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Monday, December 31, 2018

December Favorites

I hope you all had a great Christmas! I did.... I was so worn out from all the cooking. I try to explain to my husband that there is a lot of work that goes into putting up Christmas trees, decorating, meal planning, cooking, and wrapping presents. I enjoy it all but it is a lot of work.

Well I wanted to start of this week with my December favorites. I have enjoyed sharing my monthly favorites with everyone. It does force you to take account of items or events that you have enjoyed for the month.

First on my list is....

my bedroom in high school. This was my room when I was 18. I pulled out this picture recently and posted it to my Instagram account. I could not believe it. It's been so long since I have seen this picture. I graduated from high school in 2001 so it's not that long ago but it is. When I look at it I see..... a young girl who has not changed at all. 

At the time of this photo I had actually just graduated from high school and was finally able to work full time at my current office now. I was a student assistant at the U.S. Attorney's Office during my junior year and senior year in high school. I also worked there during my first year of college. I left around my second year of college and began working as a legal assistant at a private law firm. The lead attorney actually offered me the job in my 20th birthday. This photo holds so many memories. This was actually the first time I was able to have my own bedroom. My sister and I always shared a room but our mother had moved into a bigger home with more rooms. I was so excited to decorate. This makes me smile.... 

Second on my list is my surprise bouquet of peonies! I found these earlier this week. It is so rare to find peonies during this season. I had a huge smile on my face when I walked into the grocery store and saw these. So happy!!!

Third on my list are these elegant Kate Spade earrings. I found these at Von Maur a few weeks ago. They are called the full flourish flower stud and the studded pearl earrings.  Both are comfortable and lovely. 

Fourth on my list is my blue and white wrapping paper from the Enchanted Home. I purchased this last year and was so excited to use it. It looks stunning in person! 

Fifth on my list is this pin that I saw on Pinterest. Now I LOVE these lace stockings but I am so torn. I can see myself wearing these with my leopard print pumps, black flowing skirt, white collar shirt, pearls and cardigan. But my question is are these too sexy for the office? I don't know. I tried to imagine one of my co-workers wearing these or maybe one of our attorneys and ask myself would I be offended or think that these stockings are too sexy. What are your thoughts? Be honest. 

And last but certainly not least is this scene from a movie called Princess that was released in 2008. It's a cute little movie. I watched it one day with my daughter while folding laundry. This movie is about a princess that protects mythological creatures. While I was watching it this scene appeared and for some reason it dazzled me. I love the decor in the background, the silver teapot that "Nana" is holding, the blue and white tea set and the elegant pink blush scarf that Princess Ithaca is wearing. This scene was just so elegant to me. It has so much grace and poise. I had to take a picture of it. Loved it!   

Well I hope that you enjoyed my list of favorites for the month of December. I can't believe that I will now be starting my 5th year of blogging!!! I can't believe it! I was just telling my husband that I will be blogging 5 years this coming March. Even he was shocked! I hope that I can continue to bring beautiful content for 2019. 

(photos via Mrs. Shockley & Pinterest)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Have a Lovely Christmas

It's Friday!!! Yeah! I have a 5-day weekend ahead of me and I am soooo looking forward to it. Christmas is in a few days and I am looking forward to spending time with my family. I have such a busy schedule for the next few days so I am going to take some time off from the blog. My day designer is packed with ideas and tasks that I want to complete for the next few days.

I am hosting Christmas Eve dinner with my husband's family. His grandfather passed away earlier this year and his 88 year old grandmother always cooks Christmas Eve dinner for us so this year I decided to take the reigns since it has been such a rough year for her. I am hoping that this will help her a little. This has been her first holiday season without Grandpa Leroy. It's going to be different for us all.

One of my co-workers shared this recipe with me. It is called slow cooker pumpkin white hot chocolate. I am really looking forward to making this for Christmas Eve dinner so fingers crossed! I know that it sounds like it should be more of a fall kind of drink but why not. 

I hope that you all enjoy your holidays with your families and thank you all for reading my blog. Honestly, I have my moments when I don't feel inspired and don't want to write anymore but I keep going because I want to stay committed to what I am doing and I love meeting new like-minded friends on here. 

Please enjoy your holidays and Merry Christmas! See you in January!

(photos via Pinterest)

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Civil Life

Sorry for the no post on Monday. I have been so busy here at home trying to get ready for the holidays. Last night I decided to wrap presents. Apparently you use different muscles when you wrap presents. I am so sore from it! It is the strangest thing.

So in November, I mentioned some books that I was interested in reading. I did order the Inviting Life and the second book that I ordered is the Civility Solution; What to do When People Are Rude and I must admit I have NOT be able to put it down.

In the opening part of the book, the author P.M. Forni (who just passed away on December 1), starts with this....
"Rudeness may be everybody's everyday problem, but millions remain unprepared for their encounters with it. This book aims to help you find exactly what rudeness is and how it works. Most important, you will learn how to defend yourself effectively and civilly from its daily challenges. Being civil is the sterling strategy for rudeness prevention. If you are respectful and considerate, most of the people with whom you come in contact will be motivated to be the same in return. When rudeness can't be prevented, civility is still your best choice, as the stories that follow over and over again..... 

Mr. Forni then goes into a story from his life. He talked about how on some airplanes there is a sign giving a suggestion not a regulation on being courtesy. The key words are "as a courtesy" and "we suggest"- nothing more than a gentle prodding. But why should we clean out a basin that a perfect stranger will use next? Why spend time and energy on something that does not benefit us directly? Because it is the right thing to do. Being courteous to the next passenger is its own reward, the sole incentive. A remarkable notion!  

I know that I never leave a sink without wiping it down before I leave. It's common courtesy and it shows that you are neat and care about order.

I am still in the first chapter of the book but it is so wonderful. I am especially loving the section called "Unfocused Rudeness". I experienced that this weekend when my daughter and I attended the Nutcracker Ballet. People were still on their cell phones during some of the show and showing up 40 minutes after it started!!! Come on people, really! 

This book has been such a pleasure to read. I also wanted to share some of the chapters that Mr. Forni discusses. 

Look at some of these chapters.... Your Spouse takes Your Housework for Granted (oh my), Your Mother in Law Criticizes You, Your Child Talks Back to You... 

The New Neighbors are Noisy, Your Boss Reprimands You in Public, Your Colleague in the Next Cubicle is Noisy (yep been there).... 

A Supervisor is being Unfair, Another Driver is Tailgating You (not everyone at once), and my friend got a kick out of this chapter, "The Infamous Finger Makes an Appearance". There are more great chapters but I didn't want to keep going. I just had to share this book with everyone. I got a pretty good feeling that this one will be one of the "great ones" for me. I hope you enjoy it!

(photos via Pinterest and Mrs. Shockley)

Friday, December 14, 2018

Fur Boot Socks

It's cold, it's cold! And it's a horrible feeling when your feet are cold. I was (once again) perusing through the mall and I spotted these beautiful things.

Aren't they fantastic? The are called faux  fur cut boot socks and they are by Hunter. I just loved them! They looked so warm and chic. 

They also have them in black! Oh I had to have a pair. I quickly asked the sales associate if they sold these separately and she said yes!!! 

So when I got home I tried them on of course. This is what they looked like on. Very comfortable and warm. I then realized that I didn't want to wear them with my rubber boots but with my fur brown boots. I normally wear those when it begins to snow here and I don't mind getting them wet or stained. So I begin to wonder if I could fold these down into that pair. 

And I could. I have been wearing these all week and people keeping asking me about my boots. I kind of laugh and say, "No it's not the boots, it's the socks". They are a great investment if you live in cold climates and they look great. 

I hope that you enjoyed this find and are able to go and take a look at these. They are quite nice and stylish. 


(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Pearl Gloves

Are any of you like me? You lose gloves? I know I do but that does not stop me from buying them. Like these pretty pearlized crystal gloves from Ann Taylor. 

I love pearls and these have just enough "sparkle" on them. Now I know that I will have to keep my eye on them. I don't want to lose these. 

They are very comfortable and are long. I do like the "long" look. I don't feel like they are too short for my coat. 

They are a pretty gray or what the site is calling "burnt charcoal" color. They are a very neutral color and will probably match with any color coat you may have. I was able to purchase them for about $20 which is great for me. 

I do hope that you enjoyed this find and are able to pop on over to Ann Taylor. Your gloves can be elegant too right?

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Monday, December 10, 2018

A Lovely Mind

I was recently listening to a conversation between a co-worker and my supervisor. They were discussing all of the current events in the news and what's going on with this and what's going on with that. At that moment I realized something horrible..... I had no idea what they were talking about.

What's even worse is that they were discussing some things that were going on with our government. I work for the federal government. Not good. They weren't discussing things that were going on with our office per se but they were discussing current events that could potentially effect us.

It was then that I also realized that I had to do a much butter job in keeping up with the world around me. I hate watching and listening to the news. I don't even like watching our local news here. I hate the news.... I really do....but in order to have an educational and in-depth conversation with those around me I do need to be aware of issues going on.

In 2015 I posted this about the news and "mental chicness". I have to admit that I have still not done my very best at keeping up with current events. It is very hard not to take what's going on in the world "as your own". A lot of us are guilty of accepting the news into our emotions. I am guilty of it too.

But in order to be an alert, well-rounded woman, knowing what's going on and being able to discuss world events is very important. For the last two weeks I have been listening to NPR Now on my satellite radio station in my car in the morning or evenings. I try not to listen to it too much. 

I do enjoy listening to this station. They discuss a variety of things including cooking, the arts, economics, etc.

I will say this, after this last week of listening to NPR I do feel a little more confident about the information that I received and when I heard my co-worker and supervisor discussing more headlines I knew exactly what they were talking about. I was able to engage. 

Being an elegant woman is very important to me. Dressing well, thinking well, and being emotionally and spiritually well are some of my top priorities in life. I believe that God wants us to be informed but not afraid and that is my goal. 

On a side note, the other stations that I have on my favorites are Real Jazz, Siriusly Sinatra, Holly (Christmas music), the Symphony Hall, and Joel Osteen. I try to make sure that I have wonderful stations to listen to. 

What are you thoughts about the news? Do you enjoy watching or listening to it? Please share....

(photos via Pinterest)

Friday, December 7, 2018

Christmas Clusters

Happy Friday and look at what I found at New York and Company ..... cluster earrings!

And they are on sale! I got both pair for under $25! They are perfect for those holiday parties. 

These are called goldtone floral cluster earring. They are sooo pretty! Very feminine and flattering. 

These are also clip-on's; my favorite!

Unfortunately, I could not find these star cluster earrings online. I tried looking for two days now and still could not locate them. I am sorry. 

I did however find a few options, like these sparkling floral cluster earrings. I actually saw these in the store and was torn between these and the ones in the photo above.  Another great option are these silvertone floral earrings. They look quite lovely and the price is fantastic! 

These are actually for pierced ears but I converted them to clip-on earrings as soon as I got home. 

You should take a look around their website. There were lots of beautiful earrings all at 50% off! Enjoy taking a peek and relax knowing that you are getting them pretty cheap!

Have a great weekend!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Tables for Nightstands.....Why Not?

I am in home redecorating mode. I have been making lists, searching websites and doing everything I can to journal my thoughts on some of the rooms that I would like to redecorate in our home. I even want to redo the laundry room. I need a better shelving system and more hanging space.

Anyhoo, I have recently been taking a second look at our master bedroom. I love it don't get me wrong but I want more table space for my nightstand area. I recently saw some pictures on Pinterest where some individuals used actually tables as their nightstands. Honestly, I think that is brilliant!

Okay.... here is my nightstand. It is very nice but it is really small. I purchased this from Homegoods around 2011. I do love it but I need more table space. I am considering moving the bedroom furniture around. If you look closely you can see that my nightstand is right next to the bathroom which means I have no wall space to get a bigger table. So I may have to move the bed which I am sure my husband will have a fit about. 

I would love to have something like this. It has drawers and the surface space is enough for me to have a cup of tea, my lamp, current book I am reading and a bouquet of flowers. With this nightstand having drawers I can place all of my personal items or books inside. Very nice and ideal. 

Just loving all of the table space. Ohh I need it!

Having more surface space would be wonderful ....

I thought this was quite creative. This almost looks like a bench. But I love how there is a large mirror for you to view yourself in the mornings before leaving. 

These next two tables are quite interesting....

No drawers but definitely like the option of having two surfaces. 

This one even offers three surface areas. Very nice!!

Honestly this might be the best option for me if we do not move around the furniture. 

Now this has nothing to do with nightstand tables but I do love the antique dresser with the antique white mirror. I think that the contrast between the two is just lovely. It's very subtle yet very elegant. This might be my next suggestion but we will see. 

I hope that my husband is open to my new ideas. I don't think that I am asking for too much. I think the nightstand idea can be accomplished now and the kitchen ideas can be down the road but we will see. 

Thanks for reading!!!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley & Pinterest)

Monday, December 3, 2018

My Perfect Kitchen Makeover

We have been in our home for about 5 years now and I still love it. Unfortunately, I don't think that we are going to stay in this house. I hate living in an HOA with all of the rules and how it is managed. It's a mess.

My wish is to live in an older more established neighborhood. One with mature trees and older homes. The one thing that I hate about living in a subdivision is that you are stuck with the models and options that they offer and sometimes it can be pretty limited. In the end everyone ends up with the same home because when one neighbor sees you doing one thing then they end up doing it too. It's no fun!

Could we stay in this home..... yes I believe that we could but if that is the case then I've got some ideas on how to change things around.

I would love to start with changing our kitchen. I do love the setup but I want newer cabinets and I want to bring in some bright airy colors.

Now there is our kitchen. I love it and I loved the cabinets and counter-tops when we picked out everything 5 years ago but I know that down the road I am going to want to change this and I have been "pinning" ideas to my Pinterest board for sometime now. 

Of course this is my ideal kitchen. This is one of my favorites. I love the detailing in the cabinet doors. I showed my husband this photo and I said this is what I want and he was okay with it. I love white cabinets but I don't want anything "stark" white and I need them to have details on them. I hate seeing all white cabinets with no details. They look too plain to me. 

Also look at the island. It is the perfect blue and look at all of the carvings on it. It looks like a work of art. The gold hardware is exquisite. It is the perfect combination of french charm. 

I also love the stove in this kitchen. This would inspire anyone to cook at home. The island in this kitchen is also ideal. The wood beams in the ceiling are captivating too. 

I also would not mind having some of my cabinets with glass doors. I think that this is a lovely way to display some of your china and to see it. You don't use what you don't see. 

We also have a half bathroom downstairs connected to the kitchen. I still want wallpaper. I would love to install something like this in my small bathroom downstairs. I even love the gold hardware around the sink. 

I am glad to record my thoughts and ideas here on the blog. It's funny, I'll have an idea about something then I realize that I can't remember all of the details so I come to my blog and pull up the entry and voila it is there. The Bible says to "write down the vision and make it plain". Here is my vision for my kitchen. I hope that it can come into fruition. 

Thanks for reading!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley and Pinterest)

Friday, November 30, 2018

Lovely Napkins in the Car...Why Not?

Ever look inside your glove compartment and realize that you don't have any napkins and if you do they are quite crappy?

I love buying napkins by Vanity Fair. They are great quality and look quite lovely in your glove compartment. I had too many one weekend and decided to put some in my car. Best decision I ever made!!!!

They were great for spills, wiping my hands, wiping our noses, and any other needs we had. My daughter loves them and so do I!  

They are not to thick and not too thin. They are really soft and quite affordable. I only paid about $4 for a pack of 50. Well worth it indeed!

Here they are in my glove compartment in the car. I just love having them there and I know that it is weird but there is a slight elegant feeling to them when you pull one out to use. They are quite lovely and for the price why not? You can find these any where. I think I found this pack at Walmart. 

I hope that you enjoyed this post and this idea. Simple, elegant living is what I am all about. Enjoy!!!!

(photos by Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Christmas Brooches

It is time to pull out those beautiful Christmas pins or brooches that we all have. Do you guys remember my snowflake brooch from 2015? I LOST IT over a year ago and have been devastated ever since!!!

I mean I was seriously hurt about losing it and I still am. I have been searching Ebay for the last 2 years trying to find one but to no avail. No worries I am not a quitter. I know that I will find one soon.

However I did receive my recent Talbots catalog and saw that they have some new brooches for this season.

You guys should definitely take a look at their brooches and pins. I like grouping two or three together on a sweater or coat. Enjoy your brooches and wear them. They are so classic!

(photos via Google)