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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Simple Snowflake Napkin Ring





We had Monday off for Veterans Day and I just want to say (I know it's late) but thank you to all who serve our country. We are eternally GRATEFUL! My husband served with the Marines so I am really grateful!

For my day off I just wanted to do a little window shopping and we stopped by Sur La Table. Love this store! It's beautiful to the eyes and such a tingle to the organizational "bug" in you if you have one. I could not help but to notice these beautiful napkin rings.





Okay and also these light pink pitchers! These are called the Mosser Milk Glass Pitcher. Very pretty in person. 




These snowflake napkin rings add just enough sparkle and festive glamour to your Christmas table. 








They look beautiful with the red and white holiday plates. 







I hope these have inspired you to add a little more sparkle to your table this year. I just had to share these on the blog. They were too lovely to pass up!

Enjoy!




(photos via Mrs. Shockley)










Monday, November 12, 2018

Trying to Live Well






We are about to embark on the holiday season and this can be a very hard time of year for some of us. I was running some errands yesterday and people were just everywhere. I became very frustrated. I must confess.... I have been "people struggling" lately.





I told my husband that and he said, "what do you mean"? And I said, " I have been finding myself recently not wanting to be around people". And it's not everyone. It's just the rude ones. Yesterday in the store I was having an internal fit about some of the rude women around. I literally had to calm myself down because I felt as if I was going to explode!





I find myself not wanting to go to restaurants anymore because I have been so disgusted by the attitude of the waiter or how dirty the bathrooms are or the restaurant itself. I feel like if me asking you for a refill on bread is such an inconvenience for you then why are you serving? Why are you working in the service industry? Find a career where you don't feel forced to engage with people. I don't know maybe I am asking too much. 





Even at the office. For the most part I do enjoy the people I work with but those few "bad apples" that are continuously rude gets really old to me. Now that I have expressed my frustration at two of the meetings that we have had now they want to suddenly "act right" when they have been venomous for the last 10 years!  They also expect me to just "get over it" and basically pretend that they have not trashed me all these years. Not a chance.... 





Now I am for forgiveness but only when I know that the person is genuine in their apology and for the individuals in my office (which they have NOT apologized), they are not. So moving on....





For the last several months I have been asking myself. How do I want to live? The answer is I want to live well. So I have to realize and know that not everyone is going to believe in the same things that I believe in. Not everyone is going to be polite, not everyone is going to give respect, not everyone is going to do their part. Dealing with very difficult people or situations requires patience, resolve and restraint.

I can't change people but I can pray. And that is what I do on a regular basis. I have to. I must. Have my prayers been answered? In most cases, yes! When I pray and ask the Lord to help me be a "light" in the grocery store or wherever I am, he then gives me an opportunity to be respectful or helpful to someone. Then they "light up" and respond to me in the same way. So that to me is apart of living well. I just keep telling myself. We have a goal and living well and beautifully is going to require a lot of you Mrs. Shockley but we can do this because we choose to. Being respectful, dressing respectfully, working respectfully and loving respectfully, always.

We can do this for this upcoming holiday season. We must be a "light" for people and maybe, just maybe we may even show them the way. I tell myself that all the time. Don't give up. We are making progress. Live well....




(photos via Pinterest)





Friday, November 9, 2018

Learning Bach





Back in 2015 I started taking piano lessons with a private teacher. I am sad to report that earlier this year she had to close her studio due to renting issues. I am hoping that she will reopen but she is so close to retirement and has been so busy at work that she has not had the time to teach.

I have been really sad but nevertheless I have continued with my studies in piano playing and have stayed in touch with my teacher. We had lunch last week and were able to catch up on life and discuss her maybe doing private lessons in her home (fingers crossed).





Me with my teacher, I miss it so much


Each week I like to use my planner and get things on my list to do and make goals. I was thinking about personal goals that I could set and I thought about my piano lessons. There is one thing that I would love to be able to do and that is to play at least one song by heart. 

The piece that I have chosen is called " I Preludium" by Johann Sebastian Bach. This was one of my favorite pieces to play while I was taking my lessons. 






So my goal is to practice once a week and learn it group by group. I am hoping that within six months to a year I can play this entire piece from memory. 






I love setting goals and I love playing the piano. I am happy that I decided to include this in my weekly goals and lifetime accomplishments. Find something that will challenge you....




(photos via Mrs. Shockley & Pinterest)











Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Learning How to Shop for Produce





As most of you know I have been on this "health quest" for a while now. One thing that I have decided to learn about recently is seasonal foods. Here in Indiana, I have been learning that there are some things that just don't taste as well and I could not figure out why.

I was watching an episode of Shannon Able's cooking show from her blog The Simply Luxurious Life and she kept talking about seasonal ingredients. So that got me thinking maybe I need to pay more attention to what fruits and veggies are in season.







I found this great website called Seasonal Food Guide.org and this site will let you select your state and learn about what produce in what month is good for your area. 


For instance, I learned that carrots, collard greens, kale, mushrooms, and rosemary are some of the produce items that are in season here in early November. 







I learned a lot about produce. I plugged in strawberries and saw that for here in Indiana they are NOT good around this time which explains why I have not been enjoying them on the weekends for breakfast. 

The same for blueberries. I LOVE blueberries but I purchased a carton last week and oh my gosh were they awful! I did learn that pears and apples are good around this time. So I have been eating those in the mornings with my tea at the office. 






I hope that you find this site useful and use it to help plan your meals and to learn more about your region. Tasting beautiful food is so important when you are on a healthy quest. 



Enjoy!



(photos via Google)







Monday, November 5, 2018

Fall Finds at Payless





Nothing excites me more than hearing about a sale that includes 40% off! I recently checked my closet and realized that I did not have a single pair of boots! Shocking, but I didn't. So I thought why not take a peek inside my local Payless store to see what goodies they had.





I found these elegant little things. These are called the Valencia Block Heel Boot and they also come in gray. They are beautiful and with 40% off why not? 





I thought that black would suit me well. You can't go wrong with a classic black color although the gray color was quite stunning! I may have to revisit that.




And although my intentions were to go in and only buy some boots I could not leave without taking a peek to see what else they had. I love a classic wedge for the weekends and these were the PERFECT color. I could not pass them up. They were only $20! These are called the Karlie Wedge in taupe. 






Super comfortable and super chic. I hope that you can order a pair online and visit your local store. Both shoes come in more than one color. 


I will definitely be wearing these for this upcoming autumn season and hope to find some more comfortable chic shoes for the weekend! Have a wonderful day!

(note: the 40% off ends today!)


(photos via Mrs. Shockley)






Friday, November 2, 2018

My Book List ~ What's Next?





Reading is a hobby of mine. I still love the smell and feel of a book in my hands. It is coming to the end of the year and I am almost finished reading Treating People Well and the Women's Herbal Apothecary.

I have enjoyed both of these books so much. They have added substance and fortitude to my mind and so now I am wondering... what in the world can I read next? Treating People Well has provided so much information on how to handle difficult people, virtual manners, owning your mistakes, discretion and loyalty. I adore this quote from the book about dealing with difficult people, "The battles they seek and the conflict they create aren't really with you but with themselves. Remembering that makes it easier to view them with some level of compassion. And continuing to treat such a person with equanimity, despite the abuse he or she hands out, is a reflection of your own good character and integrity." 

Love this quote but it is SO hard to do! With the Women's Herbal Apothecary, I have gain so much information about the female body and how to care for it naturally. I have really enjoyed reading all of the chapters about the different stages of life. I especially found some of the information in the "menstrual cycle" section very interesting.... " The increase in testosterone at this point leads to desire for intimate interactions, but it can also lead to a stronger sense of competitive or impulsive behaviors." Oh dear is this statement true! The other item that I like about this book is the honesty of the author. It was so refreshing.

So now since I have had these thought provoking and stimulating books, I want some more of the same. But I also thought maybe a "fun" book would be great too!

So I checked my Amazon book list to see what other treasures I could find.




I thought about Linens: For Every Room & Occasion by Jane Scott Hodges. I figured this would be a great "fun" book to read. I love learning about linens. 



The next book was Rachel Ashwell: My Floral Affair












Gorgeous!






Next on my list for "substance" is The Inviting Life: by Laura Calder. The description of the book alone is intriguing and sings to me for sure!




"Far more than a guide to homemaking and being a fine host—although it is definitely all that too—The Inviting Life is about how to live each day with a desire and determination to turn the ordinary into something lovely. It’s also a book about why we should bother. Whether the subject is d├ęcor, ambience, shopping, feeding weary travellers, mixing cocktails, planning dinner parties, or getting yourself motivated for spring cleaning, Laura Calder affirms the value of our everyday activities and shows how beauty, creativity, and delight have the power to change the world. This one-of-a-kind book is both a page-turning narrative about Laura’s own hosting and home-making adventures and an invaluable work of reference. It’s a spur to ideas for everything from creating a welcoming living space and making a respectable salad, to putting guests at their ease and writing a thank-you note worth receiving. Written with candour and humour in Laura’s inimitable and engaging voice, The Inviting Life offers empowering guidance for anyone looking to take more pleasure in their life and home."



Fourth on my list is the  French Country Cottage:by Courtney Allison





What a stunning book! I follow Courtney on Instagram and can't get enough of her photos. They are so inspiring. In this book Courtney shares her story of her renovating her 1940's cottage in the countryside of California. 













And the last book that I am considering is Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct







A brief description from Amazon:  Most people would agree that thoughtful behavior and common decency are in short supply, or simply forgotten in hurried lives of emails, cellphones, and multi-tasking. In Choosing Civility, P. M. Forni identifies the twenty-five rules that are most essential in connecting effectively and happily with others. In clear, witty, and, well...civilized language, Forni covers topics that include:

* Think Twice Before Asking Favors
* Give Constructive Criticism
* Refrain from Idle Complaints
* Respect Others' Opinions
* Don't Shift Responsibility and Blame
* Care for Your Guests
* Accept and Give Praise




It appears as though I have some excellent choices on my hands. I will take my time and make a decision soon. I love reading. I hope that some of you may have been inspired to pick up a book and began reading. It can be a wonderful way to learn and bring elegance into your life. 

Enjoy!!!


(photos via Google, description text via Amazon)






Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The New Inslee Calendars





Earlier this year I wrote a post about my first Inslee calendar that I had purchased. I was so excited to receive it and I have loved using it. Well I was on Instagram and spotted her new calendars for 2019! It is going to be hard to make a decision!






This is her 2019 Classic Desktop calendar and these are beautiful!








But honestly, I am leaning more toward her 2019 Botanical Desktop collection.







Just look at these beautiful illustrations! This lily of the valley (at least that is what I think it is) is gorgeous!








These are carnations! Stunning right?

















All of these are so beautifully done. I just admire her artwork so much. I am hoping to commission her in the near future for a painting of my own. They are quite expensive but having something like this done is something that you can keep forever and cannot be mimicked. 

I hope to be making a purchase soon.....




(photos via Inslee.net)