Friday, November 29, 2013

Day to Night

Day to Night

A girl on the go means long days. Recently, I decided to meet a friend for a holiday drink after work. I knew I was going to wear my favorite sweater knit skirt to work, but I wanted to fun it up in a casual way after work. 

When I purchase items, in the back of my mind, my little voices help me keep me thinking about the  versatility of an item. How many looks can I get out of an outfit?

I recently wore this skirt to work, which meant I would have to change the look up by switching out the black top for this wine colored sweater.  For my casual evening look I kicked off the pumps and pulled on my favorite boots, and added denim jacket and scarf...and VOILA!

I love this skirt!
 It so comfortable, and easy to wear.

Charming Charlie's necklace in silver,
and pearl bracelets.

Casual look for after work.

Day to Night

Favorite comfortable boots.
The pin was a gift from a friend. I love adding
unexpected embellishments, and when
they are from a friend they
 instantly make it special.
Jean jacket was a score at Nordstrom a
million years ago. I love the cut, its nipped
in at the waist. The scarf is from Chico's I
"borrowed" it from my Mom!

Skirt - Ann Taylor
Sweater - Chico's Outlet
Tights - Steinmart
Shoes - DSW
Boots - Vince Camuto Outlet
Jean Jacket - Nordstrom
Scarf - Chico's - Thanks Mom!
Pin - Gift (vintage) Thank you Stephanie Blackwell!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Unexpected Accessory

The Unexpected Accessory

While I am on the subject of accessories, I thought I would mention one of my favorites, and with a chill in the air it is perfect time to discuss........ the coat! Yes a coat can be an accessory. It adds dimension, color and even texture to an outfit. In the desert we do partake in wearing coats....just a little different than the rest of the country. Its chilly in the morning and evenings in the winter. I like coats that I can dress up or down. 

My favorite coat was a birthday gift from my mom years ago, but it still looks and makes me feel like a million bucks! I wear this coat with jeans, dress pants and cocktail dresses. When I pair it with a casual look it gives a hint of the unexpected. The pink lining is very chic and I feel as if I stepped out of an Audrey Hepburn movie. Check out consignment shops and Goodwill stores, because you never know when you will hit the jackpot for the perfect coat as an unexpected accessory.

Rich navy blue velvet, cut slightly
 above the knee allows me to
 go day to evening.


A Westie dog Swarovski pin adds a hint of
whimsy to the coat lapel. (It was a gift)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Girl's Weekend in Atlanta

My grandmother taught me one can shop sensibly but there are times when a splurge is warranted!  She was a wise lady, and I took her advise to heart on my Girl's Weekend Trip to Atlanta.  More to come on this subject latter.

I have to share with you packing for any trip is more of a chore for me.  What should I pack?  I fantasize about being one of those girls that packs her little weekend bag and off she goes looking polished and styled. I have one word for you WHATEVER!  I have decided the carry on diva only happens in the movies.  In real life it is about figuring out how to go from practically 90 degrees in Phoenix to the upper 50's in Atlanta. I have learned over the years packing for trips is about basic pieces and ACCESORIES!  A basic raincoat will take you anywhere, sunglasses, a cute scarf...check ....check and CHECK!

A pair of smart dress pants, and a great blazer for the plane ride are comfortable and travel well. The checked blouse is one of my favorites.  It is super soft and cozy, and the bright color is cheery.


Blouse - Banana Republic clearance
Jacket clearance Kohls
Dress Pants - sale Loft
Broach - gift 
No lie traffic is hell in this town. It always looks like
 this, but a detour into a Starbucks led us to some
 incredible southern hospitality and a tip on an outlet mall.
Who knew Autumn was so spectacular in Atlanta! Living in Phoenix as long as I have I completely forgot about the magic of trees. The air was so fresh and clean. It was invigorating, just wait until I get to the shopping!



 A chilly day featuring a raincoat, cute scarf and comfortable flats, let the shopping begin!

And shop we did!

My big splurge was on a fabulous new pair of boots. Keep in mind I did score an additional 40 percent off sale on the boots.  I love everything about them, besides being incredibly stylish they are unbelievably comfortable and they smell wonderful!

My blazer came in handy for another cute outfit.

My dear friend scored at the Vince Camuto Outlet store too! Her shoe booties are beautiful, the embossed leather makes them super sexy. 

Vince Camuto 5" inch booties. (LOVE)
 Super skinny zipper pants from Express
Smart sunglasses - a girl's best friend

It was a successful weekend filled with laughter, wine, shopping and good old fashioned southern hospitality. Thank you Georgia!  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Autumn in the desert

I think there is nothing that makes a girl feel totally put together as when she is completely comfortable, polished and put together. If it is not comfortable I won't wear it! This dress is so comfortable. It feels like I am wearing my pajamas!  I scored it on a 40 percent off the markdown price sale.  

The other thing one needs to keep in mind is weather. Living in Phoenix we do actually experience "autumn" it's just much different then what most other states experience.  When I leave for work it is dark and 56 or so degrees.  Keep in mind the sun will be out and it will warm up usually to 70 or 80 degrees IN NOVEMBER! So for someone with thin blood its chilly in the morning and warm during the day.  I know you are all crying me a river at the moment, but I am simply explaining things to be considered when dressing for work. The magic word is usually layers! 


Dress - Ann Taylor
Sweater - New York and Company (yes clearance)
Slingback Shoes - DSW
bracelets - Forever 21 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

For the love of a dog

Today I would like to write about someone near and dear to my heart. My beloved West Highland Terrier - Barney. This week I had to say goodbye to my best friend. My little fur baby taught me wonderful things about life and this post is for him.

The lesson of joy

I adopted a West Highland White Terrier many years ago. Her name was Emma. I just adored my little princess, but 6 months after her adoption she became seriously ill.  She was vomiting and had problems with diarrhea. I went from veterinarian to veterinarian with no answers. I changed her diet, I cooked for her. One day her bloody stool pushed me over the edge and I contacted a gastroenterologist.  I remember saying "Look humans can't be that different from dogs."  He connected me with a wonderful vet, who was a 50 minute drive from my home. But I was desperate!  He was puzzled and wanted to put her on doggy prozac.......Eventually, one day I was at a mall kiosk selling pet chotchkie types of items and there was ..........looking back on it an angel who appeared in the form of a sweet little old lady who was the answer to my prayers. I shared Emma's story with her and she said, "Honey she has separation anxiety and she needs a companion!"

I never thought about a second dog as I had my hands full with Emma. I did some investigative research on Westies and realized they are an extremely pack oriented breed. My poor little girl would miss me so much when I went to work she made herself sick. I called the rescue shelter and put my name on a list to adopt another wonderful four-legged child.

I remember the day I drove to the rescue shelter. Marilyn got Barney and put him in the yard for me to get to know.  The poor guy had the WORST haircut I have ever seen on a Westie, he was dirty and goofy looking and I instantly fell in love with him!  I was so excited to get him home to introduce him to his sister.  Can I just say that sometimes things in your head work much different then real life.  Emma was pissed at me.  She didn't care for her new sibling and was not afraid to let me know it.  I decided to give her time to deal with it. I immediately gave Barney a bath and waited.  It took a couple of weeks but the lady at the mall was 100 percent correct. Barney was just what we needed. Emma was the alpha and she needed someone to boss around, and Barney let her think that she could. He was my goofy little comedian.  

Eventually, Emma crossed over and we mourned her loss together. It made our bond stronger.


It amazes me how much life and spirit this little guy brought to my life. There was not a day that he did not crack me up and make me laugh.  I will miss his moist little black nose gently nudging me to share his latest doggy desires. During the downfall of the economy I lost my job and was unemployed for a long time, which was followed up with underemployment. I lost my job, my identity and my self esteem. But Barney didn't care he loved me unconditionally as long as there were belly rubs involved.  

Westies have a language they speak, my home is empty without his insistence that I hear what he has to say to the world. In the photo below he was wanting to know when I was going to get out of bed to feed him breakfast. Yes, he was saying B - where's my breakfast! 

Over a year and a half ago they found a tumor on his kidney. He was not given much time to live. I was devastated. But I feel blessed that I had him for a year and a half.  While he amazed the vets who didn't give him much time, we savored every moment we had together. He taught me to take pleasure in little things like the walks in our park.  They became less about exercise and more about the pleasure of being a dog and all the things there are to sniff and explore in a park. And rides in the car were pure delight. It was exciting and meant new things to investigate. My car window currently has his nose smootches on it, and I don't think I will ever wash them off.   Saturday mornings were about snuggling under the covers. This will be my first Saturday with out my little boy to burrow under the covers.  

Barney always had a bone, Greenie or chew of some sort. He loved to play and tease. He would invite you to play by poking you with his nose. Westies are curious by nature, and I will miss hearing him rattle the Christmas presents under the tree, trying to find the ones with his name on them.

There is a large space in my life that used to be filled by this little guy, but I would not trade having had him in my life for anything. Little did I know the day that I showed up at the rescue shelter that I was the one who was going to be the lucky. He gave me gifts of life to treasure by showing me love, companionship, laughter and joy.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I am a curvy girl in a skinny world. Lately, it's a challenge finding budget friendly items that are curvy conscious.  Seriously, walk into any store and the cut on everything is skinny, skinny, skinny! 

It is easier to find dress pants that look and fit like a million dollars than jeans.  Jeans are a nightmare! The most comfortable and figure flattering items in my closet are my beloved A-line skirts and dresses. 

The minute I walk into a store and can actually find an A-line style chances are I will walk out of the door with it.  If the item is on the spendy side I will keep a watchful eye for it to go on sale. I am not afraid to admit I will stalk my favorite stores until it goes on sale.

Here is my last sale score at Ann Taylor. Keep a watch on their sale section.  I love when they offer 40 and 50 percent off the last marked down price.

Top - Ann  Taylor/sale - Check out the detailing on the back of the shirt,
Sweater knit  skirt - Ann Taylor/sale
Shoes - DSW
Necklace - Charming Charlies - buy one clearance item and receive and additional 50 percent off another clearance item! SCORE!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Why is style important? Well I believe it is your calling card to the world. Which means how you pull yourself together is the message you are conveying to the world.  I think this is important because it takes about 1.8 seconds to form an opinion about another person.  So what is the message you would like to share with others?