Catching Up With Life!

Hey everyone! Gosh, that was a longer break than expected! There is a lot going on in my world and I haven’t had a chance to take outfit photos. I thought I’d use today to catch everyone up with my non-fashion life. If you’re totally not interested in that (don’t worry, I’m not offended!) check back on Monday because I will be getting some photos done this weekend and have some cute outfits planned.

Did a lot of this on vacation! How pretty is that color of rosè?

So, when I last left you I was going on vacation and turning 50. Two big deals. The vacation was fine. Not great. Just fine. My eldest daughter Kealan wasn’t able to join us since she is working her dream job for a professional rider, so it was a bummer not to have her with us. She is 22, so I need to start getting used to the idea that we all won’t be together for vacations in the future. We also usually take a big group with every teen bringing a friend and this year it was a small group, so pretty low-keyed.

The other part that was disappointing about our vacation was it was hard to relax because of this cloud of moving hanging over us. My youngest daughter, Sara, calls it false relaxation. Even though you’re on vacation there is a big weight on your mind that makes it hard to relax, with any moment you could get a text for a showing in an hour (!) to not knowing where you will be living in the fall. I know, this is definitely first-world problems and in the scheme of life it’s not a big deal, so I guess I’m lucky to have these be my disappointments.

My garden is beautiful this summer! The phlox is so thick and tall and the colors are so invigorating!

When we returned from vacation the perfect property showed up for sale in Charlotte. After a sleepless night, I hit the road at 3:45 am (might as well be driving rather than laying in bed looking at the ceiling!) to see this house that evening. We loved it! It was actually better in person than the pictures and we were excited and ready to buy. I was already planning which furniture was going where. So, I guess I don’t get this whole real estate finagling thing. Even though we made a full price offer, it took a day and a half for the seller’s realtor to get back to us to tell us the sellers were going to go with another offer. Isn’t there such a thing as counter-offers? Or tell us what the offer is up to and perhaps we’ll top it? We never heard any amount from the seller. I don’t know. Anyway, we felt extremely manipulated and didn’t get the house. Since I was down there for a few days we looked at a couple of other houses and they were all “meh”. We could settle for a house that was fine, but I really want to be excited and love a house (though the thought of knowing what your kitchen will look like and what your address will be is very alluring at this point!). I know, totally privileged whining.  I dejectedly drove back to Michigan and left my husband down there in his bachelor apartment for a few more months.

This is how I felt after we didn’t get the house. Orangie captures emotion so well!

Now I’m back in Michigan where our house is currently sitting for sale with no activity at all. We live in the middle of nowhere so someone really has to want to be out here (where it’s beautiful, I might add) to buy our house. We luckily have a Plan B if our house doesn’t sell by December so we’re ok there.

Catching up with life! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com
You know I must love you guys if I’m posting bathing suit pics here!!!!

In more free-wheeling news: my youngest daughter, who has been living with me here in Michigan and helping me with the house and animals, leaves in a few days for a semester abroad. She is attending a language school in France to learn French since she wants to study international relations in school and already speaks Spanish. She has been saving up for this for over two years and has planned it all herself and paid for it all herself. I’m proud of her but I’m going to miss her. Talk about being an empty nester! My whole family is spread to the four winds!

Since I’m going to be taking my own photos, and that might be harder than I’m imagining. I thought I might branch out into other topics important to midlife than just fashion. I’ve been thinking about the whole transition since I turned 50 (well, actually way before that) and my children are striking out on their own and how my life is changing a lot right now. I may quickly find myself annoying and just go back to outfit posts but I’d like to add a little breadth and depth to this corner of the internet. So, bare with me as I try that out and let me know your thoughts.

Catching up with life! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

And what am I absolutely loving this summer? Ann with an E, the new Netflix series based on the Anne of Green Gables books. I devoured those books when I was growing up and this show is just as good. I confess I’ve probably watched the whole series more than once (or twice or more. I’ll never admit!). I find it comforting to watch while things seem crazy (I’m having a hard time listening to the news this month). The scenery is beautiful and I love how the actors look like every day people.  The main character, Anne, loves nature and the director takes really beautiful shots of sunlight on trees and grasses and flowers. Really a bright spot this summer.

So again, I know my problems are minuscule and very manageable, but this is what is happening in my world right now. When I write this blog I write it as if I was talking to a girlfriend and these things are what I would be talking about. Of course, she can’t just x out my page like you can! So, if you’re still reading this then thanks for listening and here’s another thing I’ve enjoyed this summer!

Thanks for all of the lovely birthday wishes and have a great weekend everyone!

 

 

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Surrounded By Sunflowers!

Hey everyone! I’m wearing all florals today and decided to photograph in a field of sunflowers. Yes, we really have fields of sunflowers in the midwest!

Flowers all over! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m wearing my new reversible tank top with the floral side showing instead of the polka dot side. I’m still loving the fit and how it skims without clinging and the size of the armholes. No bra showing when I raise my arms!

Flowers all over! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

It was a little cooler here this week so I pulled out my cropped, “control top”  jeans that I still love. They are so easy to just pull on and the fabric hasn’t stretched out, neither the denim fabric nor the “control top” fabric. It’s available in plus size here and it’s really on sale now.

Flowers all over! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I don’t think I’ve shown these sandals before but I bought them last year and they’ve aged well. Usually the leather stretches out but these have been holding it together really well. Also, I love sandals, but I can’t stand the flip-flops where it rubs in between your big toe and second toe. That has always been a no-go for me and these just have a ring of leather around your big toe and the band of leather over your arch.

Flowers all over! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m leaving for vacation tomorrow and won’t have any internet so I won’t be able to post your comments after Friday, so I’ll catch up with them when I get back. And, I haven’t mentioned this before, but I’m turning 50 tomorrow! How do I feel about it? Hmmmmm. It’s been quite a year, so I haven’t had time to think much about it, even though last year, at 49, I said I was going to start focussing on myself and determine how I want the 2nd half of my life to go. Perhaps I’ll have some time this vacation for quiet contemplation and introspection so maybe I’ll have some insights when I get back. 50 — here I come!


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Pretty Like A Flower Garden!

Hey everyone! I’ve been pretty casual on the blog lately, so I thought I’d show a more professional look, but one that still has some pretty to it!

Pretty Like A Flower Garden! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This shirt, another one of my Chico’s finds, is my version of how I wear the off-the-shoulder style. I think these shoulders stay up better because I have a big bust. Score one for the big bust! It has a cotton lining so it’s actually a bit heavier (great for air conditioned rooms) but it is in no way see-through.

Pretty Like A Flower Garden! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve paired it with my every faithful pencil skirt from J.Jill and my ballet flats (actually they’re called ghillie flats) that I find so flattering to my ankles!

Pretty Like A Flower Garden! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw my hair in it’s natural state, i.e. curly with a mind of it’s own. When we took these pictures it started lightly sprinkling and I am sure you can guess which pictures were the first we took and which pictures were later! If you have curly hair you know exactly how it takes the slightest opportunity to to become unruly. This haircut, with all the layers, also encourages this subordination!

Pretty Like A Flower Garden! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Anyway, this photo is taken in my garden. I spent years trying to grow a tame vegetable and flower garden, then gave up and tried to make it more an english garden with bushes and flowers and then gave up and just let it go wild. The only thing I can maintain is the path and now I call it my pollinator’s garden. I have noticed lots more butterflies and bees and hummingbirds. The goldfinches love the thistle and the Monarch butterflies love to lay eggs on the milkweed. It’s actually the prettiest little garden to look at out of my kitchen window, with a mix of planted flowers like foxglove and daylillies and all of the wild flowers. Something is always in bloom.

Alright, so a little off track from fashion, but I find sometimes I just can’t think of anything helpful to write about in regards to the clothes, so I may veer off-track now and then. Hope you don’t mind!

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White Shorts Are A Classic!

Hey everyone! I’m back with the white shorts again (which are seriously on sale now!). I’m determined to get a lot of wear out of them! This time I’ve paired it with the top I bought back in March? February? that I knew I would be wearing a lot when it got warm out. The fabric is thin, so it covers without being hot. And I can’t believe it, but they still have this shirt in plus sizes here.

And the real test of white shorts: can you see your underthings? I’m wearing white underneath since I had tried purple but that was pushing reality too much for these shorts! I also forgot to mention that these shorts come in several lengths of inseam and petite so you can get a better fit. They also come in tan and black and a black with very subtle white polka dots!

Keeping to basic colors like black, white, brown or tan means an item will go with a lot of other items I already own, especially if you’re building a capsule wardrobe. Yes, it’s nice to have a pop of color like the red tops or some flowery prints, but items that are classics, and I hope to wear for several years like these shorts, I try to keep pretty basic.

I’m wearing the spongey espadrilles you’ve seen before. These are a fun pop of color and pattern to brighten up a tame outfit.

So, I’m going on vacation next week to a place without internet! Even though I feel like I just got back into the swing of things with this blog, I’ll be absent for a week. But, until then I’ll be here getting my internet fix! Have a great week everyone!

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My Alternative To A T-Shirt!

Hey everyone! Often in the summer I like to keep it casual. I’ve always thought that meant a cotton t-shirt. However with t-shirts, the fit is usually emphasizing what I would prefer not to have emphasized. I kept thinking I just needed to try a different cut of t-shirt. If I went with the “feminine” cut it was too tight and clingy, especially in the midsection. If I went with the boxy, traditional fit I looked like I was wearing a bag. I finally realized that I needed to re-think casual and t-shirts weren’t working for me.

My Alternative Casual Top! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

So, an alternative. This top is becoming my go-to, quick-out-of-the-door top. The fabric is light and skims nicely without billowing. It’s a light crepe fabric that doesn’t wrinkle or show sweat. The armholes are cut correctly so my bra does not show at all. And it’s reversible!

My Alternative Casual Top! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I prefer the polka-dots, rather than the floral side, because I still have a bit of a hang-up that florals (especially this size) ages you, even though they’re everywhere right now. I think that’s an out-dated notion and I need to get over it!

My Alternative Casual Top! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I know lots of us prefer to not show our arms, or at least the top half of our arms. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to let that worry just pass over me. Yes, my arms aren’t what they used to be and they’re not the beautiful, toned arms that many women are sporting today a la Michele Obama. But, they’re normal, healthy, pretty common arms and everyone needs to get used to seeing them! I’m not going to over-heat because people aren’t used to seeing middle-aged women’s arms! Now, they need to get over it!

My Alternative Casual Top! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve paired it with my new black shorts you saw a couple of posts ago and these comfy espadrilles that are also getting a lot of wear this summer. Have a great weekend everyone!

Linking up with Jennie at A Pocket Full of Polka Dots!

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Practical White Shorts!

Hey everyone! White shorts? Yikes. I know. I know. They’re see-through. They show any little dimple in your behind. You can see your underthings. I totally know where you’re coming from because I have those same thoughts. I haven’t had a pair of white shorts in decades because of those reasons but I like how summery and crisp they look. Yes, I could get a pair of white denim shorts, but sometimes all those seams and fabric and pockets are too hot (I’m getting myself prepared for the south!). Luckily I’ve found a great pair that has a lighter fabric and no wrinkles (I’m looking at you linen!).

I talked in this post about how I was on a search for shorts for this summer since I actually had none (yes, really!) and sometimes wanted to give my summer skirts a break. I’ve tried on probably 6 different pairs and so many of them, if they fit in the waist, are humongous in the legs. This waist is comfortable and stays in place and the legs are a straight style. I’m wearing a size 2.5 (Chico’s has their own sizing).

My blogging friend, Jodie from J Touch of Style, has commented that she thinks I should try red tops more often since I usually gravitate toward the blue colors. She’s also been showcasing more items from Chico’s store. I always thought of Chico’s as more for older women who are more flamboyant in their outfits than I am, but I’ve seen some cute things on Jodie and her mom and step-mom, so I thought I’d peep in and have a look around.

This top is another off-the-shoulder style, which I find quite impractical, so I wear it the way I want! You saw me do it here too. Yes, it does look cute off the shoulder, but I think it looks just as cute this way. Plus, if you’re like me and will not be wearing a strapless bra anytime soon, you can still wear these cute tops that are everywhere this summer!

I did need a pair of summer shoes that I could throw on to go to the store or run errands when I didn’t feel like wearing my sandals. These shoes are lightweight fabric on the upper but has an extra spongy base in the shoe so it’s not a typical flimsy espadrille flat. Plus, there were so many patterns to pick from that it was hard to decide!

I decided to give you a break from my tan heels and my yellow purse. I’ve packed up most of my clothes, shoes and purses so you’ll have to bear with me. Yes, this purse is too small for me since it just makes me look bigger, but I love it and when it’s really hot outside I don’t feel like carrying a heavy leather, sweaty purse. It’s going to be fun watching me adjust to the south, isn’t it?

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A Summer Wedding!

Hey everyone! I hope you had a great weekend! We did because my nephew got married and had a really beautiful wedding. It’s such a nice time to get together to catch up with everyone and for a happy occasion — as opposed to the opposite! Anyway, this is what I wore.

Summer Wedding Attire! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

You’ve seen the dress here before. It’s material with some stretch so comfortable for sitting and dancing. Yes, it’s sleeveless (seems like that’s all they make these days!) but if you’re in air conditioning it’s so easy to match a shawl to the dress. This exact floral pattern is no longer for sale but they have very pretty options here and here, a solid option here and a really cute polka dot here. I did size up (usually a size 16 but went with 18 here). There are plus size available too here and petite here.

Summer Wedding Attire! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

The brand is Alyx and the style is a sheath dress. My favorite cut for a dress. No pesky waistband! You’ve seen me wearing their dresses before here and here.

Summer Wedding Attire! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I got the shawl at Charming Charlie’s which had so many to choose from I had a hard time deciding. I forgot to take a picture of tying the shawl in front which was a nice option to keep it from sliding off. It was just heavy enough to hang nicely in front and keep the chill off my shoulders while under the air conditioning unit.

So, that was my wedding attire. Sorry about showing the same shoes over and over. I would have tried out my dark green pumps with this dress that you’ve seen here but I’ve packed them up along with most of my others so you’ll have to bear with these a bit longer. See you on Wednesday!

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This Looked Better In My Head!

Hey everyone! So, I’m sure I’m not the only one this has happened to: you are thinking about what to wear and two items in your mind look perfect together. Then you try them on and the reality is oh, so, the opposite!

This looked better in my head! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

This top I tried on at the store wearing my white jeans. It looked cute but the material of the top is more office-appropriate (i.e. polyester) and the jeans were casual cotton. I thought in my head the top would look perfect with these wide-legged, tan pants. Nope! The top was too flowy and the pants were even more flowy. Plus, the soft tan was too washed out for the crisper colors in the top. Also, the pant material, which is a soft cotton, just didn’t seem to go with the polyester fabric of the top. Now what?

I pulled out my wide-legged, cropped pants. These worked better than the tan pants because the fabrics work better together since the pants are rayon viscose/spandex/nylon fabric and the crisp black pairs well with the colors of the top. However, all of a sudden, there is a heavy black line right in the middle of my body!

This looked better in my head! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I hadn’t even noticed the black line until I saw these pictures. It hits below my natural waist, so I didn’t think anything was wrong with it. But, when it’s paired with these pants that are cropped, so look shorter, it cuts my body right in half. A universally unflattering proportion!  Supposedly, the proportions you want are 1/3. You want your body to be cut up into thirds (think long tunic over ankle length pants or long skirt with cropped top) and this black line cuts me right in the middle. Blergh! So, not going to be wearing these two together.

This looked better in my head! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Oh well! I live and learn! I don’t think I would have noticed this if I hadn’t taken these pictures. If I had just walked out of the door, I would have thought this outfit was fine. I’ve heard advice from others to take pictures of yourself in outfits so you can look at them a bit more objectively and I have to say I can see the value in that for sure!

Hope you have a nice weekend. I have a fun wedding on Saturday so I’ll be showing you my summer wedding outfit on Monday. See you then!

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Pretty Summer Pants!

Hey everyone! So, even though it’s summer, there are occasions when I still want to wear pants. I’ve been looking for a thinner fabric pant and the ever elusive comfortable fit around the waist. These pants have both and are not the “control top” versions I have been wearing and raving about.

These pants are by Wit and Wisdom and were recommended by one of the readers here. The waistband is very comfortable with lots of stretch and the fabric all around has lots of stretch. I really wanted a pretty color and they have lots of options and are on sale now! The only problem I see, is I ordered regular size 16 and I should have ordered petite. I think they would have fit around the ankle better. Thank goodness Nordstrom is so good about returns!

Summer Pants! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’ve paired it with the shirt from Loft you’ve seen before here. It’s on sale now too and available in white.

Summer Pants! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I’m heading back to Michigan so perhaps this hair will calm down, though I’m going to be trying out all of your suggestions. We may have found a house here in Charlotte and we have two showings on our house in Michigan this weekend, so fingers crossed!

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I Found Some Shorts!

Hey everyone! So, let me just start off by saying that I know my hair looks puffy. I’m in Charlotte for a week and humidity and my hair like to mix and make a souffle! I could feel my hair getting bigger and bigger as we were photographing, so in many of the pictures I’m trying to smooth it down! I also only picked pictures from the beginning of our walk before my hair reached impressive heights! I’m going to have to figure out something before I move down here permanently. This helmet head is not what I was going for with my haircut! Any humidity hair advice? Please leave in the comments section!

Cute Shorts that work for my apple shape! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Anyway, you probably have noticed that I don’t wear shorts much. Usually I’m wearing a skirt and find them so much more flattering to wear in the summer. However, I know there are times when I wished I had a pair (like when you have to sit on the ground — impossible in a knee length skirt!) but besides all of the usual problems with finding pants you have to contend with the length too.

Cute Shorts that work for my apple shape! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

I don’t care to show my thighs, so the shorts have to come to my knee or just above. Oftentimes, to get the shorts that fit in the waist you also get really wide legs and it looks like you’re wearing a pleated skirt. Really unflattering.

I gave these NYDJ shorts a try. I have a pair of their jeans and though on the more expensive side, I can find a good fit and they’re comfortable. They recognize we may be thicker in the middle yet still have slim hips or thighs. They also recognize that we need fabric that stretches without it looking like fabric that stretches. I’ve worn these almost non-stop since I got them last week.

Cute Shorts that work for my apple shape! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Summer forces me to find a top that has coverage but can still keep me cool. I will do sleeveless when it’s really hot, but my fair skin needs some protection from the sun. This top fits the bill. The fabric is thin, so be aware of what your bra color is, but was very comfortable to wear. I felt confident that I wasn’t showing a lot of skin but still looking stylish. The peasant style embroidery is a trend, so I wouldn’t invest too much in this style but this will be fun for this summer.

Cute Shorts that work for my apple shape! | www.whenthegirlsrule.com

Ok, I’m off to explore this city and to keep looking for our next house to live. These photos were taken at the UNC botanical gardens. Such a pretty place for a hot summer walk!

I’m linking up with all of the lovely ladies at Not Dead Yet Style today!

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