Outfit Inspiration

Most of the time, inspiration for my outfits comes directly from my closet. Outfits can only be created with what I have in there, after all. However, once in a while inspiration strikes from other sources. I’m not a stalker of outfits on Pinterest, although I know a lot of folks do that. My inspiration comes from other fashion bloggers, friends and the occasional magazine. This outfit was inspired by blogger friend Mia from Reading in Skirts. When I saw her post, I knew that I could very nearly recreate her look exactly, except for her awesome socks. Check out Mia’s original look here: Reading in Skirts 3/7/14.

 

 No Boundaries dress – Walmart

Mossimo shrug – Target

Tights – hmmm…???

Soda flats – hmmm again…eBay? Payless?

Earrings – JC Penney’s

 

 Necklace – gift from MA

 

 

Thank you, Mia, for the inspiration! I really like how this came together. That orange shrug has been in my closet all winter without seeing any wear because I could not think of anything with which it would look right. It’s perfect with gray! I kind of wish I had some more interesting tights, but since my legs are chunky, patterned tights might just make them look like an elephant’s legs. At any rate, this is how your outfit looks on a shorter, chunkier, older person! 🙂

Now I must tell you about the necklace I’m wearing. My dear sweet friend, MA sent me a box of goodies for my birthday last week. There was a note on a small package that said to open it last. After Pooka helped me open all the other gifts, I opened that special one without her help. Inside was this lovely little necklace. MA had it custom made by an Etsy artist who lives near her – just for me! You see, MA and I “met” about 12-15 years ago via a refunding/couponing magazine we both belonged to. We began corresponding and soon developed a fast friendship. Over the years, we have become very close and “adopted” each other as sisters. We have never met in person, although we hope to do that one day! This necklace expresses our feelings for one another, and it is something I will treasure always! I ♥ you, MA!

 

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Rejoining the Land of the Living

At last, I am writing to you from the Land of the Living! My nose still requires boxes of tissue in every room, but other than that, that mean old cold virus has left the premises. Some Postman still has sneezing fits on occasion, poor thing, but a dose of antihistamine tames it down enough he can sleep at night. I do believe this is the first time in our nearly 25 years together that we came down with the same illness at the same time. Does this mean that we are truly “one flesh”?

To celebrate feeling more like ourselves, we went to the City on Saturday. There was an antique show at the Expo Center. Thankfully we printed off a B1G1F admission coupon; it was hardly worth paying $2.50 each, let alone the full five bucks. There wasn’t much merchandise that either of us found interesting and it was overpriced. I did find a bracelet and a pin at one lady’s $5 table. She was the only vendor with decent prices!

Since it took less than an hour to peruse the antique show twice, we headed out to our favorite antique stores. We browsed quickly through them, however, since it hadn’t been too long since we’d last visited. We saw a lot of the same stuff. But there was a new-to-us shop to check out, and there we hit upon a treasure trove of Frankoma! I was trying to decide which piece I wanted to buy, but Some Postman told me to get ALL that I wanted! ALL! Oh my…he spoils me rotten!

Scarf – Walmart (I think?)

 Talbots cardigan – thrifted

Merona tee – Target

Ambar skirt – Target

Leggings – Walmart

St Johns Bay boots – JC Penney’s

 Earrings – thrifted

 Here are a few of the pieces of Frankoma that came home with me:

Two Shell Candy Dishes

 

Large Jardiniere

 

Ornament and Two Christmas “Cards”

My Frankoma collection is overflowing now; I have no idea how to cram more into the display areas! I told Some Postman he just needs to add on a room to the house. He’s remodeling the thing anyway, what’s one more room? Ah, but he would need a permit to add a room, and this “moron” house has no place left to add more on. (It’s a “moron” house, because over the years, people just kept adding “more on”.) And so, today, I decided to get rid of some other items collected over the years, to make room for the pieces I enjoy more. If you follow me on eBay, soon you’ll see a bunch of Mary Kay coffee mugs for sale.

Spring is Almost Here

As I write this, I’m in the throes of a virus. It’s not easy to think straight with my head all clogged up. According to the date on these photos, this is what I wore last Tuesday, eight days ago. I think Some Postman and I went to Town after he got home from work that day. Yeah, now it’s coming back to me…we looked at bathtubs at Menard’s and baby ducks and chicks at Orcheln’s. We purchased none of either. A tub with the full jet/air massage package would cost over $2000, and I’m not feeling the need for more birds this spring. We’ll make do with a regular kind of tub/shower and wait til next year on the babies.

It was a nice day, last Tuesday. These pics were taken out in the screened porch – without a jacket! (There’s a brisk north wind trying to make my ears hurt even more today. Brr!)

 

 Elle top – thrifted

Roz & Ali jeans – Dressbarn

Ryka shoes – Zulily

 Earrings – thrifted

 

 

I like the details of this top, in addition to the floral print: lace insets, tiny pleats, tiny buttons. It’s very flow-y and lightweight, perfect for a warm day.  I wore this same exact outfit one day on our trip to Seattle last month, except that I had to wear a coat over it because it was raining and sort of cold.

Recent Thrifting Finds

The weather will soon be nice enough that folks will open their garages, set up tables and sell off the results of their spring cleaning. In the meantime, thrift stores are where I get my “thrifting fixes”. Here’s a peek at what I’ve brought home from recent bargain hunts:

 

 

The above items all came from the once-a-month sale run by the Catholic church in a nearby town. I had $13 in my pocket, and used all but 30¢ – the most I’ve ever spent there, I believe! But my giant bag was stuffed too full to carry it all. The pictures above don’t include ALL the stuff I got. Most of the clothing has been added to my closet, but some will be sold on eBay (it didn’t fit – there’s no place to try stuff on, but the prices are so cheap it doesn’t matter). As I tried on the denim jacket farthest to the right, I stuck my hand in the pocket and found $4!

Here’s something wonderful I found in the back room at Sarah’s Treasures, a second-hand store in our town. I’ve seen similar pieces in antique shops and on eBay, but they have always been priced too high for my cheap-skate budget.

 

 Sarah had this lovely sewing caddy priced at $15 – just right for me! I cleaned it up a bit and Some Postman replaced a couple of missing screws. There was an instruction manual for a sewing machine inside one of the compartments, which I just sold on eBay for $10. After fees and shipping, that sale brought my net cost of the sewing caddy to $7.50!

Even though it was designed to hold sewing notions, I decided to use it to hold jewelry instead. I’ve got storage for notions, but didn’t have anything for jewelry except a tiny little box Some Postman had given me years ago. I lined the compartments with patterned felt and filled it up with necklaces, bracelets, pins and big rings. Small rings and earrings stayed in the little jewelry box.

 

 If thrifting is your thing, have you hunted any great bargains lately? Do you ever find little extras in pockets or drawers after you get home and really look over your items closer?

Meeting Up With an Old Friend

Last week, I was pleased to hear from a gal I’ve known since we were little girls. She has taken a new job in the area and will be living nearby! This is the first time in many years that we’ve lived close enough to hang out together. Since I had grocery shopping to do in Town, she went along with me. Not the most glamorous outing, but we enjoyed our time together, catching up on the past few years of each others’ lives.

One of these times when we meet up – which will be often! – I will remember my camera and get some pictures of us together. Maybe my friend will allow me to do some fashion posts featuring her, too! She always looks so lovely and put together.

My outfit for the day was casual comfortable, as it usually is for grocery shopping. Simply jeans and a tee, but a scarf gave it some extra class. It’s beginning to feel more like spring around here, so less layers are needed. I started out in the morning with a jacket, but had shed it by early afternoon. We even had the car windows rolled down a bit!

 

Merona tee – Target
Roz & Ali jeans – Dressbarn
Scarf – Walmart
Socks – Old Navy
Born shoes – thrifted

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

A couple of weeks ago, while grocery shopping, the temptation to buy a bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups almost overtook me. But I resisted, and told myself that if I wanted candy, I had to make it myself. And so I did, one day last week.

Several years ago, I cut out a recipe for peanut butter cups from a Taste of Home magazine. I’ve made them a few times, tweaking the recipe to suit my preferences. Here’s my version:

1.25 cups creamy natural peanut butter, divided

1.5 Tbsp butter, softened

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 cups (12 oz) dark chocolate chips

1 cup (6 oz) milk chocolate chips

 

Combine 3/4 cup peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter. Stir after one minute, and every 30 seconds after, if needed. My microwave usually takes just 90 seconds to melt the chocolate chips.

Line mini muffin tins with papers. Drop enough melted chocolate into each paper liner to cover the bottom. (It’s best to work with one tin at a time so the chocolate doesn’t harden up before you’ve finished the entire process.)

Using about a teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture, form it into a patty.

Place a patty on top of the chocolate in each paper liner.

Cover with another spoonful of melted chocolate, making sure all of the peanut butter is hidden.

Put in refrigerator to firm up. Makes about 4 dozen candies, depending on how full you fill the paper liners. Store in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. Unless, of course, you eat them all in one day.

 

One of my nephews and one of my nieces are both allergic to peanuts, so one year at Christmas time, I made these using sunflower seed butter. They were delicious! I would almost say I prefer the sunbutter version best. I’ve varied the type of chocolate chips, too, but found that 100% milk chocolate makes for a very soft candy cup. It’s best to use a higher percentage of semi-sweet along with the milk chocolate. The best, in my opinion, is Ghirardelli 64% dark chocolate for the entire amount of chocolate, especially with the sunbutter version. Oh so yummy!

Winter Keeps Holding On

As I write this post, it’s actually sunny with the mercury rising on its way to 75°….but last Sunday, when I wore this outfit, it was 5° with a wind chill of -20°. March is one of those months in which Kansas weather fluctuates like a moody teenager!

 

 

Christopher & Banks shirt – thrifted
BCBG (Nordstrom) skirt – eBay
Fleece Lined Leggings – NY Fashion Exchange
Ciao Bella boots – eBay

Button-front shirts do not fit me well. I’m narrow in the shoulders, short in the arms, short in the torso and poochy in the tummy, making it nearly impossible to find a shirt that fits. This one is rather boxy and too big, but I really like the print and the detail in the back. In warmer weather, I can roll the sleeves, which will help a bit in that aspect of fit. The rest of the shirt will just have to be too big.

Vintage pin – thrifted

The first time I wore this pin, the pink segment fell out! Some Postman glued it back in place with two-part epoxy, and it has stayed put ever since. That man can fix anything!

 

 When I first began wearing these boots this winter, they felt entirely too stiff and I considered re-selling them on eBay. Despite the fact they are real leather, they aren’t the best quality, at least in construction, in my opinion. They bulge out at the bottom of the zipper. But…I really like the color, and with my special inserts they do fit better. I have continued wearing them, hoping they’d lose that stiffness, and each time I wear them, they soften up just a pinch.  So they can stay!