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Monday, May 30, 2016

The Bee Brooch

I love a good brooch! Especially a vintage one. I have been on the look out for a "bug" brooch for sometime now and I found a small one at Banana Republic see here. But something in my gut told me to go back for another visit and I am glad that I did. I found the perfect bee brooch....

Here are both of my brooches from Banana Republic. Incredibly chic aren't they?

Hurry on over and get your brooch today!
#beeleganteveryday (my hashtag on Instagram)

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Friday, May 27, 2016

What I Learned About Pearls

I love pearls and I have said that over and over on the blog. I have learned quite a bit about this glorious jewelry statement piece. What I learned is that they are timeless, chic and make any outfit look wonderful and they get better with age. I recently read this simple yet informative list from Matchbook Magazine about what you should know about pearls.

Freshwater pearls: come in all shapes and sizes and a wide variety of colors.

Me with my freshwater pearls that I got from Von Maur last year, see here.

Saltwater Akoya Pearls: are round, pinkish in color and known for their luster.

Tahitian Pearls: range in color from inky-black to bluish-silvery white. 

Golden South Sea Pearls: are rare and lustrous with warm and golden tones. 

Now pearl necklace lengths are something else you should know. 

Collar: 12-13 inches
Choker: 14-16 inches
Princess: 17-19 inches
Matinee: 20-25 inches
Opera: 35-36 inches
Rope: 37 inches

Cultured pearls are "induced" in the shell and Natural pearls grow naturally. I hope you have enjoyed this list. Understanding this little bit of information can help you to pick out the best pearls for you. Thanks for reading!

(photos via Google and Mrs. Shockley) 
(To read the original article see here) 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

An Interview with a Fashion Mentor

I have shared on my blog about my "elegant distant mentor" Carolina Herrera. I think she is so chic. I love reading her interviews and watching them on Youtube. I wanted to share a recent interview I read from The Wall Street Journal about Carolina and input on etiquette.

Every morning: I take a walk in the [Central Park] Reservoir for one hour. I wear tennis shoes but not exaggerated ones. I wear Keds.

Carolina Herrera

I have my breakfast: in bed with my dog by my side. He has his own food, but I always give him a little something.

One thing I wear every day is: my Verdura watch from the ’40s. But this summer, when traveling in Italy, I wore the most beautiful white Swatch. It was divine. You can do whatever you want and not be afraid someone will steal it. (Wow she wears a watch from the 40's, just wonderful....)

The vintage and classic Verdura watch that she wears.

My fashion pet peeve is: how people dress at the airport. It’s terrible. You know, if you dress up at the airport you will actually be taken care of perfectly. You’ll be the one who the stewards look after the most.
I organize my closet with: all the skirts together, blouses together, evening together, same lengths together, all the same hangers.
When a bride asks for made-to-order dresses, I insist: that she come alone. If a girl comes in with her family and best friend she lets them influence her too much. It’s one of the most important days in her life. She should be able to wear what she wants.
The secret to aging gracefully is: knowing what looks good on you at all ages. If you try to dress in a young way when you’re old, you’re going to look even older. Shorts, for example, are for young people with lovely legs.

Carolina's studio
I don’t eat: junk food. If someone puts potato chips in front of me, I’ll probably eat a little, but I’m not one of those people who goes to buy them.
My favorite restaurants in New York are: La Grenouille and Indochine. La Grenouille is the more beautiful; it’s like being in a garden, full of flowers. It’s a civilized place where you can have a conversation.
I am a maniac about: setting tables and making beds. Both have to be perfect, my mother taught me that. I like linens from Schweitzer, D. Porthault or Pratesi.
My obsession of the moment is: Netflix. I’ve been watching “Scandal” and a British series called “Midsomer Murders.”
I’m currently reading: Edna O’Brien’s book of short stories, “The Love Object.” It’s so good! I like to read, it’s one of the things I do to distract myself.
One downside to digital 21st-century life is: there’s no privacy. I don’t mind if someone asks me to take a picture; it’s flattering. I tell them, “The photograph, yes, but the arm around me? No, please!” It’s invasive.
I love this interview. I agree with her on so many things. Especially about there being no privacy. I also enjoyed this interview by Leandra Medine from Man Repeller. Watch the interview below and see why I admire this woman. Oh, and I especially love the comment she makes about the Kardashians! 

(photos via Google and video via Youtube)

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Smell of Spring...

Well, it's officially spring and I wish Indiana would get the memo. We still have days of cold weather and rain, rain rain. So not fun but any-who my favorite store Von Maur has just put out one of their great scents for the spring and summer. It is called the Smell of Spring.

If you are a floral junkie like me then you will enjoy this fragrance in your home. I always buy the room spray and the wax melts.

This scent is so wonderful. I enjoy walking around my home and smelling the fragrance of fresh hyacinth blossoms and you will too!

(photos via Von Maur)

Friday, May 20, 2016

A Local Artist that I love....

Last month my husband took us to the Stutz Art Show. It was our first time going and we took my oldest step son and daughter. I have gone to museums to look at art but this was something very special.

They had live bands playing music, classic cars, there was food everywhere and a lot of the artist had wine in their booth space! So we walked around to each artist viewed their work and drank wine!  It was great!

But there was one artist in particular whose work I just adored. Her name is Diane Lyon. As most of you know I am a floral geek and love anything floral. She has one painting in particular that I wanted sooo bad.

This was my favorite. 

I loved this one too! 

If you want to see more of her work view it here.

Another painting that I could not take my eyes off of was this painting called "Repose".

I think it was painted by the artist Victoria Gillieron who also has wonderful pieces. 

And here is a fun photo of some of the classic cars that were at the show. 

Gorgeous aren't they? 

I would encourage you to find out what local artist are in your city and to attend an art show. It is quite wonderful.

(photos via Pinterest and Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Spring blooms in my life....

I have had some great blooms for spring so far. Everything from the items I planted in my yard two years ago to the home and office bouquets I have been able to pick up at my local store. I wanted to share some of the beauty that I have had for the past couple of months.

My front yard

My "Miss America" peonies that I picked up from the nursery.

My pink flowering tree

My lilac bushes

My white lilac tree. My husband will be putting it in the ground.

Our Canadian cherry choke tree. It is so fragrant in the spring.

An up close photo of the blooms on the tree.

An up close photo of my rhododendrons. 

My pink lilies at home.

These were at my office.

And last but not least my peach roses from Costco. 

I look forward to my flowers this year. Enjoy the beauty in your life. 

(all photos Mrs. Shockley)

Monday, May 16, 2016

Why I Keep A Journal

I heard someone say some years ago that the reason why they kept a journal was because they wanted to keep a record of God's score and that resonated with me. So I started keeping a journal in 2005.

I have written down every hardship and victory that I have gone through since then. Through out the year I revisit them. I do this to remind myself that God has not forgotten me and that victory is on it's way.

I have gone through every thing from job loss to family feud's. From dealing with jealous hearted co-workers to a petty ex-wife. My husband and I have seen a lot but with every valley the Lord has delivered us.

So I share this with you to tell you, keep a record. Write down your hardships and write down your victories. So when you have that moment of defeat you can go back to your journal and read how the Lord gave you victory all those other times and it will help you to keep your faith.

I just recently went and picked up a new journal from Von Maur. They are now carrying the new Kate Spade collection. If you are a flower fanatic like me then you will enjoy this collection.

As I said before, record your life. You won't regret it. 

photo via Mrs. Shockley 

Friday, May 13, 2016

To Meditate On...

My good friend Kim gave me this to read and I really wanted to share it:

"When I give you no special guidance, stay where you are. Concentrate on doing your everyday tasks in awareness of my presence with you. The Joy of my Presence will shine on you, as you do everything for Me. Thus you invite Me into every aspect of your life. Through collaborating with Me in all things, you allow My Life to merge with yours. This is the secret of not only joyful living but of victorious living. I designed you to depend on Me moment by moment, recognizing that apart from Me you can do nothing". 

" Be thankful for quiet days, when nothing special seems to be happening. Instead of being bored by the lack of action, use times of routine to seek my Face. Although this is an invisible transaction, it speaks volumes in spiritual realms. Moreover, you are richly blessed when you walk trustingly with Me through the routines of your day". 

~Jesus Calling

(photo via Pinterest) 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Beauty While Dating

Honestly and truly I am so glad I am married! Good gosh some of the horror stories I hear from men and women about how it is in the single world. It's enough to make you want to re-think dating and even marrying! I hate to say that but it's a rude, disgusting world out there.

I still can't believe how nasty women have gotten. It still shocks me! Well, as you can already see I have some more tips from my fav author on how to have poise and mystery while dating.

"When you dress beautifully, behave graciously, and exude class wherever you go, people will notice. You will be intriguing to those who also care about these things. With your excellent manners and grace you will automatically weed out all of the potential suitors who are, well, not suitable". 

~ Always present your authentic self. Never hide things or pretend to be someone you are not in order to impress a man.

~ Dress alluringly, yet tastefully. You should feel both comfortable and stylish in your clothes. You want him to focus on you, not your cleavage, so don't feel the need to lure him that way. Your intelligence and natural beauty is enough!

~ Discuss interesting things such as your favorite books, films, and places to travel. Get an idea of what common interests you share. 

~ Never feel pressured to do anything you are not comfortable with. 

~If he insists on paying, accept graciously, but be sure to treat him to something down the line, whether it's lunch the next week or a meal you make for him.

~ On the first date maintain your air of mystery. He doesn't need to know your entire dating history or why the last guy jilted you. These things can come out later, but for the first date, keep it light. 

~ We all know first dates can be nerve-racking, but don't get drunk! Keep your wits about you and never go over the limit of how much alcohol you can tolerate. 

~ Avoid expressing your emotions online or in texts. Be respectfully of what you share about your new beau on social media.

~ If you really like him, let him know. There is no need to play silly games. Remember, you are a catch! He will most likely be thrilled to have snagged such a poised lady.

~ Take your time. Just as you'd savor a delicious feast, savor the romance and how it unfolds. Don't rush things. This is the most magical time in the relationship!

I hope you enjoyed these tips! I know I have! Even though I have been married for 13 years I can still use some of these reminders. 

(text via Jennifer L. Scott and images via Pinterest)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Being Gracious at Work

I love my job. Ever since I was in high school I knew I wanted to be a paralegal. I enjoy the work I do and the office I work for.

But every office has those "bad apples" and I try my very best not to be in that bunch. Every office has them. Those "mean spirited" rude people. I just steer clear of them and rise above it.

I am finishing up Jennifer L. Scott's third book Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic. I recently read her section called "Poise at Work". I think that poise and excellence at work is so important but as I said before you will always have this nasty individuals that just make your day hard. Jennifer gave 17 reminders on how to have great poise at work. Here are just a few snippets.

1) Always act with integrity and dignity. Honesty is one of the most important traits you can have at work. Always be truthful whether you are clocking in your hours or listing your accomplishments in the interview.

2) First impressions are important. Whether it's a new client or a new district manager, always STAND when you're being introduced to someone.

3) Be a good listener. Let's say you are receiving a performance review from your boss and he or she gives you a few areas you could improve upon. This hurts your pride. You might feel defensive, annoyed, and even upset. But it's a good idea to place you pride on the back burner and genuinely listen to your boss's analysis. Get truthful with yourself.

4) Look alert. I know you're tired and this Monday-morning meeting is such a complete and total drag, but perk up, sit straight, and look alert. You can raise the energy level and productivity of your team.

5) Always dress appropriately. It is best to err on the side of conservative dress. Never wear clothing that is too revealing, either too short or showing too much cleavage. Dress for the job you want, not the job that you have. Aim to look presentable always.

6) No visible tattoos or body piercings. If you work in a conservative environment, it is best to cover them up. Whether you like it or not, people will judge you for them.

7) Treat everyone with kindness and courtesy, from the janitor to the CEO. Do this not to get ahead, but to show respect for everyone in the workplace. Treating everyone with equal reverence creates a positive team environment.

8) Be diplomatic in how you communicate. Avoid pointing, as it looks aggressive. If you must point, keep two fingers together. Think politician. Also think (and pause) before you speak. Maintain your calm and poise even in the wake of their angry tirades. You are the face of the company......

9) Watch your language. It doesn't matter how friendly you are with you coworkers, watch your language lest the boss or, even worse, a customer, hears you swear.

10) Show respect for the common areas like kitchen or tea area. Clean up after yourself. Never take any food that isn't yours. Avoid taking personal calls in these areas, so as not to disturb others who are resting.

11) Keep your work area tidy. Doing so showcases a good work ethic and shows you respect the job. Treat your work space as you would the big corner office with the view, even if you are just in a cubicle for now.

12) Always be punctual for meetings. You do not want to step into that boardroom with twelve sets of annoyed glances looking your way.

13) Never gossip. If others are participating in office gossip, stand up for the person being gossiped by pointing out that that person is not there to defend him- or herself, or simply remove yourself from the situation.

14) Take responsibility if you have acted in error. It shows tremendous courage to own up to your mistakes. Stepping up with integrity will most likely erase much of the damage done by the mistake in the first place.

15) Don't order extravagantly at business dinners. I know the lobster looks good and so does that bottle of champagne, but employ restraint when ordering at business meals, to show respect for the hosts.

16) Never order a take-away bag from a business dinner. It just looks bad. And then you have to carry it out of the restaurant. Awkward.

17) Be Yourself. From the initial interview to every day thereafter, strive to be yourself. There's a reason you got this job in the first place.

I hope you enjoyed these reminders from Jennifer L. Scott and I would recommend you pick up her book Polish your Poise. It's a wonderful read!

(photos via Google and text via Jennifer L. Scott)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Caring for Roses

My husband picked up a copy of Victoria Classics Gardens of Bliss for me! I was so happy and grateful that he did. It had a lot of information in it about flowers which of course if my favorite thing.

One article that caught my eye was the two page spread about caring for roses. It is so great that I knew I needed to share this on the blog.

* Choose sturdy, proven rose varieties. You'll find plenty of versatile and resilient shrubs appropriate for your climate, as well as for the conditions in your garden.

* When adding a rosebush to your garden, give it plenty of room to grow and reach mature size.

* Plant roses where they will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. All- day sun is best.

* Dig a planting hole twice as wide and just as deep as the nursery pot or root mass of your new plant.

* Roses thrive in enriched soil. Improve soil before or after planting with several shovelfuls of composted manure worked into the area around the plant.

* Feed plants monthly with rose fertilizer during the growing season. Stop feeding by late summer to avoid promoting tender new growth that could be damaged by freezing weather.

* Water roses weekly if nature doesn't provide soaking rains. Always water after fertilizing. Preserve soil moisture by spreading a 2 inch layer of mulch (compost, shredded leaves, and chopped bark) on the ground around the base of the plant.

* Keeping plants healthy helps prevent pests and diseases. Stopping to enjoy your roses enables you to spot the first signs of problems. Take a non-chemical approach to troubleshooting; A blast with the garden hose often eliminates insect pests. Cleaning up leaf litter minimizes diseases.

* Snipping off spent flowers keeps roses growing strong. Stop cutting by late summer and help plants slow their growth and prepare for winter. In late winter or early spring, trim off any damaged canes (stems). Remove brown canes and show no signs of life when the rest of the bush appears green.

* If you live in a cold climate, help your roses survive by covering the base of each plant with compost heaped to 12 inches. In spring, uncover the plant when it begins to show new growth. 

Give roses at least three years to become fully established in your garden. If the plant thrives, savor your success. If it doesn't, replace that rose with a different variety, and try again in another part of the garden. 

These are wonderful tips aren't they. To read the original article see here.

David Austin Rose, Golden Celebration (yellow roses are my fave flowers!):

(photos via Pinterest)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Pretty Bedding at Macy's

This past weekend I took a stroll through Macy's and spotted this beautiful bedding collection.

The pillow with the blue and white vase on it is great! So then I decided to take a look at Macy's bedding collection online. I found this great peony pillow. I think I may have to buy it!

Another great pillow is this Bluebellgray.

This collection has been added to my "Oh my" collection.

Absolutely stunning! I keep telling myself "don't get a Macy's charge card"! Don't do it! But the home collection is just so wonderful. I am surprised that I have been able to hang on this long.

Thanks for reading!!!!

(photos via Google and Mrs. Shockley)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Beauty at New York & Company

Spring is finally starting to surface in the stores. I just received my catalog from New York and Company and they have wonderful pieces for Mother's Day and for spring! Here are a few of my favorites...

I love this black and white dress. Even though I already have one I am still drawn to this one!

Check out the rest of the site to find some of your fav finds!

(all photos via New York and Company)