Back from Vacation!

 

***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?)!

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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…

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quietly having a glass of wine…

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and peacefully reading my book.

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When my toenails match my dress!

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.

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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!

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I’m not posing, just getting my crazy hair out of my eyes!

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!

Tankini for apple shape

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.

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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!

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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.

 

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My Too Short Visit to the Sonoma Wine Region

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.)

Being silly at Benziger Winery
Being silly at Benziger Winery

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!).IMG_7325

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!

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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.

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My little sister. Isn’t she cute?

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.

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Such a crisp blue sky — no photo editing needed!

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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!

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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.

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Quickly exploring the coast in Bodega Bay while wearing every item of clothing we could find in the car!
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It really was beautiful and I wished we could stay longer!

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.

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So delicious!

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!

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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…

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we headed back to our quiet town of Glen Ellen.

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The downtown area of Glen Ellen. Very old west feel to the area.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting Ready for Vacation!

Hey everyone! If you are a regular reader you heard me mention here that I am taking a trip to Sonoma. Well, I am heading out there on Sunday and I have this outfit packed and expect to be wearing it during the 90 degree days since it is a great outfit for the heat. It’s supposed to be in the 50’s at night so we’ll probably be wearing lots of layers then or just hopping into the jacuzzi!

Summer outfit for big bust and apple shapes

It’s a simple cotton tunic over a simple khaki skirt both from JJill and tunic available here and here though skirt seems to be sold out. I usually wear my graphic t-shirts with this skirt but my t-shirts tend to be tighter and sometimes I just don’t want that much exposure.

Summer outfit for big bust and apple shapes

Looking at these pictures, I think I would pull the upper strand of the necklace so it was lower than the shirt collar. And though I like these long necklaces because it breaks up our beautiful canvas of bust and midlife-middle you must be aware of the dreaded boob lasso!

Summer outfit for big bust and apple shapes

So, after Sonoma I will be heading up to northern Michigan for a family vacation, so I won’t be posting until the beginning of August. I will, however, be posting on Instagram and Facebook if you’d like to follow my travels. I do plan on writing a post about Sonoma because it will be a week of wine tastings, food tours, jacuzzi and shopping! My kind of vacation! See you all in August!

Linking up with these ladies at Shelbee on the Edge

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.

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My Perfect Summer Sweater

Hey everyone! This sweater is my go-to sweater for summer. It fits me really well because the length of the hem hits me at a flattering spot with the hem angling downward and it has 3/4 length sleeve, both of which are flattering traits for a top (never mind I can’t button it–I never intended to and I’m an apple-shape so buttoning never occurs to me anymore). It also has some structure in the back with a bit of waistband where the knit is different so it is more fitted. I have the same exact one in cream too and wore it in this outfit.

apple shape summer wear

But, the best part of the sweater is the little notches up near the collar bone. It adds visual interest and really draws the eye upward towards my face, I feel. As much as I love this sweater, and wear it at least once a week, it really only works with a shirt that has a neckline that doesn’t interfere with the notches. Luckily, it’s camisole and tank top season and those work perfectly. The camisole is black and white striped but is showing up on my monitor as distorted, hopefully not on yours.

apple shape summer wear

I do always try to show you items that are new and/or in stock at stores, but unfortunately, this one is no longer being made by White House Black Market. But, when looking for a similar sweater, keep in mind the reasons why this sweater works: the hem length, the angled hem, the 3/4 sleeve, the structure with the back waistband and the notched collar. Even though you can’t feel it, it is a heavier knit but not bulky.

apple shape summer wear

And, of course, throwing in these leopard print shoes that I am wearing often because I’m finding them so fun and easy to pair with outfits, though they are old and no longer in stock from Clarks.

apple shape summer wear

Halogen camisole herehere and here. Skirt from J Jill here and featured in this post here.

So, I hope this helps you find your perfect summer sweater if you don’t already have one. We were back at the Broad Art Museum for these photos again if you hadn’t already guessed. I am really enjoying finding interesting places to photograph for you all. Take care until next time!

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.

 

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Soft Cotton for Comfort!

Hey everyone! Today I’m wearing a comfy summer outfit of all cotton and sporting the wider-legged pants that are supposed to be the up-and-coming look for pants. Supposedly the skinny jean look is on it’s way out though I still like mine and may continue wearing them until I am laughed at!

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Pants are from JJill here and on sale. Sweater is from Prairie Cotton and has to be purchased through a brick and mortar store, I believe. Here is list of shops from their website.

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I am not really a khaki kind of person but I bought this pair because I was looking for something soft and cool to wear in the summer as a change to tighter-legged pants or bare legs. Sometimes you just want a bit more coverage or the air conditioning is too cold for skirts or dresses and bare legs.

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This sweater I bought last summer at a little shop in Harrisville in northern Michigan called Coming Attractions. It’s one of those cute stores that have a mix of jewelry, clothing and bags that you can’t find at bigger stores and seem to focus more on local artists and designers and smaller clothing companies. I love those kind of stores because you can get such unique items. Plus, I’m usually on vacation when I go into a place like that so my vacation-shopping is very different than my regular shopping!

wide leg pants for apple shapes

And besides showing the side view of the outfit, this image shows the fun tile I’m standing on in the shape of the state of Michigan. Each tile represents a county and it even shows the upper peninsula which often gets left out of images of the state. This is at Michigan State University’s gardens, now becoming my favorite place to do these photo shoots.

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.

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Getting Through the Summer in Style!

Hey everyone! This is a simple summer outfit. It’s not that exciting or groundbreaking and I wouldn’t even really say it’s “blog-worthy”. It’s just one of those outfits that can help you get through the summer heat.

comfy jeans for apple shapes

The shirt is old, very old from Kohls, but one I wear a lot in the summer. First, the armholes don’t show my bra which is hard to find in a sleeveless shirt (I have no idea why. Even if you had a smaller bust the armhole would hang low? No idea). It also has this pleated fabric in the bust area to distract the eye and create a flattering v-neck. I usually don’t buy these kind of tops with the unnecessary pleating and rouching, but when I am wearing one plain shirt because of the temperature, I would like to get some assistance in covering some of the curves. The fact that the shirt is black also helps the eye not dwell on all of my voluptuousness!

comfy jeans for apple shape

I haven’t shown these jeans before but I love them and wear them a lot. They are Not Your Daughter’s Jeans (NYDJ) and they’re made with some stretch everywhere. A bonus for my apple shape is they fit my waist without sliding down. They’re also at my favorite ankle length and the fabric is thinner for warmer temperatures. Jeans are here and supposedly less bright colors are in style for the season, but I say pick whatever you want!

comfy jeans for apple shapes

I’ve had a couple of questions about the shoes because I also wore them in the last post here. They are really old, at least 7 years, from Kohls. They are from Sonoma brand and the great thing about them is they look like you’re wearing heels when really the incline is so slight. They have about a one inch platform and about a 1 1/2″ heel. They are the most comfortable heel I own for summer. I’m always on the look out for this silhouette in a shoe now because I know they work so well for me. These poor shoes have been repaired twice but I keep wearing them because they’re cute, comfy and perfect for the warm weather.
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So, keeping things light and simple for summer to stay cool but still look pulled together!

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.

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Testing out a Reader’s Advice

Hey everyone! If you’re new to the blog or you don’t read the comments, I’ll fill you in on today’s outfit inspiration. In this post here one of my readers, Bettye, commented that a cool way to get through summer without adding layers was to wear a printed top. She claimed that a printed top wouldn’t look as unfinished as a solid top if you didn’t wear a scarf or “third piece” (vest, jacket, sweater, etc…). The print would balance out the fact that you’re actually only wearing two pieces of clothing. I hadn’t heard that advice before and, in the spirit of making this blog work for anyone with a similar shape, I decided to give it a try.

Tunic for apple shape

Bettye’s right! I feel this is a complete outfit and don’t miss another layer over the top. Usually, when I wore this tunic, I would wear the sweater vest shown here or a jacket of some sort.  This summer outfit didn’t seem to need anything. The pattern disguises some curves I’d rather not highlight and the fabric skims my body.

Tunic for apple shape

The detail on the neckline, I think, helps elevate this top so it can stand on its own. It has some sparkly rivets and the neckline has a dramatic shape so it looks like it’s made to be the star of the outfit, rather than a supporting actor.

Tunic for apple shape

Tunic is old from White House Black Market but they always make this style in different patterns, so current style is (sold out when I went to post) here, but look for new patterns in the future when the weather starts to cool down again.

Tunic for apple shape

Pants from JJill here and on sale!

Tunic for apple shape

So, thanks to my wonderful readers and commenters. I’m totally into sharing knowledge to help us find clothing and outfits to look fabulous and confident. Feel free to comment with advice and I’ll test out what I can. We’ll spread this knowledge!

These photos were taken at the Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. The building was designed by Zaha Hadid and is an art sculpture in itself.

Linking up with these ladies at Shelbee on the Edge, Not Dead Yet Style and Happiness at Midlife

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.

 

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Love One Part of Your Body

This is second in a series of posts I started when I was asked by a reader to explain how I’ve come to accept and love my body. First post here.

Hey all you beautiful apple shapes! By the way, apples are delicious and nutritious. Apple a day keeps the doctor away, so it’s actually healthier to be around us apples. Plus, I suspect, we’re more fun!
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Anyway, if you’ve stumbled around on the internet looking for ways to dress an apple shape or looked for clothing that would work for your shape you’ve come across the description of the apple shape: large stomach, large midsection, carries weight around the middle, blah, blah, blah. Then, like all the other shapes, it tries to come up with the positive parts of your body to highlight and for apple shapes they say it’s slender arms and legs. If you scoffed at that, like I did, you know often arms and legs are just as chubby as the middle. Or perhaps they have visible veins, cellulite, stretch marks or scars. Either way, you’re not in a hurry to show off those parts of your body either. If you’re like me, those body parts went south way before the mid-life middle came into play.

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Actually, I feel whomever wrote those descriptions about apple shapes just threw in the “lean arms and legs” to give us something to work with even though they know we have the most challenging body shape to dress in the current forms of clothing that are made. So, again, reading “advice” for my shape, I felt that I wasn’t getting realistic advice and it was not written by someone who has my shape or any experience dressing my shape.

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So, let’s take it from a real apple-shaped body perspective:

Learn to love your wrists. They are graceful. Put pretty bracelets on them. Admire the slender way they attach your arm to your hands. They’re so graceful when you hold something or turn a doorknob. Play up your wrists by showing them off with shorter sleeves.

Love your feet. They are muscular and shapely. They probably are bigger than when you were a lithe teenager but they’re still strong and curvaceous. Find some cute, comfy shoes. Make them a bright color or get a fun pattern. Get a pedicure to celebrate bare feet. A stylish (but always comfortable) pair of shoes can elevate any outfit and they’re starting to make shoes that are cute and aren’t painful to wear. You can be a fashionista just by the power of shoes!

Love your collar bone. Even if you are carrying weight in your bust and midsection you probably have some collar bone definition. Especially with gravity pulling your bust downward. Wear a necklace to draw attention to that area. It’s very flattering to have a necklace length hitting at the collar bone. Choose shirts that showcase your collar bone and look for pretty necklines.

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Now, I challenge you to find one other area to love if you are the apple shape without the slender arms and legs (or even if you are). Perhaps your earlobes? You can find very fun earrings. Or your cleavage? Necklaces and interesting collars could play up that area. Perhaps your fingers or toes? Rings, toe rings, manicures and pedicures can all be ways to show off those areas.

For me, I’ve come to love my ankles. Though they are not slim they look slim compared to my man-calves and they are shapely. I don’t mind showing them off. I showcase them with ankle length pants and cute shoes and while writing this I’ve decided to give an ankle bracelet a try!

How about it? What parts of your body can you love and show off? I guarantee you will have, at the minimum, one part to highlight. I’d love to hear which you choose.

 

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Working My New Knowledge!

Hey everyone! So, a couple of posts ago, I wrote about how I had experimented with a belt to work an old dress in a new way and now I’m taking that knowledge and using it on another dress. Only this time I’ve also added a long jacket that I haven’t worn before because I couldn’t find anything it worked with (I know. Another bad shopping choice — do as I say, not as I do!). Anyway, once I realized the belt worked on one errant dress perhaps it would work on another? I pulled out another old dress that was just sitting there unworn ( I know, I know) and gave it a try.

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It’s really just a plain black sheath dress that should go with lots of items but because it billowed out below my bust, it looked like a tent. With the belt reining things in, I love it and now the dress has new possibilities!

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When I knew the dress would work, I started looking around for what to wear with it and came across this long jacket. They were a perfect combination! The jacket could be the flashy star and the dress could be the solid back-up singer!

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Two things I love about this jacket: it nips in at the waist to give me some shape without looking like a shower curtain and it has pockets. I love clothing that has pockets. If anyone out there is a clothing designer please add more pockets!

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Supposedly, short people shouldn’t wear long sleeves because they’ll look shorter, though I’ll opt for looking short on any cold day. Luckily this jacket has shorter sleeves so I’m supposed to look taller. I don’t know. Do I look taller? I think I’m too close to the subject to be an objective observer!

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Even though I’ve had these items for over a year they feel new to me. They were just waiting for that magic belt epiphany to be put to work. In my defense of buying clothes and then getting them home and not wearing them: I’m finding that with my shape an item will look good from the front but when I turn sideways it looks bad. I must be only looking straight on at my reflection in the dressing rooms at the store. I’ll try to remember to turn sideways from now on, though, how will I have these epiphanies then?!

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I’m now on the hunt for other little additions or fixes that I can find to make more clothes work for us and our rare, elusive, beautiful shape! I’ll keep you updated when I figure some more of this out. In the meantime, remember to take time to stop and smell the roses!

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Linking up with these ladies at Elegantly Fashionable, Spy Girl and Not Dead Yet!

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.

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Touring Michigan’s Wine Region

Hey everyone! This is a bit of a departure from the usual outfit posts, but I wanted to share a fun wine tour vacation I took with my mom almost 2 weeks ago. I know I love seeing other blogger’s travel photos and the places where they live, so I thought I’d share this beautiful place with you so you can do a little armchair traveling!IMG_6819

If you follow me on Instagram, you know my mom and I travelled “up north” to the Leelanau Peninsula, here in my state of Michigan. For my international readers, and even readers from other parts of the U.S., I circled where we visited on these maps:

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This area is on the same latitude (the 45th parallel) as Oregon’s wine regions and France’s Burgundy region and is surrounded by the Great Lakes. A couple of decades ago, Michigan was known for cherry wine and sweet wines that grew well in our cold region. Recently though, many more wineries and vineyards have been popping up and they’ve been experimenting with the drier wines that I prefer, such as sauvignon blanc and pinot noir. They are surprisingly good! The vineyards, it seems, are really embracing their own sense of place and making sophisticated wine. So nice on a beautiful afternoon!IMG_6873Besides the touring and tasting, the area is beautiful with rolling hills, sand dunes and views of Lake Michigan surrounding the peninsula. When we were there it was blue skies and perfect 72 degree days!IMG_6889

When I would visit northern Michigan 20 years ago, it was really a fish fry/hamburger area. Now, there are so many more restaurants that focus on locally-sourced food that’s in-season. As you probably know that is a sure-fire way to get the best meals! We ate at a restaurant in Sutton’s Bay called 9 Bean Rows. Hopefully, you’re not hungry while you’re reading this but if you are…sorry!

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After our delicious meal we strolled into a cute shop called Haystacks. They are a clothing retailer based in this area, that makes all of their clothes here in Michigan. Of course we found many things to buy and could easily have bought more but they were closing and we already had kept the very pleasant staff late. I have a post planned in the future showing the fun clothes I bought, so stay tuned!

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My mom loved her shirt and pants that she had just bought so she wore them out of the store!

I only have one outfit picture to show you because I was without my photographer/daughter. Luckily my mom took this photo. This outfit was from a day of driving so I wanted to be comfortable. I’ve worn the sweater before here and the capris here. When we went wine-tasting I wore the outfit from the last post, the olive jacket and white jeans.
Casual comfort for apple shapes!

JJill capris here and tunic here. Purse from Kohls here.

We stayed at an Airbnb rental that was formerly an old bank that has been transformed into a thoughtful, well-designed house in the quiet town of Lake Leelanau. I wish I would’ve taken a photo of the kitchen because it is the smallest, most efficient kitchen I’ve seen. I’ve stayed in other Airbnb rentals or HomeAway rentals and really love finding unique places and having a whole house to yourself.

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As we toured around we happened upon a village called Cedar, which is where a lot of people from Poland have settled. It is home to a Polka Fest and this Polish Art Center where we found beautiful polish pottery and amber jewelry (I’ll show you the earrings I bought in a future post!).

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And besides the wine and food this area can grow lavender like I’ve never seen before!

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So, I’ll be back with another outfit post on Saturday. And though this is not what you usually get from this blog, I just found that this was just too beautiful of a place not to share! I am traveling to Sonoma in July so perhaps another travel post? Either way, cheers!

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.

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