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Friday, May 31, 2019

A Dining Room Update

Well, the moment of truth has finally come. Back in 2017, I posted a blog entry about dining room inspiration. Last week we finally purchased a dining room table and chairs and I am so excited! 

This was our dining room table and chairs. It has served its purpose. I only purchased this back in 2008 because it was within our budget and it was the only table (at the time) that had 6 chairs. 

I will NOT miss this table. I hate the bar room style dining room table. The chairs are not comfy and I hate that I had to buy chair cushions every year because the chairs are too hard. Not to mention, this past Christmas when I hosted, my husband's 88-year-old grandmother tried to sit in one and it was too high for her and she slid right out of it!


This is going to my step son's house. He will enjoy it more. I believe it fits more of the bachelor lifestyle. 

(In the store)

This is our new table minus the chairs. Our table arrived on Thursday (see below) and I could not love it more. My other four chairs will not be available for delivery until June 11th and they are Queen Anne style chairs. 

(Now in our home)

(My new host chairs)

I can't wait until my dining room is complete. I will post more photos once my set has been delivered. It's been a long journey waiting for this and I hope that everything comes together as it should. 

Enjoy your weekend!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

May Favorites

It's the end of May already and time to share things that have captured my heart for this month. It's been a really busy month because of my mother's recent knee surgery and my step son's upcoming high school graduation and pending college departure. Lots of changes to come. 

There have been a few things that I have been able to enjoy this month. It's been a great month for our yard! Everything is blooming and our grass is so GREEN! It's lovely. 

First has been this wonderful faux floral spring wreath that I found at At Home. It's a home decor store here in my city. The flowers are fake but the sticks are real which helps pull the look together. It looks great hung up on our porch. 

Next, are my crystal jug dispensers that I found at TJ Maxx. They looked so great on the table and worked wonderfully! I loved having my fruit infused water! It was a big hit at my step son's Open House! 

Third, was filming my faux floral arrangements video. I loved having all my arrangments in one place. It was glorious if only for a moment. If you have not seen my video you may view it below. 

Fourth, are my Chanel inspired brooches. Boy, these are head turners. Every time I wear one of these someone is always staring at it. I don't know what they are thinking but they sure do stare. I think they are so elegant and elevate an outfit quickly. You should check out Etsy to find one. 

Fifth, is the new decor items in my office. I adore my new Ralph Lauren floral pillows.  I wish I could share a link for these but I found them at Homegoods. 

Sixth and I think I may have mentioned this before has been my at home salmon, lime and dill meals. Oh my goodness, after a long day at the office, I love coming home lighting my candles, putting some french bread in the oven, munching on that and then putting my salmon and veggies in the oven to cook. It is a wonderful way to end my work day and start my wonderful evening at home. 

Seventh on the list are my new purse accessories. I love these and have been putting them on pretty much all of my handbags. They look great on all of them. I hope some of you were able to purchase these. They are a great and elegant find. 

And last but not least is a quick update on my recent Ann Taylor orders. So I received my pink skirt and it was way too short so I went to Ann Taylor this weekend to exchange it for something else. I found this great embroidered polka dot scarf. It was only $12 in the store and these striped leather slingbacks were also on sale for only $35! 

I also picked up this drapery cami and this great boyfriend cardigan. Both are very chic and will be great additions to my wardrobe. I am much happier with these purchases than with the pink skirt. It was lovely but a little too short for me. 

May was a great month. I hate seeing these months slip away like this but I am trying to embrace my moments more and take it all in. Enjoy life!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)

Friday, May 24, 2019

A Few Pieces for Spring

My office at work

Oh my goodness, next week is June. June! This year is flying by. Last weekend we had my step-son's Open House party and it turned out great! This week was their last week of school so in about 8 weeks our daughter and our last child will be a freshman in high school. Wow.....

I have been so busy that I almost missed the 50% off sale that Ann Taylor had. I barely made it! I only purchased about 3 from my wishlist of 15. I try to get items a little bit at a time. Sometimes I get them and sometimes I don't! 

I try to buy pieces from my wishlist that are "singing to me" and cut down on the bogus shopping. I wanted to share the three pieces that I ordered and I thought about sharing them on my Youtube channel this weekend but we will see. 

The first item is...

Image result for shirred midi skirt

This beautiful midi skirt in this stunning blue color called windswept. My package arrived yesterday and I was a little apprehensive about this skirt. I love skirts and have been trying to find an elegant blue one for years now. I have not tried it on yet..... but I will.  

The second item that I purchased from my wishlist was this dusk blue metallic cardigan. It does have a bit of shimmer to it but looks very comfortable and I think I will love it this spring and summer in those freezing office rooms. 

And the last item purchased was this powered rose A-line skirt. It is in a beautiful color and it has been years since I have been able to find a pink skirt. It's a little short compared to my other skirts but I was willing to give it a try. I have not tried it on yet but we will see. 

I don't know about you but I love light blue and pink together. I don't know why but I do. I hope that you enjoyed these recent finds. I have a busy weekend ahead of me. I have finished most of my house chores this week but my mother is having a cookout and I have to make banana pudding. I also want to visit the furniture store again. I really need to get my daughter a bed. She still has her twin size bed and each morning I go in to check on her she is literally hanging off of it! It's horrible. Also, I really want my dining room table and new chairs. We have not been eating at our current table because I just can't take it anymore. The bar chairs and table are just so uncomfortable now! Also, I really want a new dresser. So with Memorial Day coming, I am hoping that the store will have a sale and it's great having that extra day to take my time to shop. 

I hope you all enjoy your holiday and thank you to all of you who have served. My husband served during Desert Storm and talks about how he made wonderful friendships during that time. Serving in the military is so vital today and the older I get the more I see how keeping our freedoms are so important. 


(photos via Mrs. Shockley & Ann

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Everything Beautiful in its Time

I was recently in the car with my husband and I started thinking about certain events, foods, and flowers that I enjoy throughout the year. For instance, it's peony season!!! I love this season and I went a few days ago to check and see if they were available at my local florist shop and I was able to get a few bouquets!

 My peonies

I told my husband about a vintage Martha Stewart video that I have about weddings and how the florist in that video was talking about how he loves to WAIT for certain seasons to come for certain flowers. He said, "I don't want lilac when it's not in season, nor do I want roses. I love waiting for those seasons to come around so that I can enjoy those flowers in their proper season". Now this DVD was from 2006 so I was about 23 years old.

My peonies at home

I recall thinking, "No, I don't want to wait!" I want these flowers now! I want blueberries now, I want grapes now!

So now that 13 years have passed and I am a little older I can now appreciate why that florist said that and why it's a wonderful thing to wait for things until it's their season. For instance, I used to buy blueberries all the time and when it's not their season those things tasted awful! So I would waste money! Same thing with certain flowers. They would die and I would be so mad!

My sitting room full of my faux arrangments

So now I have learned and realized that everything is beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11, he has made everything beautiful in its time.....

Last year's peonies

Each year I calendar in advance what events I want to attend, when is the best time to buy this or that and I enjoy doing this. Blueberries taste blissful this time (April to late September). Peonies are from now until June. Grapes are good from now until October but the peak is September. Lilies are beautiful in late summer.

During the summer I look forward to the  Lunch Break at the Symphony. I have already purchased my ticket for the first show which is music from Romeo and Juliet. This is a wonderful time for me to enjoy the symphony. I grab a salad on my way there and sit in the audience and eat my lunch while listening to the orchestra. It's fantastic and only in June each year! 

My desk last year

I started growing peonies in 2017 and I believe I will have my first blooms in a few days! I still volunteer at Dress for Success and love doing the personal shopping during the summer because of all of the beautiful new donations we will have.

So everything is beautiful in its time and I am learning that slowly. You don't have to have it all now. Honestly, I am still furniture shopping for a new dining room table and chairs. But I don't want to settle and I know when it's time it will be there in the store waiting for me.

Our bedroom 

He (God) has made EVERYTHING beautiful in its time. The blueberries, strawberries, peonies, the symphony, lilies, the weather, everything about life. And I want HIS time. That's all I want. Enjoy your Wednesday!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley & Pinterest)

Monday, May 20, 2019

Beautiful Morning Rituals

Rituals and routines are my favorite thing in the world. It's how my mind operates. I live by these and I have shared them on the blog (see here and here). I believe in order and consistency. Most of you know that I reading a book by Martha Stewart and I am now in a section called "Welcome the Day". 

Martha gives lots of wonderful tips on how to start your day. The first tip is to lie quietly for a few moments before getting out of bed and give thanks for this new day. Being grateful for your life is a great way to start your day. Dab a few drops of an uplifting essential oil (grapefruit) on a cloth that you'll use solely for this ritual, and breathe in the aroma. 

The second tip is to get up and stand in front of a mirror. Smile at yourself and affirm that this will be a good day, full of blessings, opportunities, and wonder. Say aloud, "I look forward to a wonderful day, "or any affirmation with personal significance. I do this every day!!! I love saying affirmations to myself about my life. If there are difficult meetings or decisions ahead, affirm that you will tackle these with ease. "I will take the challenge of this day in stride".  

And the last tip is to make a list of all family members, friends, and pets that matter the most to you. You could even include material things. By writing one or two reasons why each is important to you, you'll clarify your thoughts and honor the people and things in your life that shouldn't be taken for granted. 

Wonderful and pretty simple tips. It is so easy to get away from being grateful. That is always one of the things I write in my day designer. BE GRATEFUL! Once that is in your heart, I believe the Lord will honor that and bless your life. 

Have a great Monday everyone! 

(photos via Pinterest, tips via Living the Good Long Life, page 176)

Friday, May 17, 2019

Chic Assignments ~ May

Gosh, it's the middle of May already and Jennifer L. Scott just posted her Chic Assignment Check-in for May. So what I have been doing is following along with the assignments. I do enjoy these very much and always want to update my readers on my status. 

So the first assignment was to listen to Erik Satie Gymnopedies. I listened to it and all I can say is magnifique! That YouTube video that Jennifer provided was wonderful! I saved it to my favorites and play it in my office all the time. What a great source to have for classical music. 

The second assignment was to regard the works of Pierre-Auguste Renoir. I viewed his artwork and my favorite piece of his was The Rose Garden at Wargemont, 1879. 

Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Rose Garden at Wargemont painted in 1879, is a studied game of depth and form imparting a sense of movement and energy. The artist explores the natural idiosyncrasies of plant growth and boils them down to a series of experiential dabs of color.

This is a beautiful painting and Wayfair has a reproduction on their website to purchase! I may have to think about that! 

The reproduction in someone's dining room

The third chic assignment was to wear a piece of jewelry that you don't normally wear. I usually don't have a problem with this. I rotate my jewelry pretty often so each piece gets worn throughout the year. I love wearing jewelry. I feel like my jewelry pieces help me to feel more feminine. 

My jewelry at home

And the last chic assignment was to get yourself manicure and pedicure ready. I am actually scheduled for my nail appointment this Sunday and I normally give myself a pedicure every other Sunday. I have the foot rasp that is on Jennifer's blog. I purchased mine 2 years ago and have not looked back! My heels have improved by 100%! I don't have crusty heels any longer. 

I look forward to Jennifer's June assignments and will do my very best to stay on top of it! If you missed my March and April assignment check-in's you may view them here and here.

Have a great weekend and make sure that you subscribed to my Youtube channel! I will try to post new videos every Sunday. 

(photos via Mrs. Shockley & Pinterest; text via Wikipedia)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A Lovely Mind ~ Part 2

I am still on my quest of "mental chicness". This past December I wrote this blog post about having a "lovely mind". I have been watching more of the news, reading more articles and doing my best to stay abreast of the world around me without going into complete depression. 

It is not easy. There is so much going on in the world. Not to mention silly things that go on with social media. I have been so concerned about my Youtube channel and having "trolls".  I have heard some of the other YouTubers talk about how people contact them and make horrible comments. I really don't understand that. If you don't like someone's content just simply "unfollow" them. It's so easy but then again people are crazy. 

I have been continuing to read the Living the Good Long Life by Martha Stewart. It was listed as one of my favorites a month or two ago. I have now entered the section of the book called "Accentuate the Positive". 

I must admit I can be a negative Nancy sometimes so I am trying to work on that bad habit. Changing your thoughts can change your life and so that has turned into a life goal for me. In the book, Martha gives 3 tips from author Rick Hanson (Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom) on how to accentuate the positive. 

The first one is:
Turn positive events into positive experiences. All kinds of good things happen in your daily life that you hardly notice at all. (O.M.G. so true). Someone pays you a compliment- you barely pay attention to it or deflect it. Instead, take time to recognize every positive moment and experience it. 

I know for me when someone pays me a compliment, I immediately say, "thank you Lord for those kinds words". But that is just me... 

The second is:
Savor positive experiences. Once you get used to recognizing these types of experiences, take it a step further and relish each good moment: hold on to it for 20 to 30 second, and allow yourself to really feel it in your body. The longer you hold these moments in your awareness, the more neurons fire simultaneously so they start wiring together to form a memory. 

I like this idea of holding your moments in your thoughts. This is something I need to practice. 

And the third is:
Consider how the experience is sinking into you and becoming a part of you. In other words, help weave it into the fabric of your brain and yourself. 

Soak in the moments of life. I really want to work on this. With our daughter beginning high school this year soaking in moments has become a huge goal of mine. 

Well, I hope that you enjoyed this post and take some of these tips and work on them yourself. I think we all get caught up in the problems and concerns of life and that we do just ignore those lovely comments that we receive. 

No more ignoring.... take it in and be grateful. 

(tips: Living the Good Long Life, page 169; photos via Pinterest)

Monday, May 13, 2019

A Stroll in Homegoods....

Hello Everyone, it's Monday and we are starting another week. I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. I really enjoyed mine. My mother had knee surgery a few weeks ago so I have been going over checking on her and cleaning her home. It's been a challenge for everyone but we are muddling our way through it. 

One of my favorite things that I got to do was go to Homegoods. Now it's unfortunate that you can't order online yet so if I find any of the items online I will provide a link of course. 

This was one of the first things I saw in the store. I absolutely adore this faux arrangement! My husband is not a fan of faux arrangements but I am! It is truly gorgeous!

The next items that I saw were these two planters. Some of you may have seen my hibiscus trees on my Instagram account and I purchased these for them. I believe they will look stunning in these planters.

I am so happy to see that the blue and white era is beginning to pick up here in Indiana. We are slower than molasses catching up with things so when we do it's like a miracle!

This was my favorite. I may have to go back and get it!

Now I found these items in the clearance section.....

There was this large vase for $9! And yes I did purchase it.

This large blue and white bowl was calling my name but I did not purchase it. I couldn't think of a place to put it. 

Then I saw a few pieces of art...

Blue and white monkeys

This was stunning. It had a bit of shimmer to it. 

Now, this I love. I don't know why but I do. I did not purchase it but could not stop staring at it. 

Saw this....a beautiful ghost chair. Now I already have one so I was not tempted to buy it but if you are interested the link is here. 

And finally I saw these beautiful glass and floral jewelry boxes. How chic are these?

I wish I could have found a link but I could not. These would be great for a teen daughter (if she is willing). It was a wonderful trip and I found lots of beautiful things including a new beautiful blue and white Ralph Lauren lamp (original price $105; sale price $45) and this sophisticated floral Ralph Lauren pillow (on sale for $25). Both of these items will be going to my office today. 

As always I love sharing beautiful things and finding them. Being a woman is a wonderful thing. I embrace it every day. 

My plan is to post a new video this Sunday. I am not sure what content I will present but I hope it will be fun and inspiring. 

See you all soon!

(photos via Mrs. Shockley)