Sunday, October 30, 2016

Bright Red Pants

Last week I wrote a post about my bright blue pants. As I mentioned in that post, at the time I bought the blue corduroy pants, I also bought a pair of bright red corduroy pants. I hadn’t worn either pair in over a year, but once I discovered them again, I wore both pairs within a week.

It's amazing to me that I can forget about an item of clothing for a year or longer and not miss it, and once I "find" it again, I can't stop wearing it. I know many use the "have-not-worn-it-in-a-year" test to decide whether to let go of items in their closet, but that test doesn't really work all that well for me as I often fall in love with a rediscovered item all over again, even if I haven't worn it in a couple of years...

I decided to wear the red pants with a grey cardigan and a black tee instead of an all black top to have a little less of a contrast, and I like the outcome. And I'm already thinking about what else to wear the pants with...

Bright Red Pants 1

Here are some red corduroy pants that I wouldn’t mind owning. * In fact, I'm starting to think I may need some darker/more muted red pants in addition to the ones I own: 

Questions: What is the color of the last pair of pants you wore? Do you ever fall in love with long forgotten items in your closet all over again?

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and may benefit from actions taken on the links.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sitting Boots

For the past 30 years or so I have been wearing “sensible” shoes. I severely injured my right ankle when I was 16, and, despite a complicated surgery, the ankle has never completely healed. I therefore have worn mainly flats, which I can handle. I definitely make sure that the flats I choose are fashionable (and at the same time provide support and are comfortable).

But recently I have been drawn to some not-so-sensible shoes  - boots with a heel. In fact, in the course of a few weeks, I bought two pairs of boots with quite a heel. Both heels are block heels and sturdy, but they are still much higher than my ankle can handle for a long time.

I have therefore called my new boots “sitting boots.” Now, they are not truly “sitting boots” as I can manage to walk in them and be comfortable for about an hour. And I can tolerate a second hour, but after that it gets difficult. So basically the boots are going-out-to-dinner (or going-out-and-don’t-walk-a-lot) boots. I’m hopeful that my ankle, which hasn’t had to deal with any kind of heel for 30 years, is going to get used to the heel little by little…
IMG 1465

Questions: Do you own “sitting shoes?” If so, do you own more “sensible” shoes or more “sitting” or “going-out-to-dinner” shoes? 

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

[Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and may benefit from actions taken on the links.]

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bright Blue Pants

Several years ago I bought a pair of bright blue (and also a pair of bright red) corduroys at the end of the season. I believe they were about 80% off. I really liked the bright pants but wasn’t sure how much I would actually wear them. But at 80% off I thought I could risk it. And I’m very glad I got the pants as they add interest to my mainly neutral wardrobe. I know I’ll keep them for years to come even though I may not wear them all that much each season.

On the day I wore them, we thankfully got a bit of rain in the San Francisco Bay Area. I let the pants be the focal point of the outfit by wearing a black tunic with the bright pants. I also wore black flats and carried my black Rebecca Minkoff Dog Clip Saddle Bag. While it was raining, I carried my red umbrella which added an extra pop of color.

Blue Corduroys 1 jpg

Blue Corduroys 2
Outfit Details: LOFT tunic (similar, similar), blue corduroys (similar), Rebecca Minkoff Dog Clip Saddle Bag

After we got some fresh air in the mild rain, Andy, the kid and I went to The Yard House in Santana Row. We hadn’t been in years and were very pleasantly surprised by the food and the service. It was the kid’s and Andy’s last celebratory meal for their birthday week! You can see in the photo how tired the kid was after all the celebrating...


Questions: Do you own any “loud” pants? 

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

[Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and may benefit from actions taken on the links.]

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall and Winter Clothes I Look Forward to Wearing Again

I don’t buy a lot of new clothes each season, but I have many clothes I’ve had for years that I truly like, and I’m looking forward to wearing them again. The weather here in Northern California has been quite mild for the most part, so I haven’t had a chance to wear most of them in many months.

1. Faux Leather Leggings for Fall and Winter 

Faux Leather Leggings

 2. Wraps and Ponchos for Fall and Winter

Two Sided Jacket Society Poncho 2
Black WhiteWrap2

3. Scarves for Fall and Winter

Faux Fur Trimmed Scarf

Questions: Which clothes in your closet do you look forward to wearing again this fall and winter?

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

Sunday, October 16, 2016

H&M Floral Dress

Several weeks ago, I saw an H&M advertisement for a floral dress in the morning and happened to be near an H&M store in the afternoon. I knew I had to check it out. The dress is very affordable, but a great deal is not what drives me to buy clothes anymore. I really try to think about how often I will wear a certain garment and if it truly fits into my wardrobe. The dress is a bit “louder” than my usual, mainly muted clothes but exactly the piece of clothing I like to add once in a while to keep things from getting too predictable.

I think the dress works well with a denim jacket, but I can also see it with different colored cardigans and sweaters later this fall, and I look forward to experimenting in the coming weeks and months.

H M Floral Dress 1
H M Floral Dress 2

I really like the pattern of the dress and know it’ll stay in my closet for many years.

H M Floral Dress 3 
H M Floral Dress 4
H M Floral Dress 5
 Outfit Details: H&M Floral Dress, Lace Up Booties

Questions: When was the last time an advertisement for a certain clothing item made you check it out in a store right away? I honestly can’t remember the last time before this dress…

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

[Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, and may benefit from actions taken on the links.]

Thursday, October 13, 2016

5 Uses of Epsom Salt and Pumpkin Epsom Salt Scrub

I was first introduced to Epsom salt years ago when I did my first Conscious Cleanse. An Epsom salt bath was recommended to relieve headaches and body aches that sometimes go along with detox, especially detox from caffeine. I had terrible coffee withdrawal headaches, and dunking my head in an Epsom salt bath a few times a day really helped.

I have also taken Epsom salt baths over the years when I was very sore, for example after an especially strenuous hike.

I hadn’t really paid attention to other uses of Epsom salt. I was therefore very interested when the Epsom Salt Council contacted me and asked if I wanted to take a closer look at Epsom salt.

They sent me two cute little cartons of Epsom salt, which list numerous uses for Epsom salt.

Epsom Salt

Here are 5 uses of Epsom Salt (these, and others, are listed on the cartons):
  1. Hair volumizer - combine equal parts warm conditioner and Epsom salt. Work the mixture through your hair and leave for 20 minutes.
  2. Enrich garden soil - sprinkle 1 cup per 100 square feet. Mix into soil before planting. 
  3. Rose fertilizer - apply 1 tbsp diluted in water per foot of plant height every two weeks. Scratch 1/2 c into soil at base to encourage flowering canes and healthy new basal cane growth. Before planting, soak bushes in 1/2 c Epsom Salt per gallon of water to help roots recover. Add 1 tbsp to each hole at planting time. Spray with 1 tbsp/gallon solution weekly to discourage pests. 
  4. Treat poison ivy, bee stings & mosquito bites - relieves itching, and reduces swelling. Make a compress by soaking a washcloth in cold water that has been mixed with 2 tbsp/cup Epsom salt. 
  5. Foot bath - soak feet by adding a cup of Epsom salt to a tub of warm water. 

I decided to make one of the recipes for a scrub the Epsom Salt Council provided. It’s really easy to make and smells really good. I love that it has only three, completely natural ingredients.

Pumpkin Epsom Salt Scrub 1

Moisturizing Pumpkin Epsom Salt Scrub
  • 1 cup Epsom Salt
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice 
  1. Mix the Epsom salt and pumpkin puree in a bowl until completely combined. 
  2. Stir in the pumpkin pie spice until blended. 
  3. If the mixture is too runny, add more Epsom salt. 
  4. Apply the scrub in circular motions and let the mixture stand for one minute before rinsing with warm water.

Pumpkin Epsom Salt Scrub 2

I really enjoy the Epsom salt scrub - it smells great and I love the natural ingredients.

Questions: Do you use Epsom salt? If so, for what do you use it? Do you have any recipes to share? Feel free to do so in the comments! 

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

Disclosures: 1. I was provided with the Espsom salt free of charge. As always, all opinions are my own. 2. This posts contains affiliate links, and may benefit from actions taken on the links.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Updating My Fall Wardrobe with A Cape

As a part-time college instructor who does most of her work off campus, my style is quite casual most of the time. Nonetheless, it’s important to me to be put together, and I make a point of getting properly dressed every day. Since my lifestyle asks for casual clothes most of the time, you’ll often see me in jeans or leggings and a tunic. To make my casual outfits more special, I like to add a unique piece of jewelry or a scarf and a beautiful third layer. That’s why I love fall and winter; I finally have an opportunity to add a third layer to my outfits easily.

I was excited when I was presented with the opportunity to select a piece of clothing from Chadwicks of Boston.* Browsing through the online catalog, I was attracted to the classic yet updated pieces. I also noted right away that most garments are available in tall, petites and plus sizes (without the need to click away from the main page). Being tall, I know that having a non-standard size can be a challenge, and I very much appreciate the options available.

Adding Interest with the Chadwicks of Boston Boiled Wool Capelet

When I thought about updating my outerwear for fall, I knew I wanted to add a cape to my wardrobe. Capes are very much in style, and I think they add a level of sophistication to any outfit. Plus, they can be worn with a casual outfit as well as with dressier clothes.

The beautiful grey and black Boiled Wool Capelet goes well with a classic outfit of black pants and a black turtleneck sweater. I love that the cape has pockets. 

Chadwicks Boiled Wool Capelet 1

The capelet really makes the outfit. All I added to the basic black pieces was a statement necklace and the cape. Here is a closeup that shows the necklace and the beautiful wool fabric.

Chadwicks Boiled Wool Capelet 3

And here is a fun shot of the beautiful back!

Chadwicks Boiled Wool Capelet 2

The capelet also looks great with jeans and boots and pulls the casual outfit together.

Chadwicks Boiled Wool Capelet 4

Finally, the capelet even elevates a very casual outfit - leggings and a tunic. The Boiled Wool Capelet is a truly versatile, well-made piece that I know I’ll enjoy wearing for many years to come for all occasions in my life.

Chadwicks Boiled Wool Capelet 6
One of the items I keep coming back to on the Chadwicks of Boston website is a 3/4 Length Pink Wool Coat (the coat also comes in black, black tweed, new camel, and winter white - all the available colors are beautiful, and it comes in misses, petites, tall, and plus sizes). When looking at the website, I was instantly drawn to the pink coat. It’s such a pretty color, and the coat has been added to my wishlist. It’s the one fall/winter statement piece I believe my wardrobe still needs. Plus, it’s an affordable wool coat option, and I know I will get to enjoy it for years to come.

Questions: Are you going to add a new piece of outwear this fall/winter season? I hope to add the pink coat... If so, what are you thinking of adding/replacing? Have you checked out Chadwicks of Boston lately? I was impressed by the classic yet updated, quality and affordable clothes.
Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

 *Disclosure: I am participating in a compensated campaign with this brand and was provided the capelet free of charge. The styling and the written words are my own. #ad #affordablequality

Thursday, October 6, 2016

10 Self Care Activities When Life Gets Stressful

Fall is a busy time for us. I start teaching several new classes at the end of September, there are five birthdays in October in our family, and the calendar gets quickly filled with numerous holidays and celebrations.

I can easily feel overwhelmed and feel like I have no time for myself. When I was younger, I thought “powering through” busy and stressful times was the answer. But that really didn’t work all that well as it always left me exhausted and often even sick. As I’m getting older, I have learned to take a little time for myself every day, no matter how busy I am. I feel much less stressed and am actually more productive and get my work done quicker if I do this consistently.

Here are 10 ways I have found to take care of myself when life gets stressful:
  • a short yoga routine at home
  • a barre class at a studio
  • an early morning walk (or a walk any time of the day)
  • a bath - an epsom salt bath is especially relaxing
  • a pedicure
  • reading a good book (reading for pleasure every day is an absolute must!)
  • journaling first thing in the morning
  • coloring in an adult coloring book
  • a facial mask
  • lighting a candle and listening to music while sipping on some tea
For a while now I have been intrigued by a “new” way people are relaxing: adult coloring books. I even gave some adult coloring books as gifts earlier this year, but I hadn’t tried them myself. Both recipients of the coloring books told me afterward that they loved coloring in them but that they had been skeptical when I first sent them (they both live in Europe, and I had them sent via Amazon).

Because I was curious about adult coloring books, I happily accepted when Sourcebooks offered to send me Color Your Dreams: 100 Inspiring Words, Captivating Coloring Images & Uplifting Activities.* The coloring book not only has coloring pages, but each coloring page is accompanied by a page that contains a quote and a reflective and meditative activity that goes along with the coloring.

Color Your Dreams 1
Color Your Dreams 2

Coloring and doing the activities at the same time is very relaxing and has become one of my favorite ways to relax. I love doing it right before I go to bed at night as it calms me down and is a much better way to end the day than watching TV or being on the computer or my phone (which used to be the way I would end the day - to be honest, I often did all three at once! Crazy, I know).

And lately, you’ll also find me on the couch at night in my PJs and my new cozy chenille robe.*

Bath and Robes Buttoned Chenille Robe 1

It was serendipity when Bath and Robes contacted me via Instagram to see if they could send me one of their robes as I had been looking for a new robe for a while now. The robe is cozy and soft, and I love feeling it against my skin. It’s perfect to wear at the end of the day when I’m winding down. And it’s also wonderful to put on in the morning to start the day.

Bath and Robes Buttoned Chenille Robe 2

Questions: How do you take care of yourself when life gets stressful? Have you ever tried an adult coloring book? I’m so glad I finally did as it’s a truly relaxing and fun activity... Is your robe as cozy and comfortable as it could be? My old robe definitely wasn’t, but I’m very happy with my new one from Bath and Robes.
Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,
*Disclosures: I was provided both the coloring book and the robe free of charge. As always, all opinions are my own. #coloryourdreams

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Tunic with a Dress and Santana Row Fall Fashion Show

Last weekend, I was invited to attend a Fall Fashion Show at Santana Row. The fashion show benefitted St. Martin of Tours School. All models were students, parents and alumni, and everyone did a fabulous job! I was excited to attend and see fall clothes from many of Santana Row’s stores modeled and then check out the stores and try some pieces on myself.

Santana Row, an outdoor mall in San Jose, is a great place to hang out and relax. It’s also one of my favorite places in San Jose to take outfit photos and hang out before and afterward. In addition, it brings back memories to when the kid was little, as we used to belong to a gym there and literally went every day in the late afternoon - Andy and I to work out, and the kid to attend “play care,” which he absolutely loved.

I decided to wear a black dress with my StyleWe tunic.* By tying it, it reminded me a bit of a super lightweight bomber jacket. You can see how I previously styled the tunic here.

Tunic with Dress 1 
Tunic with Dress 3

The fashion show started with a social hour, where there were plenty of drinks and pretty and delicious food.

Santana Row Fall Fashion Show 1
Santana Row Fall Fashion Show 5
Santana Row Fashion Show 2
Santana Row Fashion Show 3
Santana Row Fall Fashion Show 4

And then came the clothes. It was a really fun and relaxed atmosphere, and all the models did a fabulous job! I saw several outfits I would love to own…

Santana Row Fall Fashion Show 7

Santana Row Fall Fashion Show 8 
Santana Row Fall Fashion Show 6 
Santana Row Fall Fashion Show 9 
Santana Row Fall Fashion Show 10

And after the fashion show, we did a little shopping… This H&M dress came home with me.

HM Patterned Dress

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,

Disclosures: *I was provided the StyleWe tunic free of charge. See the original post here. This posts contains affiliate links, and may benefit from actions taken on the links.