Thursday 28 January 2021

Felt Hats & Combat Boots

Felt hats and combat boots, where class and edge finding the perfect balance.  Insert this little outfit that I've been seen wearing this winter.  With mild winter temperatures blessing us for most of the winter so far, not this week, I was able to shoot several outfit posts and actually wear them out and about without my large parka.  I've been wanting to add some combat boots to my shoe collection but then my youngest daughter ended up getting a pair for her birthday and I thought, well I can borrow hers instead.  Although I have to ask permission, I've been able to borrow and wear them on a few occasions, like when I put this casual weekend look together.   Light wash jeans, which I can never wear to work, my favorite new to me cropped turtleneck sweater, felt hat, some sparkle jewelry, and of course the combat boots.  What I don't have pictured here is the perfect coat for the outfit.   The leather jacket.  

What I absolutely love about this outfit is it's easy street style.  The jeans and combat boots are relaxed  and chic just as a weekend look should be.  The felt hat and the jewelry just add a little sparkle and class to the look without overpowering or contradicting the overall feel of the outfit. If you recall in fall I asked help from readers to help me style this hat in various ways so that it wouldn't just collect dust in the closet, I am happy to report I have worn it a few times since then, see original outfit post here.  I am loving the combat boots so much that I am actually thinking of getting my own pair.  Help me decided on a pair!  

#1 Medium Brown Boots
#2 Khaki Green Ankle Boot
#3 Black Naturalizer Boots

Just also wanted to say THANK YOU for stopping by and leaving my words of encouragement.  You are all such an amazing part of my creative process and I am so thankful to have this little piece of the virtual world to share with you.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday 14 January 2021

Cabin Life = Cozy Life

If you've been around for a while,  you know that I believe  that being at the cabin brings out the very best in me.  If you are new, WELCOME!  Although I seem to thrive being a busy, extrovert,  I've found over the past five years that I also like slowing down, being surrounded by nature, and keeping to myself for periods of time.  Lucky for me, I get the opportunity to live the best of both worlds.  Being a mom to two teen girls, full-time teacher and Vice Principal, exercise enthusiast and keeping up with my hobbies, it's busy but manageable.  That being said, I also burn out more often now that I am in my late 30's.   I get tired more easily and need downtime to recharge.  Enter our cabin in the woods.  Well it's not exactly in the woods, but there are plenty of woods and nature trails around.  We go up there all year long, but spend a solid 5 -6 weeks there each summer.  During the school year we get away from the city lights, the fast paced rat race, the busy shops, and the endless "to- do" once a month or so.  We go up Friday night and in 30 hours or less, we feel refreshed, re-connected to each other, to nature, and to our values.  We feel grounded, cozy, loved and refreshed.  

What do we do?  We walk in the woods.  We play card games or board games.  We craft.  We read.  We sit by the fire.  We talk.  We have endless cups of coffee, sometimes with Baileys.    We laugh.  We sleep.  We watch a family movie.  We just be.  

This little lounging outfit is basically made for this type of winter weekend getaway.  I work in a school and dress professionally, although not like I used to when I was a consultant in the office, but I certainly don't ware jeans (except of casual Friday) or a sweat suit (unless its P.J. day).  I like dressing up, but I also like to relax and have a very casual and easy going style on weekends.  I absolutely fell in love with this 2 piece suite, when I was shopping for my daughters prior to Christmas.  I tired it on just to see.  I certainly wasn't sold on the crop top look for myself, but as soon as I put it on it was so soft and comfortable that I instantly felt at ease.  I sent a photo of it to my husband and it was under the tree for me!  And it was also one of the gifts my daughter received from my sister.  So twins we became.  She was totally a good sport about it and even joined me for a few photos for this blog post.  There are many 2 piece tie-dye suits out there to choose from, at various price points, but we are both thrilled with how comfortable and soft this material is from Garage clothing, similar linked below, and also how well it seems to wash in the washer and drier.  Regardless where you purchase it from, I highly recommend having a cozy lounge wear set to wear around this winter season.

What's your favorite weekend outfit?

Shop This Post:
Garage Clothing Tie-Dye Top & Joggers

Taking Winter on in Plaid Pants

Here in Saskatchewan we are now really in the winter phase of the year.  Our winters are long, lasting usually into April and sometimes even May.  Although I love all the sweaters and cozy feels that come with late fall/early winter, it wears off rather quickly but yet the weather holds on to us.  There is much mental health that declines with the short days and numbing cold that prevents many from getting outdoors.  Each year I am reminded to be thankful for the warmth of my home, the stability of my job, the love of my family and the ability to buy all the winter things that get and keep us outdoors in the winter months.

These pants are SO warm and perfect for the season.  They were a bit of an investment when I purchased them at the beginning of winter but are currently on sale, linked up below.  They are made up of 15 % wool and the heavy material keeps the legs nice and warm on a mild winter day.  I love the wide leg and this year I am trying to branch out from my regular fitted outfits, see the oversized blazer look here.  At first I wasn't sure that I could pull these off but when your teen gushes over the pants at the store and asks if she can borrow them, well that's a mom win!  I often bring items home that I am unsure of and style them with a bunch of different items from my closet to make sure that I will get enough wear out of them.  I am very careful and selective what I bring into my closet, as I am really trying to keep my options limited for each season.  Usually I do spring/summer and fall/winter rotation and at the beginning and end of each, I look through to donate or consign any items that haven't been worn.  I don't want too many choices that I never reach for and I don't like the idea of putting so much stuff into the landfill, although I am NOT AT ALL PEREFECT when it comes to this!  The cropped sweater I paired up the pants for this outfit is several years old, I'll link up similar options below, but I love all the embroidery details on it and I'll probably wear it until it has holes in it.  I love the rich colors used in the embroidery detail and how they pop against the black background.  I paired it up with the simple gold chain that was a gift for Christmas and is currently in heavy rotation. It's a statement on it own but looks great layered with a long necklace as well.  

Happy Friday!!!!!  What's on the agenda?

Shop This Look:
Embroidery Sweater (old): similar Romwe; similar Zara

Thursday 7 January 2021

Year Long Goals for 2021

Hello 2021.  So far I am a big fan so don't screw it up.  Hahaha.  The past two years upon entering the New Year my word had already chosen me.  The first year the words came to me while I was outdoors.  I paused and took in my surroundings and just like that my word became PAUSE.  Last year I knew I was going to practice GRATITUDE and I even hoped to get my children on board.  I didn't succeed with that, but I continued to work on it myself and it was honestly the exercise I needed in my life to get through 2020.  As of last night, Jan. 2nd, no word had come to me.  I was going to go without a word and then a friend said hers hadn't appeared yet either and she was going to just give it time.  I decided that I didn't have to have it all figured out at the beginning of the year, but type A me really likes solid plans, and that I had let it come to me and practice a little patients.  Well, guess what?!?  This morning while I was on the toilet (maybe too much info) but it came to me!  CONNECTION.  That's my word for 2021.  Connection, or re-connection, with family and friends is going to be huge for me this year.  I mentioned this in another post, but I miss getting a solid hug from the people that I love and love me back.  Here are a few year long goals for 2021 and how this idea of CONNECTION will hopefully serve me.

Photo by Pexels

1. Relationships.  Over the last few weeks of 2020 I have really been thinking about the friendships that I have and which ones I want to nourish for the future.  With social media it's easy to get caught up and want it all but, what I really crave is authentic relationships.  So as, fingers crossed, restrictions lift over the year,  I want to host friends over consistently, schedule a walking date or a zoom date with a friend on a weekly basis.  I've been jotting down a list of people that I really want to invest more time into.  In the same breath thanks to 2020 my relationship with my family is stronger than ever.  We have been doing a lot more outdoor activities as a family, even as simple as taking the dogs for a walk, or choosing a show to watch all together.  I want to continue that in 2021, especially as my girls are getting older being intentional to create opportunities to spend time together is critical.


2.  Run 1000km in a year.  This is going to be an interesting goal because I don't want to get hung up on the number especially if at some point that isn't serving my body.  This is where "CONNECTION" is going to be helpful.  I need to be able to connect to my body, it's needs, and what it's telling me, in order to keep it healthy and strong, and not bulldoze to that goal at any  cost.  

3.  Read 12 books.  I love reading and this is a great goal to ensure that I create time to do an activity I love.  Connecting with my brain and learning new things.  

4.  Blogging.  This year there are a couple of mini-goals that I want to work towards.  First one that I need to figure out  a routine and schedule for taking photos, creating content, writing posts and reading other blogs.  At the same time, I need to create a balanced schedule between IG and blogging, because doing both on the same days just ends up with me spending a LOT of my time in the virtual world and not my real world and I don't wan that.  The other goal for myself is that I would like to collaborate with other bloggers more this year.  Growing my relationships with others virtually and also growing my connection to others.   If you have any advice please share away.

5.  Finances.  We were very lucky in 2020 that our jobs were secured but it really got me thinking about our finances. We have great money management skills and have made huge gains in working towards paying  off our home before our children enter college, and we have decent  retirement plans through our jobs and we never have credit cards debt, rather always pay for our "wants" in cash or save up over time.  But   what we didn't have is 3 months worth of savings in our bank account in case one of us lost our jobs.  Because our trips were cancelled in 2020 we were able to put that money into a savings and also do some projects around the house.  Now that we are building that cushion, one of my goals is to work towards adding a significant amount to that pile each month.  I am not sure to be honest what that number is yet but we would like to go through out finances thoroughly and decide what's reasonable, while also allowing ourselves to save and dream of taking a family trip.  Balance is key.

Photo by Pexels

6.  Photography.  Okay, so I took my learning that I've done over the past few years and finally started doing some family photography sessions this past summer.  Nothing major, just for learning opportunity and to CONNECT with my creative side.  It's been going really well and I am finally taking the risk to say it out loud to people without feeling embarrassed or insecure of what people will think.  You can find my work at A & H Snapshots on Facebook.  I wan to continue to learn and grow this small venture in 2021 and not be so shy about it.  

7.  Continue to reflect and work on my attitude of gratitude.  There is no better way to connect to yourself than to reflect.

These are my long term goals that I will need to come back to over and over and over again.  Usually I like very quick, easy to check off goals, but this year I am going with a balance of specific and more board goals that I want to consider.  

What is your practice at the start of the year?

Do you set goals?  
Do you make resolutions?
Do you choose a word?
Do you take the year as in comes?