Hey everyone! So, it’s still in the 80’s here during the day but starting to be in the 60’s in the mornings, so I’m still mostly wearing my summer clothes while transitioning towards fall. This skirt is one example. You’ve seen it on the blog before here and here. I haven’t worn it since spring because of it’s long length but now I don’t mind wearing it again. It’s such an easy piece to wear, and I’d love to give you a link for it, but it is many years old. You might not be able to tell, but it’s a very stretchy fabric and a stretchy lining, so though it looks like a slim silhouette, it’s easy to take big steps when walking with determination!
This sweater I have in black and white because it’s so versatile to wear in an air-conditioned office but then you won’t die when walking to the parking lot! You’ve seen the white one before here. It’s a really, really light knit cotton and even though it stops a bit short of where I would prefer for a sweater, it’s a good balance between coverage and keeping cool. I couldn’t find it in black or white anymore but here and here are color options.
I’m so glad that we are no longer given one option each season for skirt lengths. Remember those days? One year it would be mini skirts then the next year ankle length. Same with jeans. One year skinny jeans then the next year bell bottoms and you didn’t dare wear last years jeans because they shouted “OUT OF DATE”. But, sometime when I wasn’t paying attention, the fashion industry started offering all styles all the time and I so love that!
So, seeing these images, I think I would have added a necklace, perhaps with a length halfway between the shirt top and collar bone. When we photographed these it was hot and humid (as you can see by my hair!) and adding a necklace just seemed like too much. Looking forward to cooler weather and my favorite season coming up!
Hey everyone! As I was throwing on this outfit the other day for the 100th time this summer I really thought it deserved a blog mention for all the work it’s done this summer. This is the easiest outfit to wear for running to the store or to do whatever errand needs to be done without having to fuss with an outfit.
These JJill jeans (on sale now!) have been shown before here and here are light and easy to wear and fit me well. They are slim in the hips and thighs but have stretch in the waistband. They can go with whatever pair of shoes are closest to the door without a second thought. Even though we can wear white year round these will be put away because the fabric is thin and just looks and feels like summertime jeans so I’m wearing them as much as possible before then.
This top was a find at The Loft. Besides the too-big armholes (why is that, I wonder?) which requires me to wear a tank top underneath, it has a nice drape and hits at a length I like. It’s not often that I have a buttoned-up collar because they’re usually associated with a too tight bust area but this one has enough fabric with some stretch, so fits well without looking like a tent. Ignore the messed up collar in the picture. It actually stands up normally in real life. I’m breaking in a new photographer (youngest daughter) since old photographer (eldest daughter) has gone back to college so some of the styling details get overlooked by both of us.
I looked for a link to Ann Taylor for the shirt, since I just bought it in the spring, but it must have been popular and sold out because it is nowhere to be found. The sandals were shown here on the blog before and are still just as comfy. All in all, this whole outfit is made of classic pieces that I will be wearing next summer and beyond!
Hey everyone! So, I’m actually starting to run out of summer outfits to show you! Thank goodness the changing season means it’s time for me to pull out of storage a whole new set of clothes! Here is a fun top though that I’ve been wanting to show you.
It’s got a nice bit of gauzy silk at the bottom for visual interest and it’s a nice, light tunic. I do have to wear a tank top underneath though because the pesky armholes are too big. I bought it over a year ago so I’m not able to find a link for it unfortunately.
This skirt you’ve seen before in different colors here and here. A real work-horse staple for my wardrobe! The shoes are something I wore a lot last summer but just kind of forgot about this summer. They are very comfortable for a heel though so I should be making more of an effort to put them in rotation. They look nice with pants so I’ll be able to wear them into the fall.
And, of course, my favorite purse as of late. It is recommended not to wear a small purse if you want to appear thinner (the whole scale thing) but I just got tired of carrying a big, hot purse these last two months and wanted something small and light. It’s been given the nickname of the cutie-patootie purse.
Our sleeveless days are coming to an end but this top still looks good under sweaters so I’ll be able to wear it into the fall. Plus, it goes without saying, the black and white goes with everything. I think it would lend itself nicely to pattern mixing too, something I would like to try. Now it’s got me thinking…perhaps it will make another appearance on this blog. Take care!
Hey everyone! As summer winds down I’d like to show you what I’ve been wearing a lot this summer when it’s a seriously casual day: a t-shirt and skirt.
I’m not a shorts person after I heard several years ago the women from the BBC show “What not to Wear” suggest that shorts are one of the most unflattering articles of clothing to wear for women of all sizes. Because our legs bend and straighten, except for the quite athletic, the muscle above the knee sags when standing. They suggested a skirt instead and I’ve had no reason to look back! Did I mention that this skirt has pockets? I love pockets!
You’ve seen the skirt here before. The t-shirt I ordered online from an Etsy shop a couple of years ago and couldn’t find it to recommend it to you guys. It’s a bit thin so I wear a tank top underneath. Here is a detail of the t-shirt so you can actually read the hilarious text (big bust problems!).
And these two pairs of sandals I have worn all summer and you’ve probably seen them in the vacation posts. Here they are when I first bought them when they were nice and clean and fresh (and when my nails were painted light green!). Both pairs are comfy without the reliance of the piece that goes in-between your toes to hold them on and they both have thick soles so they work great for lots of walking.
Hey everyone! I’m back with another outfit to get through these hot days. You’ve seen these pants before here and I really like to wear them in the summer because they are light and soft and are a nice change from skirts or shorter pants, especially on this hot and humid day.
I also like these pants when we start to transition into fall. They are a soft color so it’s easy to pair them with fall colors and some sweaters I will be wearing.
The black top is from Kohl’s from a couple of years ago with a black tank top from White House Black Market (here) underneath. I’m still carrying my super cute purse I bought in Sonoma because a heavy, big purse just seems too hot to carry right now.
Unfortunately, I’ve been to two funerals in the last four days so not having time to think about this post nor feeling in a writing mood is why my post is so short. Hopefully, back at it for Saturday’s post. Until then, take care.
Hey everyone! So, as I write this and while this was photographed, it was over 90 degrees here and high humidity and yuck. When it’s this hot outside the only way to dress is as cooly as possible. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I prefer to not show every outline and silhouette of my features and I prefer a “third piece” to give me some coverage. But, when you’re going to an outdoor wedding in August you have to take another strategy. I call it: distraction.
As you can see here I have this lovely dress, with many things I love about it. When it is cooler I can wear a jacket or sweater over it. But, here it is all on it’s own with my body being shown in all of it’s glory! So, I work on bringing the focal point up higher — collar bone and higher actually. This dress helps with that because it has such an interesting neckline.
If I add a jingly, dangly, sparkly pair of earrings you can’t help but have your eyes attracted to them.
You could get this same distraction strategy with a show-stopper necklace or eye-catching hair-do. Or go lower with really unique shoes. And who could resist the cutest purse ever?!
And the best distraction is a smile! Remember this mantra when you walk into a place “I am one foxy lady!” because confidence really can distract anyone!
Ok, hopefully this heat will break (today looks better!) so I’m not taking such miserably hot pictures, but I guess we’ll see! Take care!
***WARNING***Middle-aged body in bathing suit ahead!***
Hey everyone! Just getting back to reality after two back-to-back weeks of vacation. What?! Definitely unusual for me and probably most other Americans to take that much time off. Oh, how I wish we could import that European idea of many weeks of vacation without any of the negative side effects (are there any?)!
Anyway, after returning from California (you can read the post here), we have a long-standing family tradition of going to a small island in Lake Michigan with our two daughters. We have gone to this island 9 times because we have found this to be the best solution for traveling with teens. If you have a teenage daughter (maybe sons too, not sure) you know they can make or break a vacation. Honestly, I have dragged a texting teen through the Louvre and thought “never again”. So, to not repeat that expensive mistake, I really thought about what my kids and my husband and I needed so we all could have a fun and relaxing vacation. I found my kids really needed independence from constantly being with parents and siblings and they needed opportunities to bike or canoe or go get ice cream on their own. I needed to not have to worry about them or be with them constantly so I could sit peacefully on the deck with my dog Laura…
quietly having a glass of wine…
and peacefully reading my book.
So, to get to this “vacation Shangri-La”, I also figured out we needed to bring other kids with us, perhaps a friend or cousin, about the same age, so my kids would have a buddy to do kid-things. This island is small enough (and boring enough) that they are safe going off on their own, especially if they’re off with a friend.
We also started going on vacation with another family, which includes one of my best friends and, thankfully, the husbands get along really well. They have kids the same age so they all hang out in a big teenager gang. The kids are able to do their own thing during the day, and really their dad is often joining them, but in the evening we all get together for dinner and silly group activities. We always do a scavenger hunt (this year they put one on for the adults, super fun!), limbo contest (yes, one of the kids always wins) and new this year, a talent show. Everyone participates, even someone who is joining us for the first time. It’s actually so much fun when we have a big group because it becomes a party. We have so many fun memories from these activities but also from the quieter times too. So, that’s how we’ve managed to vacation happily through the teen years. Now my oldest is 21 and youngest is almost 18 so we’ll see how much longer we have these family vacations, though I could see this tradition, or some form of it, lasting into the next generations!
This island is very casual. So casual, I didn’t have any “blog-worthy” outfits. Really just a t-shirt and skirt (you saw here) are what I wore most days. I did, however, need to purchase a new bathing suit. After getting advice from other blogs, especially Allison at Wardrobe Oxygen, I knew I needed a different style of bathing suit than what I had before. My last suit, which I bought at my local bra shop, was low cut in the front and it had more of a shelf bra built-in which wasn’t as much support as I wanted. It was, however, better than the one before that I had to buy at a department store and only had 4 sizes (S, M, L and XL). Once I figured out there were such things as “bra sized swimwear” I was excited! Finally they’re making suits for women who have larger than a B cup and would like some support!
And here it is in all it’s glory. It has a completely built-in bra with all the support of a regular bra but with bathing suit styling. It has the side-rouching which creates some visual texture so there are some distracting wrinkles. I did find the strings at the bottom annoying as my hands got stuck in them often so I had to tie them up so they were short loops. It has the complete coverage I was looking for and I don’t have to tug it down over my tummy every time I moved.
Because I had to buy it online (something I advised against here until you knew the sizing and fit) and I didn’t have a lot of time to send things back and forth through the mail, I was wary about my chances of finding what I wanted. I contacted Bare Necessities and they were extremely helpful, even checking on when an item would be available and calling me back with an update. Unfortunately it was on back-order and wouldn’t arrive in time but I was lucky to find the same tankini at Her Room and they were easy to work with and shipped it quickly.
I find that most options for bathing suit bottoms show the top of the thigh (not an area I care to showcase!) and often require fussing and rearranging with every movement. The alternative has always been those little skirt bottoms that make me feel like a cheerleader. Since I don’t care for either of those two options, I looked into more athletic wear for a suit bottom. Success! I bought these surf-boarder shorts (my second pair) several years ago from Title Nine and they have lasted as my primary suit bottom and are made for someone who moves in their swimsuit rather than lounges on the beach. Sometimes I just wear them as shorts on hot days because I like the length and fit and velcro and tied waist. Swimsuit dilemma solved so I can actually swim!
So, that’s it for summer vacations until next summer. I’m back at it and will be posting on my regular days again. A couple more summer weather weeks then it will be fall (my favorite season!) and lots of fun outfits to show then!
I do not have any affiliation with any of the brands or stores nor do I receive any compensation. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.
Hey hey everyone! I’m back! Since I’m just getting back into the swing of things, and have yet to photograph any outfits, I thought I’d do a re-cap of my vacation for you… hope you don’t mind! I only had my phone to take photos so please bear with the images!
So, before I regale you with the details of my trip, I noticed a curious thing about writing this post. Before and during my vacation, I kept thinking of all the things I wanted to write about and tell you all about and then when I got home and started to write I thought: “Nah, they’re not interested in that.” “That’s not that interesting.” “They come here to see outfits, not hear about your trip.” (the last comment was from my husband, by the way.)
So, I did write a post downplaying my trip but when I re-read my last post here I realized I had hyped up this trip and to come home with a big silent nothing seemed disjointed and disingenuous. So, despite the little voice in my head saying “they’re not interested in that. It’s boring” I will tell you about my trip because it was fun and I like getting ideas for trips from others and, most importantly, this is my blog and I can write whatever I want! If you are not interested in reading about my trip check back next Wednesday because I will be talking about traveling with teenagers and modeling my new, favorite bathing suit (Yikes! The things I do for you!).
First, flying from the midwest to the west coast requires more than 5 days. No matter how you plan it, it will take a full day to get there and a full day to get back, leaving us only three days to really vacation. Unfortunately, due to whatever at Southwest Airlines, we were delayed 3 hours and though we woke up at 0 dark thirty we arrived in California in evening rush hour. Luckily, I am an adept driver and my sister is an adept navigator so we were able to slip out of San Francisco and head to the hills to Glen Ellen, a quiet little crossroads of a town deep in Sonoma County. We had rented a house for the 5 of us (me, my mom, sister, cousin and her dear friend) from Homeaway with plenty of room in the house as well as a large, terraced yard with a jacuzzi, several sitting areas and it’s own vineyard!
We were all starving when we arrived, after forcing ourselves to not give in to the $12 sandwich at the airport, and we found an Indian/Nepalese restaurant called Yeti, probably 1/4 mile down the road with outdoor seating on a deck over looking the Jack London State Historic Park. A perfect place to start our vacation! We were served excellent food and a bottle of B.R. Cohn Silver Label Cabernet Sauvignon that I became obsessed with during the trip because none of us could remember the name, only how the label looked, and it was unusually delicious (I’m sure it had nothing to do with being starved and jet-lagged!). I say “unusually” delicious because I am usually a “white wine in summer” girl because the white wine is served cold and crisp and goes well with summer food. However, on this trip all the white wines tasted the same and I was totally pulled towards the red wines. When I drink red wine in the summer at home, it usually feels like I’m throwing a damp wool blanket over my shoulders when it’s 90 degrees out and makes me sweat and seems very high in alcohol. But, in California, the red wine went really well with the temperature, food and ambience. My sister, on the other hand, usually only drinks red wine no matter the season, was really drawn to the white wines.
For some reason the red wines and I were getting along nicely both during the warm days and the cool nights. I know this will sound weird, but the reason I think I was drawn to the reds was because of the smell in the air. I’ve never noticed being persuaded by the smell of an area, but I could smell that the air was different from home because of the different trees and I could taste that smell in the wines. I know, weird. I’ve never heard of that before, but I wonder if it’s because I was tasting the wine in it’s home turf. Really, tasting it in my kitchen in Michigan is very different than tasting it in a little garden area surrounded by the grapes growing in the surrounding hills. It reminds me of when my sister landscaped her yard with those cocoa nibs in place of wood chips and every time I went to her house I was craving chocolate because of the smell of her landscaping. Anyways, as soon as I got home I didn’t feel like the red wines anymore and went back to my “white wine in summer” mantra.
So, the next day we ended up hiring a driver who drove us around in our own car to different vineyards from Napa Driver Tours. There are so many options to tour the wine region from an all-inclusive mini-bus tour to hiring Uber drivers in between each vineyard that there is no need for a member of your group to sit out the fun and be the designated driver. Even with a full day starting at 11 am we were only able to visit 4 vineyards and our driver only chose wineries that were close to our house so we wouldn’t waste time being in the car. All of them charged a $15 tasting fee (so different from the Michigan wineries that were free) and most were waived if you purchased a certain amount of wine to take home.
If you haven’t been to a wine tasting before, usually what they do is give you a small sample of several of their wines. Most of the vineyards we visited poured anywhere from 5-10 small tastes as they explain the wines and winemaking process. They start with their lightest wine, usually their sweetest too, and move on to the heavier, drier wines. Now, I will say, I am extremely susceptible to suggestion when tasting wine. When they say “taste the oak finish” I can taste oak. When they say “note the plum and raspberry flavor” I can taste the plum and raspberry. I also think being on vacation, feeling relaxed and being in a beautiful setting all affects how the wine tastes. With all that in mind, I did not taste a bad wine this trip. There were some I steered clear of because I knew I didn’t want to taste a sweet white or a heavy port, but really they were all very good.
Our first stop was Imagery Estate Winery. Besides excellent wine and a beautiful setting this winery has an art gallery showcasing art that has been used for their labels. The woman who poured our wine at Imagery (forgive me I have forgotten her name and am writing this two weeks after the visit) was extremely knowledgeable about the wine and I felt like I was really getting an education in wine from her.
Our second vineyard was VJB Vineyards that poured an excellent prosecco, which caused my mom to join their club and to receive several cases of this bubbly for all of us to enjoy twice a year. In fact, a case is scheduled to arrive next week — can’t wait! They also have a deli and wood-fired grill where we were able to order lunch and sit in their courtyard to re-fuel for more wineries.
Our driver then took us to a cave tasting room at Deerfield Ranch Winery for our next stop. Because it was a hot afternoon, this tasting room, in a cave under a hill, was extremely comfortable. Again, another very friendly and personable woman poured our wine for us and made our visit so much more than the wine, and I’ve forgotten her name. Ugh! Peri-Menopause Brain Fog, I curse you! It was such an unusual experience to drink wine in a cave underneath a hill. I love new experiences!
Our last stop of the day was at a large winery called Benziger. The grounds were beautiful and they are a bio-dynamic grower so they grow their wine in an eco-friendly way that they feel gives their wine added character. I will say they were delicious and I applaud people who farm with sustainability in mind.
We finished up the day with a meal at the Fig Cafe and Wine Bar. Because we had purchased wine at the wineries we were able to bring our unopened bottles into this cafe for no fee. They opened the bottles and poured for us as we had a wonderful meal, so good in fact, we came back the next night. This was such a nice spot for fresh food and within walking distance to our house.
Our next day we decided to head to the ocean. Us, land-locked midwesterners, didn’t realize the 30 degree difference between the inland and coast and as we saw the smoke in the distance…oh…no…I mean the fog in the distance…we knew we were not prepared for the weather.
We quickly got out of the car and took pictures and retreated inland to this little seafood diner called Fisheterian for a delicious, casual lunch.
It was a beautiful drive getting to and from the coast with rolling hills and farm animals dotting the hills. While driving through these hills though, we came upon one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever seen. It was a large cow (female? male?) standing on a large pile of dirt, probably 12 feet high, surveying the herd and standing watch so stoically. Sort of like Mufasa from Lion King on Pride Rock. Not moving or eating or looking around. Just like a statue, though it wasn’t one. Even though I grew up on a farm, I’ve never seen a cow standing watch over a herd, if that was in fact what it was doing, or if it was thinking deeply about the meaning of life. Either way, it kept me chuckling for awhile.
On our way back we just had to stop in at a winery that served champagne-style wine since my sister has acquired a taste for it during one of the tastings. Muscardini Cellars had delicious wine, which I tasted, but my sister tried their bubbly, champagne-style wines and loved them tremendously. I love their tagline “bottled with love for the joy of living”. We definitely were enjoying living!
Our last day we decided to head into the town of Sonoma. I had read about the great shops and food there but, honestly, it was so busy with tourists and the shops seemed very touristy that as soon as we had eaten lunch and found this adorable purse…
we headed back to our quiet town of Glen Ellen.
We did have to make a stop though at “The Mayo Clinic” as we were calling the Mayo Family Winery for a quick taste of their offerings. Again, delicious wine and helpful staff and lovely setting to sit outside at a picnic table and enjoy a glass of wine. This was our final evening so we had to drink all of the wine we had purchased that week (such a tough job!) and ended up enjoying dinner out at the Glen Ellen Inn and bringing our own wine again. Such a nice perk!
I read somewhere that wine is “sunshine in a glass” and it definitely seemed that way on this trip. It was fun but over way too quick. We hardly got to know our little town of Glen Ellen, let alone Sonoma Valley. I would recommend Sonoma because it was laid back and casual and the wine was so tasty. I also would recommend getting someone else to drive you around so you can just relax and enjoy the wine. I read there are over 900 wineries in the Napa and Sonoma region and I may just have to start a life list, like the bird-watchers do, and start knocking them out! Overall, a fun trip with great people focused on one of my favorite things…wine! I hope you enjoyed this little bit of armchair traveling and as soon as my daughter and I can get organized and do a photo-shoot of outfits we’ll be back to the fashion focus. Take care!
I do not have any affiliation with any of the brands or stores nor do I receive any compensation. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned.