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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)

Monday, November 26, 2018

November Favorites

Wait, wait... November is over? Oh my goodness. When I was reviewing my drafts for this week's blog entries I saw that this was ready for me to write and I thought wow.... November is over. It really flew by. Well I have some new favorites for this month and wanted to share them.

Well first on the list is Ina Garten's new television series Cook like a Pro. I have been watching every episode and recording them. I love going back and watching them at night. It's such a treat after a long day at the office. 

My candles at home

My second favorite has been the crushed candy cane candle. My goodness it smells so good! It is not as strong as the twisted peppermint that I normally buy. It has been a nice subtle smell in the house. 

Third on my list has been my glitter dot ruffle blouse from New York and Company. The color is called berry bliss and it is the perfect mauve color. It looked so nice with my long flowy skirt and kitten heels. 

Fourth on my list has been the Nutcracker. I found the 1993 Nutcracker with a young Macaulay Culkin on Netflix! My daughter and I watched it while eating dinner one night. It was lovely!!! 

Here is the Youtube video if you wish to watch it. 

We also went to see the new Nutcracker and the Four Realms. That was lovely also. It wasn't crazy and it didn't steer to far away from the classic. There were some changes to the story but I was okay with those changes and so was my daughter.

My fifth favorite for this month has been Laura Calder. I mentioned her book a few weeks ago (see here) and I have ordered it! I can't wait to dive into it.

I have really enjoyed her Youtube channel and I have watched some of her videos over and over. Like this one about dieting.

and this video about the power of lists....

Other home favorites have been my giant poinsettias from Costco....

My sitting room at home

Our bedroom

And last but certainly not least my homemade apple cinnamon tea cake from scratch. I made this for Thanksgiving. The recipe is here.

My teacake at home 

Well I hope that you have enjoyed my list of favorites for November. I have already started my list for December. Really..... December. I can't believe it is almost here. I guess 2019 is coming whether we want it to or not. 

(photos via Google and Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

(my home last year)

Goodness.... another Thanksgiving is here already. It's been 5 years since we built this house. My step-son will be graduating this coming May from high school and will be joining his brother in the "real world". My daughter will be a freshman is high school this fall! I just can't believe how fast the years are going by. 

I will be taking the rest of the week off from the blog. I am just going to enjoy my time off and enjoy my family. I am NOT going out on Black Friday. I never do! I did however see some wonderful items on Ann Taylor's website that I quickly added to my wish-list. I am trying to be strong and not buy anything. 

Well I am off to preparing for Thanksgiving tomorrow. I am hosting this year. I am expecting about 15 people so we will see how this goes. My house is cleaned. I have all of my candles ready. My Christmas trees are up and my apron is wrapped around my waist as I type. Seriously enjoy your holidays with your families. I didn't realize how fast time went until the last few years. Goodness.... it is going. Enjoy!!!

(photo via Pinterest)

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Cognac Tote

A great brown, tan or cognac tote is hard to find. I like my totes large and with structure. So when I saw the aventrio tote at Aldo I had a silent scream on the inside.

Now when I saw it in the store it was in black. Cognac was not available. So I had to order it. 

I am glad that I did. It's a great color!

Love totes with "feet" on the bottom and this one is "tech-friendly". So it has a charger to go with it. Now you can't use the tote as a charging station but it's nice to have the extra charger with it just in case you lose yours. 

The inside has lots of pockets and is set up for folders, tablets and laptops. 

I wanted to have a photo of what it looked like with me holding it. Sorry I was at home and in my slippers. It's a great tote and I just wanted to share it. I hope that you enjoyed this post and this find. It comes in three different colors. It's a perfect size and great for travel. My boss is already having her husband get her one for Christmas. Enjoy!!!!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Friday, November 16, 2018

Paloma Beauties

Happy Friday to everyone! I have been so excited about my recent pair of crystal heels from Ann Taylor. Their friends and family sale (40% everything) just ended this week so I was able to take advantage of getting these beauties for 40% off!

These are called the keira crystal pearlized suede pump. The color is called paloma and they are stunning. 

I gasped when I saw them online. I just had to have them!

They are so comfortable to wear. The kitten heel is perfect for this shoe. I hate it when there is a great sparkle shoe and they have it on a platform or what I would call a "stripper heel". Sorry but that's what I think of when I see some of these shoes. This was beautifully done. I will love these forever and I hope you will too!

(photos via Pinterest) 

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!


(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 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. 


(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


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. 


(photos via Google, description text via Amazon)