Friday, August 31, 2018

Aye Aye on the Prize

I always look for versatility in my clothes.  Sure, I own a few gems with limited outfit possibilities, but I try to purchase things that can be worn many ways so I get the most for my hard earned money.  To that end, this is the second outfit I've come up with for both the top and the shorts.  I like the bright teal in the top and the way that it really brings out that color in the shorts.  Ultimately that's what you want in your clothes.  Things should not just compliment each other, but enhance and support each other.  Hmmmm..... I guess it's a lot like what  we want from human relationships.

Shopping Info: 
Lemon shorts from OldNavy

Thursday, August 30, 2018

ModCloth Flash Sale

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Destination Destin

    For some reason this year, I got it in my head to go to Florida.  Every summer my FB is bombarded with posts about trips to Florida and I've never been.  Destin looked beautiful and not too far away and it's been a couple of years now since I've been to a beach, so I decided to make Florida my annual "thing I haven't tried before."
    At first we talked about taking a trip with extended family and renting a condo on the beach so we could split expenses, but there weren't any openings until after school started, so the extended family backed out.  That left just us, wanting to travel but not wanting to break the bank in the process, so we decided that rather than spend $800 on a condo for three nights, we'd spend $100 and camp and Henderson Beach State Park for three nights.  The park is really nice, complete with bathrooms, showers, and a laundry.  One thing we didn't plan on was the weather.  It was unbearably hot sleeping outdoors the first night and we shivered in our tents the next.  Also on the second night, our campsite was overrun with rats who chewed holes in a cooler, and a beach mat since they couldn't find any food.  In spite of all that I would recommend Henderson as a very inexpensive way to bum around on the beach for a few days, which is all I really wanted.
I thought I'd share a few of my travel tips in this post, just a few things I've learned over the years to make my trips a little less stressful.
1.  Free Up Some Space:
If you're the kind of person who likes to load up on souvenirs, pack clothing and toiletries that you don't mind throwing away at the end of your trip so you'll have room to tote back plenty of gifts for loved ones without having to buy an extra bag.
2.  Photo Time!
If you're going to be doing some photos at your destination, plan a wardrobe that is relatively wrinkle resistant or wrinkle free.  This red lace dress required no ironing and unrolled from my bag ready to wear on the beach.

3.  Timing is Everything:
I like to do any outfit or family photos on the first morning or evening that I arrive at a place.  The lighting is always better for outdoor photos at that time and that early in the trip I haven't yet been sunburned, had food poisoning, or been kept awake for several nights due to noise or uncomfortable beds.  That first day, I look and feel my best.  Plus, if it doesn't work out on that day, I'm not pressed for time and I can take more later.
4.  Embrace the Vacation Hair-do:
You might never know it from these photos, but my hair was stick straight when we arrived the night before, but all that humidity put a kink in my hair plans and I decided to just go with it.  After all, who doesn't love beachy waves? Where ever you go in the world, the weather will have an affect on your do, so plan accordingly for a style that is something loose and lovely.
5. Limit your Tech Time:
You're on vacation.  Put the camera, phone, and laptops away and enjoy.  So often people miss out on all the experiences, sites, and special moments, while trying to capture them on camera so they can be shared on social media.  You don't need a few hundred thumbs up to make your trip meaningful.  Another reason I like to do photos at the beginning of my trip is so that it's done and I put the camera away for the rest of the trip unless there's something truly worth capturing and then, it's just for us, not social media.
Shopping Info:

Hollow Out Fit & Flare Lace Cami Dress--$50 from: SheIn 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Don't Wait to Say....

....anything.  I took these photos this year on Mother's Day holding a corsage that my mother bought me.  My dear sweet mother already knows how much she means to me, but just in case she didn't, I wrote her a love letter two years ago.  I poured out my heart to her about just how much she means to me.  I also wrote one to my father, and one to my grandmother who passed away 20 years ago.  I didn't say to her what I meant to say and then it was too late.  
    I promised myself I would never wait again....but life gets busy and schedules fill up with demanding things that seem unimportant in the end, and the things we mean to say, should say, they get left out.  Never wait for a special occasion to tell someone exactly how much you love them.  
    For me, it was all at a very dark time and my mind went back to happier times, so I painted each of them a portrait with my memories of how I loved them so and how thankful I am to have had this time with them.  And now, no matter what comes, they will always know they are loved.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Strawberry Summer

I decided to mix things up and try out a new pattern for my dress making.  I chose this Butterick B5708 because I adore 1950s style fashion and this pattern claimed to be "easy."  Turns out, they were right!  It's pretty easy and even though it was my first time sewing this pattern, I still managed to start and finish the dress in about 7 hours.  I'm not crazy about this style though.  I saw the little tied straps and thought of a summery dress, and I had the perfect fabric for it.  Earlier this year a great aunt of mine passed away and she was an avid quilter and seamstress.  Since none of her sisters sew much these days, they gave the fabric to me and I instantly knew I'd use this navy strawberry calico with red poplin for this pattern.  But, I had some difficulty on the bodice and it turned out a little bunched around the center.  Also, the straps are very awkward and the neckline seems uneven.  No matter how I tie these things one side or the other is always droopy. It's really not bad for a first try at this style and maybe it's not the pattern, maybe it's just not right for my shape.   Or maybe the illustration is to blame for misrepresenting the final product.  No matter, it's still a cute dress, it was really easy to make and I'm glad I tried it.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

About Time

Vero Viva Women's Button Down Tie Front Casual Blouse Solid 3/4 Sleeve Shirt Top $15.99

About Time Skirt is old from Anthropologie.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

For the Love of the Game

    Ok, I admit that I'm old enough to have had an original Atari and on which we played Pac-Man among other things.  Eventually it was replaced by a Nintendo and then my parents refused to buy anymore game systems for what seemed like an eternity until the Sega Genesis came out and opened our eyes to a world of amazing graphics and wise cracking hedge hogs.  After that I lost interest in games.  Things like working a job and paying bills got in the way.  
    Actually, I was never too interested in video games.  I'd play them occasionally with my brother or cousins, but after about 30 minutes to an hour I was ready to move on to other things.  I always preferred make-believe or crafting to staring at a screen, even if said screen had an adorable yellow blob that ate fruit and got chased by ghosts.  But as a special tribute to my childhood hobby, I decided  to make this very quick and simple gathered skirt from Pac-Man-esque fabric.  I bought two yards and had enough left over to make an identical skirt with an elastic waist that my girls can wear.  
    Also featured in today's post is Steve the dog for your morning dose of clueless cuteness and the blackberry bushes growing wild in my back yard.  I'm not sure we'll get any fruit from them, but we've pruned and fertilized and are hoping for the best.

Shopping Info:
Timeless Treasures Video Game Fabric in Black

Friday, August 24, 2018

Red Hot Colors at ASOS

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Til Human Voices Wake Us

    It still makes me sad to see this kelp-like weed filling the prairies.  Its rich red brown color adds such lovely depth to the pale greens and golds of the summer sea of grasses, and made me feel even more like a sea-maid in some quiet chamber of the sea during my endless summers of childhood.  
    As much as it aided my mermaid imaginings, it also used to remind me that summer was ending and school would be starting soon.  I didn't love school.  Not even close.  I preferred my long hot days of dreaming and pretending.  I loved the wild freedom of our hundred acre farm.  But the real world, those dreaded human voices were always calling at the end of each summer, waking me from my dreaming.
    I don't know the name of this plant.  I never asked or bothered to find out.  I don't always feel the need to pry; it's ok that some things simply are.   
Shopping Info:
Live Uplifted Skirt from ModCloth XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X 
Forever 21 Top, J Crew Cardi, and flats are all old.

  • Title and References to T.S. Eliot's Love Song of Sir Alfred J. Prufrock

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Tropical Punch

Another lovely tropical print dress on this lovely summer day.

 Vero Viva Women's Tropical Print Asymmetric V-Neck Midi Straps Dress with Ruffle $24.99

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Peppermint Rose

Peppermint Rose

    I only had one of the Peppermint Rose set, but she was unique and I loved her.  I played with her so much that sadly I broker her to pieces as her plastic inevitably broke down.  I kept her clothes though and told my girls all about this doll before I handed them down for a new generation to imagine and enjoy.
   I have other ways of expressing my longtime love of pink and cream striped anything.  I pretty much buy everything with that right shade of pink and ivory and I never let it go because for some strange reason it's hard to come by.  Hmmm...maybe I'm the only one in the market.  Although I hope that's not so, because these two colors together have to be the loveliest, most romantic pair.  Even nature thinks so and that's why the wild roses are pink and ivory too.

 Shopping Info:
Similar Candy Pink Midi skirt from Chic Wish
Forever 21 top and flats are old

© Bleu Avenue. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.