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Sunday, May 29, 2016

BACKYARD UPDATE:Outdoor Cushions & Curtains

This weekend has officially opened the Summer season in our new backyard!! So excited to be able to use it for relaxing and entertaining.

As with all projects in, or around our homes we are always in process. It just goes along with our creative spirits. Can I get a cheer for we creative types!?

We have slowly been bringing out our furniture to the backyard. We actually have 3 sitting areas, the back brick patio, the back rectangle patio, and the side patio.

This year we are going to use what we have, but trust me we have plans for next year to make a few purchases of some chairs.

Right now we have white wicker with cobalt cushions trimmed in white on the back of the house. We also have our original kitchen set that is almost 47 years old on the brick patio. I really love it out there it gives me the look of  Charleston courtyard when I see it on the brick.

You can see I have it accented with black and white stripes. Both the cobalt and the stripes are also found inside our great room which looks out to the backyard, so there is a nice flow.

Now lets talk about the side patio where I had to make some decisions.....

You can see that we have two white wicker chairs that have striped cushions. These chairs can be pulled around the corner when we have guest for extra seating. 

We chose to put our little black wrought iron bistro set here because we can enjoy our breakfast out here in the mornings. These cute little chairs needed cushions to make them comfy.

It felt like a fairly easy decision, however there were some elements to consider. 

Important To Remember:
I never just look at one element when making a decision for my home. It is important to look at the long term & bigger picture.

Let's take a look at all the elements and my long term plans for this area.....

See this cute little chair? I have two of them that we plan on using on the side patio. They need a good coat of white paint, but notice the cushion, black with white trim!

Next is another one of my future plans that I need to consider.....

You will notice two elements on our last porch that I plan on using on our new side patio. The outdoor striped curtain and the mirror.

See I told you!! There are lots of elements to consider before plunging in and making a quick decision JUST based on the bistro set. I have to consider how it will all flow together.

Here is a close up of the bistro set. We purchased this several years ago at a garage sale. It came from the Boudin  bakery where they make wonderful French bread. It is very heavy since it is wrought iron. We got a great deal of only $50.

Now back to the cushions....

Since the little white chairs have black cushions with white trim I could use that, but then again, that would be WAY TOO MUCH black!!

I am using black and white awning striped curtains eventually, and that would make a nice compliment to this area that has all black and white.

Around the corner on the back patios I have the cobalt with accents of the black and white stripes so it all ties in together nicely.

In this picture you will notice a column at the end of the side patio. I would like to hang a striped curtain on each side of that column, tied back like I had on my previous home's porch.

I am going to wait until next year because we also have plans on adding an over hang on the back patio, and at this point I am not sure how that will tie into the side patio so it is best to wait before ordering the curtains. However, I have to keep them in mind when planning any changes.

I made my decision on the cushions, and they will be Sunbrella black and white awning stripe boxed round cushion with black trim top and bottom.

Here is the link if you need any cushions for your outdoor furniture. This company is so easy to work with and they have made all of my outdoor cushions in the past, and I am a repeat customer...

In the past I found it hard to find the black and white awning stripe for curtains, the white was always sand, not white, however pottery barn does carry them now. 

I found a company that has the same product made in Sunbrella fabric for quite a bit less. I have not used this company before so I can not vouch for their quality, but when it is time for me to purchase mine, I will be trying this company.

The cushions have been ordered, and I should have them in about three weeks!!

If you need me chances are I will be out in our new backyard relaxing, and enjoying the sound of our fountain!


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A FASHION POST: White on White!


For this Spring and Summer an all white ensemble is always a classic in my book. 

Years ago one of my signature looks was white jeans, white t-shirt, gold belt and gold driving moccasins. Of course back then we matched our belts to our shoes and our shoes to our purses. For today's look we can mix it up a bit more if we choose.

Today I am going to show you all some all white looks that I would definitely wear and I truly think just about any one can wear these looks. The important thing to always remember especially when dressing in all of one color is your silhouette.

 Ralph Lauren does a fantastic job with this all white outfit and he accents it with natural leather accessories. This is a stunning outfit. 

Personally I can not wear the cute lace-up sandals since my ankles are not slim, but I could wear this look by adjusting the sandal, and the length of the skirt to make it more proportionate to my 5'4" height.

Often we look at an outfit and talk ourselves out of even trying it on, or trying to duplicate it. I want to urge you to retrain your brain to look at outfits that you are attracted to, and see how you can make it fit your body type and proportions.

This beautiful jumpsuit is from Chico's and I have shown this to you all before in a post. I find this not only current, but classic. This truly IS an all white outfit, including the shoes. 

Again, I would have to alter the shoes, since the heels are too high for me, but I can find a cute pair similar in look with a lower heel.  I still have my eye on this one for my wardrobe, but to be honest  I would get more use out of two pieces rather than a jumpsuit for my wardrobe.

When wearing all white it is a good idea to mix up the textures a bit. Notice the top and how it mixes two types of eyelet. This keeps the outfit interesting. I also love to wear natural brown sandals with all white. Again no lace ups for me, but on this model this is a darling outfit. For those that are interested it is on a great sale  right now. Marked $89.50 to 40% off at $47.50!

Tanya Foster is wearing her all white outfit very nicely by adding a pop of pink in her shoe. It is fun to add a bit of color in an accessory when keeping your outfit all white. The back of her top is eyelet which also adds some interest and texture. When purchasing clothing look for interesting details that takes the piece up a notch.

You can accent your all white outfit with warm brown leather and it takes on a whole different look. I found two belts at Target that I think can add to a plain top and bottom in all white that I thought you might like......

This belt is a bit wider and would look great on a white maxi dress or shirt waist dress.

 (button up you top Missy!)
 Both Eyelet dresses by Michael Kors

This belt runs a little thinner and would look great with a pair of cute white jeans and a white top. 


If you feel you can't tuck in your shirt because your waist is a bit wider than you like, put on a cardigan that fits close to the body and then you will only see the very middle of your belted area, therefore creating a slimmer silhouette as in the image below from J.Crew!

Here are some cute leather sandals that you can mix nicely with white or any other color for that matter.....

For those of you who can wear a lace up sandal these are darling from Franco Sarto....

So what do you think, could you pull off an all white outfit? Remember you are only limited by your own imaginations. Try it, I think you might just like it!!

If you are interested in seeing more of my fashion likes, check out my pinboards for fashion all at the top of my page..... HERE!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

A FASHION POST! : To Bare or Not To Bare?

If you have been reading about the trends for the Spring/Summer season you probably know that the bare shoulder look is quite in vogue.

Now for the BIG question should we women of a certain age bare our shoulders or not? Obviously this is really up to the individual so I can not answer for all of you. However I have been looking around to see if there would be any styles that would tempt me to bare my shoulders.

I have found many cute tops for the under 40 group, but for me personally I won't be wearing the bare shoulder look. It has more to do with my modesty than my age. I think I would feel too exposed and would be tugging at my top to keep it in just the right position all the time.

Let me show you some looks that I really think are stunning and if I were to wear an off shoulder or cold shoulder look this is the direction I would go. You all have to make your own judgement on whether you would wear this look or not.

Since I love stripes I would go for this look. I like the way it is somewhat fitted and it is simple. I would probably wear this with a pair of loose white linen pants and a cute pair of simple natural leather sandals. Great dangling  earrings and a simple bangle.

Keep in mind I am dressing a woman of a certain age in the off shoulder look so there will be no midriff showing, but this look is stunning to me and if you have the figure to wear it, this is the way to go, keeping it classic.

REMEMBER no tummy showing so get a longer top that goes a bit over your waist, but the all black look with the natural leather, and the simple hair-do and great earrings is the way to go!!

 This white top is nice and loose with a special little detail at the base of the sleeve. 

Since the top is loose the choice of bottoms need to be tighter. If I were to wear this I would go for an all white outfit, with slim white pants to my ankle and I would wear gold leather flip flop type sandals and gold chandelier earrings. 

With the tie  embellishment on the sleeve I would skip the bangles for this outfit. If you happen to have slim ankles you could wear a cute pair of gold lace up sandals. Since I am not blessed with slim ankles I like to wear a simple flip flop in a gold leather.

If money is no object this is my favorite look for off the shoulder tops. I saw this on Elements of Style blog and I thought to myself, " If I would wear an off the shoulder top this would be it!"

I normally do not wear floral prints, but this is stunning and I think classic for this look. This is what I call a statement piece.

Slim white ankle pants would be the pants I would wear, but I think I might wear a cute pair of black patent sandals for this ensemble. 

I would keep my earrings very simple since the top is so outstanding and I would wear a wide cuff bracelet in either gold or silver.

This next look I have mixed feelings about. It is a combination tank, and off shoulder look. I know it is more of a modest look, and yet it feels a bit confusing to me. However this is ideal for those of us that can not commit to the whole shoulder being exposed.

This particular dress is the only one I have personally found of this style that I would consider.

You will notice all of my choices are black and white. I find them more classic when going outside my comfort zone or when buying a trend piece.

So what do you think, would you wear or have you worn an off the shoulder look? Let me know what you think in the comments. We are here to learn from each other and to help promote women of a certain age to care more about their style and appearance!!


Monday, May 16, 2016

Backyard Update


"Let The Planting Begin!"

In my last backyard update post I left you all with images of our hardscape and the selections for our base plants.

So much has happened since that last post it is hard to know where to begin.

Bare with me as I take you through a guided tour of our backyard process!.....

I left you here.....

All the hardscape was done and we were waiting to go and select our plants. I love to go to nurseries and  sometimes will just go and walking up and down the aisles.

For our selections Jorge, our landscaper took us to a wholesale nursery that had 22 acres of plants. OH MY!!!

 I was like a kid in the candy store!

We chose our base plants first, two large trees, and 6 tiny towers for the side of fence trees,plus 2 espaliered lemon and 2 espaliered lemon trees.

Once those were chosen we could fill in with the rest of the plantings.

You can imagine my excitement when all the plants arrived.....

Boxwood, bower vines, sungold breath of heaven, espaliered lemon and lime trees, and 3 espaliered white camellias will surround our yard.

White iceberg rose trees, and star jasmine will be adding fragrance to the yard as well as lavender.

I think we have all the senses taken care of!

My sweet hubby checking out the perimeter trees. We both felt sorry for the workers that had to dig the holes for the 36in. boxed Chinese pistachio trees.


They planted the trees first and started laying things out to see how I wanted the other plantings arranged before the holes were dug.

 Looking good!

When they added the black bark mulch all the green plants came to life.

The plan came together beautifully and I could see my yard almost complete.

Of course the grass has to be planted and the boulders on the slope need to be added, then there are the trellises to hold the bower vines on the back fence and the lighting. So many details and all of them will make the picture complete.

We can see the finish line right before us! Stay tuned for the next installment of our little journey!