Blog Photo

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

Monday, October 29, 2018

October Favorites

My goodness October, October. Another month has came and went. I almost forgot to write a post about my favorites this month. It went by so quickly and it has been a busy month at the office. One of my co-workers has been on maternity leave and we were filling in for her in addition to our own caseload. Never fun but it nice to learn other things in the office.

Well for this month I will be sharing some items that I have already posted about but they have been my favorites for this month.

I saw this photo on Pinterest this month and could not stop staring at it. Oh my word! How gorgeous are these cabinets? Just stunning! I shared this with my husband and he loves it. So maybe in the near future........

My number 2 has been my Eva Mendes dress! I love this dress! It is so comfortable and beautiful. I love the color. I actually wore it with a chunky brown cardigan and some kitten heels to lunch with a friend. It looked so chic. 

Number 3 has been my faux pumpkins from T.J. Maxx. They have had some great fall decor items this year. Lots of faux pumpkins and they look great on the porch!

Number 4 has been fresh salmon from my local grocery store. It has been so long since I have made it but my local grocery store will pack it for you with fresh herbs of your choice, lemons, limes and butter! It has been wonderful grabbing one every week. I just add some salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Lovely dinners every time.

I can't go with mentioning this. Fifth on my list is my Tea for One set from David's Tea. I love this!!! I absolutely adore it! It stays in my office Monday thru Friday but then I bring it home to enjoy on the weekends! I may have to buy a second.  

Sixth on my list is this wonderful movie from 1985 called "A Room with a View". I watched it from my On Demand section. It is a wonderful movie. Lucy Honeychurch and her chaperone Charlotte Bartlett are on holiday in Italy (beautiful by the way) and meet Mr. Emerson and his free-spirited son George. Once they return to England Lucy agrees to marry another man and as fate would have it George moves to England with his father. I don't want to tell much of the movie but I really enjoyed it. I watched it four times already if that says anything. 

And last but certainly not least has been the six week etiquette tips given by Myka Meier on the blog called the The Glampad. Every Wednesday for the last five weeks (this week is the last week), Myka has been sharing her Duchess Effect tips on the Glampad. I must admit I have had it on my calendar to read this on Andrea's blog since she announced this series on her Instagram page. I have loved reading all of the tips from Myka and learning more about her etiquette courses at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. If you are interested in etiquette pop on over to take a peek at the blog entries from Andrea. 

Well that is it for my favorites for the month of October. Next month is going to be a pretty busy month for me. I am hosting Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas Eve dinner so my hands are going to be pretty full. I will try my best to keep up with my blog posts for the next two months but don't be surprised if I miss a week or two. Enjoy your week!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley & Google)

Friday, October 26, 2018

Lolita Lempicka

A little perfume today..... Lolita Lempicka has been my go to fragrance this month. I have been wearing this for over ten years. It has a "powdery" scent to it. I love it!

And apparently people who have passed me on the street love it too! I have had several people tell me, "ohh my goodness, you smell wonderful". I do love this scent and look forward to wearing my "heavier" scents for the next few months. 

Have a great weekend! 

(photo via Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Organizing My Monthly Expenses

I have been discussing routines and trying to stay organized here on the blog for sometime now. I just realized that there is one thing that I have not shared and that is how I organize my monthly expenses.



Light Bill

Car Insurance 

Water Bill

Home Depot Card 





This is an example of what I use to organize our monthly expenses. I just use a basic table on Microsoft Word and type in the amounts. I do this every week. I like to know what's going out and what's coming in.

I remember hearing this phrase in church, "know the state of your flock", and I knew immediately what that meant. Shepherds always knew how many sheep they had and what state they were in. So we as individuals need to be aware of our flock. 

I still receive paper bills. I have not moved our bills to email or receiving them electronically yet. It is very easy for me to delete an email and I am so afraid that I would delete a bill. I am also not comfortable with automatic withdrawals from our account. 

I still like to have some control over our accounts and I like to be able to pay our bills from our account. I don't like the idea of a company withdrawing money without me seeing it. So if that is something that you do and are okay with it then good for you. I am not quite there yet. Sorry....

When our mail comes in I open it and then place new bills in my bill organizer on my desk at home and it looks very similar to the one above. 

Wednesday is "bill" day. I then plug in all the bills that are due for the next coming week, add them up and then log in the dates on my calendar on my cell phone. I set up reminders to get notifications of when a bill is due and that is it. 

After the bill is paid I do print off the email and place it in that bill's folder in my drawer. Sorry I know that sounds like a lot of work but I guess it is the paralegal quality in me. At the beginning of each year, I do go in and throw away the previous year of bills.

But I can tell you how much we spend on our bills, I know about all of the expenses in our home. I know the "state of our flock". Everyone has a different way of organizing their monthly expenses. Do what works for you and your home. I just wanted to share how I organize ours. I do hope that you may have found something useful out of my super long process. Being organized is a quality that a lot of people admire and it is another way of being elegant.

Enjoy your day!

(photos via Pinterest)

Monday, October 22, 2018

Draping Scarves

Fall is here, fall is here, it's the best time of the year. I got that little phrase from a cartoon called "Little Bill". No, but seriously I do love the fall and it is "draping scarf" time! I do love wearing my soft thick scarves around my neck.

This past weekend I had a few errands to run and I was wearing my lavender one the entire time. It felt so comfortable and provided just enough warmth for me.

My favorite ones are these knit ones from H & M. They are the perfect length and material. 

This one is also from H & M.  I love adding my vintage brooches to them. 

I think most of us love wearing scarves and enjoy having them. I take them with me everywhere. Even during the summer. Sometimes a room can be too cold.

Scarves, to me, are just another layer of elegance that you can add to your wardrobe and to how you live. Enjoy them this autumn season. 

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Friday, October 19, 2018

Fall Picks from Ann Taylor

Autumn is close! So happy! This week has been so cool. We have had 50 degrees mornings for the most part and I am so enjoying the crisp air. Although it has been a war trying to open my windows. Every time I open one my husband tries to shut it! I tell him let the cool crisp air in. It's great for the house.

And since autumn is close that means new arrivals at my favorite store Ann Taylor.  My wish list is never empty with this company. There is always something that I want.

First on my list are these Odelia Flannel Cap pumps. I love the gray and black together. Just such a chic shoe. 

Next on the list is this great tote.....

This is called the Pochette tote bag. Now lucky for me I got to see this in person in black and it is a great size!

Now this cashmere turtleneck dress would be a classic that anyone would want in their wardrobe. Fabulous isn't it? 

Shawl Collar Wrap coat anyone? Yes, please! I was actually very fortunate enough this past spring to nab one of these on sale for only $40!!!! So happy!

A great studded pump for the holidays. It is always nice to have just one pair. 

Now I know that this next item is expensive but I just think it is such a wonderful piece to have and would last forever. I am of course waiting until it goes on sale but the website said that it is selling fast. So if you are fortunate to grab one than lucky you!

Of course I could add more to this list but it would go on and on. I hope that you check out Ann Taylor's new arrivals list. I am sure that you will find something elegant. 

Have a great weekend!

(photos via Ann

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Victoria Magazine New Card Bundles

I think most of us are Victoria magazine fans but I was extremely excited we I received my email about their new note card bundles. I am a huge believer in having note cards around and keeping them handy for unexpected gifts or parties.

Oh my goodness, aren't these lovely? I have to admit I think that this set is my favorite. 

Or maybe these....

Oh it's so hard to decide. All of the sets are lovely. I think that these would make lovely Christmas gifts to.

Just simple, elegant and delicate. 

I had to share these with everyone today. I hope that you are able to order some and if so please share on your Instagram page or send me an email. I would love to see them!


(photos via Victoria

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Dream of Consistency and Discipline

 A few weeks ago I received a lovely comment from a reader. It stated....

"Hi Mrs Shockley, i really do love your blog posts. Would you consider doing a post on staying consistent & having discipline. Your posts are a constant source of beauty, happiness & elegance, you appear to be a really positive lady so i just wondered if you could share any tips. 

Loving your blog. 

Maria (UK) xx" 

First of all I just want to say thank you to Maria for this lovely compliment. It is always a privilege to receive wonderful notes from readers. Well Maria, I will try to fulfill your request. Having discipline and being consistent is very hard sometimes.

But I would say that the first thing you have to do is know who you are and how you want to live. You must know that first! Then and only then you can began to make decisions on how to organize your life. 

I remember back in high school I was dating a young man. He was about two grades higher than I was and even back then I wanted to wear polka dot scarves, dresses, pumps, and huge vintage earrings. Well those things bothered him. So I stopped wearing them and I became very miserable. I was smothering who I was for someone else. I remember telling him that I was unhappy and that I no longer cared what he thought and I returned to my "old lady" ways of dressing. So sure enough he began to see that this was me and that I was not going to change. At that moment I know that I was coming into "my own". 

I also knew at a very young age that I wanted a beautiful home. So I began to buy items that I loved for my bedroom and that habit has stayed with me until now. I stayed consistent with this. Even if you buy one home item at a time, over time you will build your home into something beautiful. You can just buy one item at a time....

(An inspiring post from my blog in January, 2017) 

Once you have figured out how you want to live and began to slowly cultivate your home, just be consistence with it and you will have to be bold. It is unbelievable to me the number of people (women, honestly) who I have to fight off or explain my way of living to. It truly is incredible. 

(Beauty in Waiting, my blog post from May of 2017 about beautiful things that I am waiting for)

Being discipline with routines is important also. I mentioned that in this blog post here about my daily routine. Being discipline with your life will and can bring great happiness. Write a list of weekly dinners and rotate them, pick the same day to wash and fold laundry, I know for me I have kept the same weekly cleaning schedule for over 10 years. One weekend is the upstairs and the next weekend is the downstairs. I recently added classical music to my weekend cleaning schedule. I know that family secretly enjoys it.

One quote that I wanted to share is from one of my favorite Christian teachers, Joyce Meyer she stated... "Getting organized in the normal routines of life and finishing little projects you've started is an important first step toward realizing larger goals. If you can't get a handle on the small things, how will you ever get it together to focus on the big things?" 

There is so much truth in this one statement. If you can't wash your dishes, vacuum your floors, get to work on time, then how in the world are you going to lose weight, cook meals, and look presentable. It's all connected and I learned that from a few mentors. Another great article to read about discipline is 15 Inspirational Ideas on How to Stay Consistent and Realize Your Dreams.   This article gives more ideas and tips on how to accomplish your goals. 

Well I hope that you enjoyed this post and have found inspiration on moving forward and setting new goals in your life and home. 

Enjoy your day!!!

(photos via Pinterest)

Friday, October 12, 2018

My Easy Veggie Spaghetti

Coming home from work and starting your "home" job is never an easy task. Sometimes I work harder at home than at the office.

Most nights I just want an excellent meal with limited fuss and honestly I believe that most moms and wives are like that now. We want good meals with less ingredients (but good ingredients) and limited work. Once a week I make this easy veggie spaghetti.

Now my husband is not big on vegetables. In fact he HATES them but I am trying to get him to give them a taste. This has been one of the recipes that has worked.

My absolute favorite spaghetti sauce is Prego. I love it! They have a wonderful selection and I have tried most of their flavors and adore them without fail. I have been using whole wheat pasta lately and I love adding this McCormick spaghetti seasoning to my meat. It gives it more flavor. 

I brown my meat. I am enamored with the ground beef at Costco. It is the best. I also normally add some garlic salt or powder to my ground beef. 

I now add in the McCormick seasoning. 

Once it has finished cooking I add in my spaghetti sauce. This has mushrooms and green peppers in it. It is really good!

You can see chucks of mushrooms and green peppers. 

I normally have my pasta cooking while I am browning my meat. And voila, there you have it a nice dinner in about 30 minutes. I also normally have a french bread or wheat loaf in the oven cooking. Honestly, spaghetti night is one of my favorite nights because I know that the dinner will take me no time, my family will be happy and I can nibble on a warm piece of french bread with a glass of wine. 

I hope that you find this post useful and try out those veggie spaghetti sauces from Prego!


(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Elegant Herbal Teas

Happy Hump Day all! Since Monday was a holiday I find that keeping track of what day it is can really be hard sometimes! The week can really slip away from you if you are not aware of your days! 

Last week I promised that I would share some of the herbal teas that my husband purchased for me from David's Tea.

I love how organized this little box was. 

Love all of the colorful tea packets. It looks like a rainbow. This is the sachet tea wheel.

And on the sides they have the teas labeled by flavor. 

Now I just wanted to share a few of my favorites. 

This is honeycrisp apple tea. Oh can you imagine having this on a crisp autumn morning with warm buttery bread and buttery scrambled eggs? I can!

It has apple, sweet blackberry leaf, green tea, hibiscus, apple pomace, pear and natural and apple flavoring. 

This has white tea, green tea, cherries, coconut chips, rosebuds (you can smell those), natural and artificial cherry flavoring. Now this was good but not one of my favorites. I am not a huge coconut fan. 

This is one of my favorites!! It smells wonderful! I gave a few to my co-workers to taste and that's all they raved about. 

This has apple, almonds, cinnamon, beetroot, and artificial flavoring. It does contain almonds so be careful if you have a peanut allergy. 

My husband also purchased teas for the office for me. Most of those have been really good! I love the "just beet it" flavor. The smell of the elderberries is a wonderful scent in the mornings.

Well I hope that you enjoyed this post and check out David's Tea in person if you can.  I enjoy having my small pot of tea in the morning with my breakfast at my desk. It is a wonderful getaway. 

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)