Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Summer to Fall in a Little White Dress & Link-up

When my sweet girl, Ada from Elegance and Mommyhood asked me to co-host with her and suggested we style a little white dress my first thought was "oh shoot, I have to go out and buy one." If you've been following me for a little while now, or if you are new, I am the first person to tell you that I am actually very frugal.  I love clothes, accessories, nice things, just like any other girl but I am careful with my budget and how I choose the pieces in my closet. I don't buy clothes just so I can put them up on this blog, but rather want to show that every woman can dress and feel good regardless of age, size and pocketbook.  I do splurge a few times a year and buy something like the dress I am styling today, that makes me feel sexy, feminine, classy and unique.  I remembered this dress in my closet from  a couple of years ago that  doesn't get nearly enough attention from me but I am not ready to part with it. It's so simple yet it has so much going on.  The overlay lace.  The silhouette.  And how abut the fringes that are  made for showing off and twirling around in, don't you think?  You can also see it styled here from a couple of years ago when we were in Paris.

I decided how to style this dress for both a summer and early fall date evening with your special someone, or to go out with some girlfriends.
Summer Look

It's summer so really you just need a cute pair of sandals, I chose my trusted Guess flats, a straw bag and accessories.  I love, love, love statement earrings, especially ones that have contrast and frame the face nicely.  I've been all about the tassels this year.    I only really choose once statement accessory and keep everything simple and neutral.  I recently received this .....bracelet for my birthday and thought I'd give it a try.  


Fall Look

Easy, peasy with a dress like this.  Throw on some booties, I choose my trusted Expression booties, but peep toe booties would be perfect for early fall, and a jean jacket for a little extra warmth.  A clutch to dress the look up a bit and instead of statement earrings, I went with my favorite H & B long necklace that shimmers in just the right light. 


Shop This Post:
Guess Flats (similar)Zara Straw BagON Jean Jacket Expression Boots (this years version)
Guess Dress (old)
Stella & Dot Earrings (old)

My usual Fashion Friday post is coming live to you one day early this week as I co-host with the wonderful Ada over from Elegance & Mommyhood.   Ada, mom to the sweetest 5-year old girl named Vivian, who also makes a lot of appearances on the blog. This blog showcases Ada’s personal style as a mom, a woman on the go and as a career woman. She often shows Mommy+Mini Outfits of her and her daughter. It is also a blog about real life updates, current events and her poetry. Ada has been running her successful Thursday Moda linkup every Thursday for two years straight. She can be found on InstagramBloglovin and Pinterest. She thanks you for joining her linkup, today, and welcomes you back!

Mommy Diaries: The F-Word (not the one you think)


Fabulous forty, or not-so-fabulous forty? For me, turning forty was a significant time in my life. I reflected on my past accomplishments, on my current state of living and on my desired future.  I was privileged to be born into a loving middle-class family with parents who had the capacity to support me and to teach me how to make good life decisions. I have endured the normal ups and downs of l
life; but overall, I have been lucky to live a life free from significant adversity.

At one point in history forty was old! I am so fortunate to have reached forty in relatively good shape. As I sit here writing this, I don’t yet feel old or middle aged, and I still believe I have a lot of living left to do. I still expect that I will have my ups and downs, and gains and losses as I continue to age but my goal is to figure out how to make “the rest of my life the best of life” and how to live with few regrets.

Reflections on forty: F-Words Lost

I have lost the flirtatious days of my twenties: dating boys (lots of boys!), going out dancing, first kisses and time to enjoy fancy restaurants, even if I couldn’t afford them.  I am missing the fun and carefree days and laughing so hard I cried. I no longer have the freedom I had to travel easily. To go where I want without having to answer to anyone. I miss the flexibility I had to live my life how I desired and to be who I wanted to be, independent of being a mother, a wife and a boss. I was able to be a follower who took my lead from others, rather than having to set the course. I now struggle to have the time and the desire to prioritize fitness. I miss being firm and physically strong. Mostly importantly, I have lost many friendships over the years. The easy relationships and spending every spare minute with my best friends are days of the past. Many friends have moved far-away. I have lost the time and the energy to focus on these things that I once held dear. I have lost my sense of fun.

Reflections on forty: F-Words Gained

What have I gained? I have gained so much.  I have a wonderful family. An amazing and helpful husband and two beautiful young girls. Together we found a great community and have finished building a beautiful home. We have become financially secure. We have had strong role models and great advice to help us be aligned with our financial decisions. We have gained a future retirement home, at our cabin at the lake. I can now afford to have fancy dinners when I have enough energy and time. I can take a family trip every couple of years. I have been fortunate to be successful in my career. I appreciate now that I have figured out who I am and am continuously working on who I want to be.

I have also gained some less desirable traits. I have gained some fat. I care, but not really. I don’t seem to have the energy reserves to will myself to want to work out. I know I would feel better, but I just can’t get there right now. And for some reason I have gained an aversion to cooking food. Food preparation just seems like so much work and my kids never like it anyways.  My face has gained some wrinkles and my hair has gained some grey. I have had to become the first responder to every crisis in my family and at my work. I often have to be the one to fix problems. My life has become a frenzy of running to children’s activities, trying to manage a household and to run a school. Unfortunately, I have found anxiety and stress that have led to exhaustion.

Overall, I have gained forty years of life experiences. I have gained insight into who I want to be but am still on the path to get there. I know that I need to focus on priorities and set foundational goals. I’m almost there.

Advice from a forty-ish year old

While I certainly don’t have all of the answers, let me leave you with some f-words of mostly unoriginal advice:

Find your passion. Ensure that you love what you do. Although my job is hard, I love it. I couldn’t do it if I didn’t.

Follow your heart. Look for the good in every situation. Believe that things will get better. Learn to love yourself and to find the best in others. Know that you will learn something from every situation.

Figure out your priorities. I once took a course that helped me to define my values and priorities. I wrote them out and still look for ways to embed each of my priorities into my weekly schedule. I am doing a good job with some and some I have to keep working at.

Forgive yourself. You will not be perfect. You can only do what you can do and won’t be able to be good at everything. I have put on a few pounds, but have been successful in work. I dislike cooking but love coordinating special events for my students. I have learned that I can only do so much at any given time.

Feed your soul. Mine likes chocolate and wine.

Forget about your problems for a while. Find a spot in nature and absorb some positive natural energy and focus your thoughts to get yourself back on track.

Find a copy of the audio book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson and listen to the first chapter when having a bad day or going to face a tough situation. It’s both swear-y and empowering.

Funny quotes. To cheer myself up I created a secret Pinterest page with funny quotes. It makes me laugh out loud to read them as I delight in their sarcastic awesomeness.

Let your kids fight it out and fend for themselves sometimes. It’s good f

or them! I always say that my lazy parenting fosters independence.

Fake it ‘till you make it. Don’t give up, don’t wallow in self-pity. I have found on my hardest days that if I get dressed up and put on a smile that I can get through almost anything. If I put out positive energy, even when I am running low, I get it back from others. Keep going, you’ll get there!

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Continental Drift Summer Reading & Link-UP

Welcome to the Continental Drift.  Today we are talking about what we are reading.  One of my 2018 goals was to read one book a month, which I have been able to accomplish so far!!!!  I’ve also discovered audiobooks which are still not my favorite, I just like the weight of the book, the voices I give to the characters myself, and how my mind doesn’t wander when I am actively reading, but on long drives it’s nice to listen to a story come to life.  Here are my current spring/summer reads and reviews.

Book of the Year!

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
This is the best book I’ve read in a long, long time.  While on my trip I was telling my sister about this book, starting the sentence off with “ I read the best book ever!!!!”  I quickly started to tell her about it and she chimed in right away, “OMG, I agree.  I read it just a few months ago!”, then we proceeded to talk about the characters, intricacies of the plot, the decisions each of the characters are faced with and how we connected to them.  Hannah introduces us to two sisters, as different as any pair can be, who are caught in France during the Germany invasion.  Both sisters deal with the invasion in their own ways, making small and large heroic decisions along the way.  The book invites readers to explore this difficult time in history through the lives of two very different women, both struggling to stay true to themselves while protecting the people they love, realizing the good/evil in all people and how they rediscover not only their love, but admiration, for each other during a tumultuous time of their lives.  MUST, MUST read for a book club or on your own! 

Self Discovery Book

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are by Rachel Hollis   ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Okay so Rachel and I, along with many others, have lots in common.  If I was to guess, she would come up as an upholder in Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies book.  She is driven and extremely structured in her pursuits.  This book was light and funny, while tackling tough and sometimes taboo topics.  I appreciated her willingness to be open and authentic.  To write as she is.  The one thing I thought on/off throughout the book was that she was often black/white, with a little bit of harshness, which I LOVE because that’s how my brain works but wonder if others would find it to be too much, too pushy, too discouraging.  On the other hand if you are reading this book be prepared to face some harsh truths about your role in the things that you are unhappy with because the only one that can change it is YOU.  

 The Meh Book  

The American Marriage by Tayari Jones


Logan and I listened to this while driving back and forth from the lake.  Honestly it was just so-so.  Usually I love all Oprah Book Club picks but this was just meh, possibly because we had some breaks between listening to it.  The plot follows a young newly married couple that faces a major obstacle when the husband is wrongly accused of race and sentenced to many years in prison.  The wife supports him for a while but as the years continue they struggle to maintain their relationship, for obvious reasons.  The story explores marriage, the commitment made between people, the changes that occur and the decisions people must make.  Here is the thing, I found the wife annoying and whinny.  I know it sounds harsh but I just felt like she just talked about how hard things were for her, how life was tough for her, how she couldn’t decide, it annoyed me.  Now, looking back, I do think that the audio version did make a whinny voice when narrating her part so that may have contributed to my dislike of the character as the book did get good reviews on Goodreads.

Two Beach Reads

Rainbow Road by Lisa Kleypas


As a teacher/consultant the month of July is for easy reads.  Like Disney movies for adults.  Honestly, I am so exhausted by the end of the school year my brain just needs fluff.  No life-changing, difficult to swallow topics, or research!  When Logan and I began our trip to B.C. at the end of the year the first day I wanted to do minimal talking/conversing, I just needed to still the business in my haead and get lost in the steady hum of slience, nature and a good book.  We choose to listen to this story and I was immediately drawn in.  The story jumps right in, giving the reader a sense of purpose and connection to the main character from the start.  The main character gets dumped by her long-term boyfriend and has cheated on her with someone close to her.  Throughout the hours in the car we followed her as she learns to trust herself, explores who she is, makes new friendships and rediscovers love. The perfect kick off to summer reading! 

The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

⭐⭐⭐⭐I will begin by saying I absolutely love her books.  No they wont impact me beyond the time I spend reading the pages but I love that I can get lost in the story, feel happy, relaxed and content.  This wasn’t my favorite of her books and it took me a bit to get into it, as it felt a little too close to the kids version of the parent trap, but about 150 pages into it I found that I  couldn’t put it down.  The perfect beach read.  

As we enter August my teacher brain is coming back on alert and I will be digging into some research on writing and writers workshop before the start of the year.  I have a couple of other easier reads to get through before September but after that it’s back to book club, what would you suggest for our book club to dig into?

Now please follow each of your hosts Bojana of BodaciousblogSydney Shop Girl and Mutton Style  on at least one platform (Instagram, Twitter or blog) and comment on their blogs.  It would be great if you could read and comment on the blog above yours in the link up.  You might make a new friend. Please also do add a link back to our blogs on your posts to help the linkup grow.  Thanks for stopping by, we look forward to learning more about everyone!

Join us for the Continental Drift link-up below.