the dog back here and spent the last two nights. Everything seems to be back in working order.

Here is a look back at my favorite outfits from 2017:


Why do I like it? It's the perfect pick me up for a drab winter day.


 Romance is in the Air - Week 1

Romance is in the Air - Week 1

Why do I like it? Sexy, but modest. I love the mix of textures. 


Why do I like it? It's just me...comfortable, tomboy, tough girl.


Why do I like it? The color contrast and the stripes make for a great combination that anyone can wear.


Why do I like it? It is soft and feminine, but not too much!


Why do I like it? I think it is the perfect blend of feminine comfort and earthy tones. 


Why do I like it? It's the kind of outfit I could wear to work and then wear to a summer evening event. I like its versatility. 


Why do I like it? I love the color combination, as well as the coverage of the maxi skirt.


Why do I like it? I think the color combo is crazy, but perfectly gypsy like! 

October (I couldn't pick just one!)

Outfit 1 - Fun Fall Look - Floral Bomber Jacket     Outfit 2 -  Pantone Fall 2017 -                                                  

Why I like these? I like the floral bomber and pairing it with the olive skinny jeans and pink flats says cool and confident. The second outfit really appeals to my bohemian/gypsy vibe. I love the color combo of orange and deep green and the edginess of the black faux leather vest. 

November (Another tie!)

Outfit 1 - Holiday Outfit - Dressy Casual               Outfit 2 - Layering Love - Light Weight Skirt

Why I like these? I have become a big fan of burgundy and the darker reds and both of these outfits incorporated pops of those colors in a classic and fun way. I also love dressing up jeans, as well as the playful bohemian vibe of the Beatles sweatshirt with the tiered skirt. 

December (Another tie!)

Outfit 1 - Holiday Outfit - Dressy - Pants               Outfit 2 - Holiday Outfit - New Years

Why I like these? The all black outfit is so perfect for a dressy occasion and it was so easy to put together. The second outfit is a great combination of feminine, flirty and fun. 

I hope you enjoyed this look back at 2017. If you click on the links you can see the original posts, in case you missed any of them.

As I begin to look forward to what I will be doing on the blog in 2018, I hope you will continue to join me. My plan is to try to keep posting my fashion posts twice a week, a faith post once a week and maybe add some creative writing as well. I'll let you know if that happens.

Thank you all for your support this past year, and as always, if you have any suggestions for things you would like to see on the blog, please leave me a comment in the comments section below, or you can message me on my Facebook page. I'd love to have your feedback.

Have a great weekend!