Friday, July 12, 2019

Fashion Friday!

Oh. My. Word. This week was unexpectedly crazy  and hopefully this weekend I can get around to blogging about all the excitement that is happening in my house. But, another Friday has rolled around and I didn't want to loose my streak (this making it an actual streak...2 is a streak, right?) of Fashion Friday blog posts!  So here is what got me through today:
We have had summer turned up high this week, complete with high temps and humidity, so today I grabbed a cute little Crown & Ivy sundress from Belk to make sure I didn't melt and paired it with my beloved neutral pumps and super deal Cato handbag (see last week's post for details.) Of course, no summer day is complete without some big, blingie sunglasses and anyone who knows me, knows I like my sunglasses to be a little bit "extra," unfortunately I do not remember where these came from.  For accessories, I did simple silver & crystal hoop earrings and my signature stack of bracelets.  You may question why I say my "signature" stack of bracelets but I have been wearing a stack of bracelets for more decades than I am willing to share....cloisonne bangles ring a bell with anyone?  Trust me when I say....I was the queen of the cloisonne bangle back in the day!.  
Happy Friday and I hope you dressed cute!


Friday, July 5, 2019

Fashion Friday

Oh,  FLASHBACK.... this post is like back in the day when I used to have the time, energy and interest in participating in OOTD (Outfit of the Day for those of you less informed social media types!)  I am doing my first - in a long time - Fashion Friday post! Since today was kind of a yucky day to work, as yesterday was a holiday and it felt like most of the world was still on holiday today, I needed a little extra giddy in my get up and go so I pulled out my current favorite dress.  Actually, most Fridays I think I need to pop it up a bit as the week has generally worn long and casual Friday doesn't do much for my hustle!
Right now I am loving this Ruffled Neck Juliette Swing Dress by Mudpie (it also comes in white and Navy but I just had to have this bright coral.)  It has a fun, full (i.e. non clingy) swing for these very hot South Carolina days along with the cutest big bow at the back of the neck that you, obviously can't see in these photos!  Being the less than tall girl that I am, I always try to add heels and nude ones really do elongate the leg and these Jessica Simpson Praylee Pumps have become the summer go to shoes...actually, I do nude heels year round and consider them a wardrobe staple. I also gave a nod to Sheila Fajl with my bangle and hoops. It took me a while to decide that I liked the brushed gold but now I am all in and love it!  To finish it off I am carrying a really cute, but but super, inexpensive handbag I found at Cato -  I just love a deal!  So here's to wrapping up the first week in July with a pop of color and a swing in my step!


Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe - My Thoughts

There was a time when I regularly did (and got paid) to do book reviews, but then a season arrived where I kind of stopped reading.  Yep, literally quit reading - at least for pleasure.  I think being back in school didn't help that as I spent a lot of time reading for school and not entertainment.  Last weekend, though, I picked up a book I had for along while but not read.  The Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe just happened to be laying on my desk and calling my name.  Well, I now remember why I used to read so much...it is the best escape.  I will not forget that anytime soon. So here is my first (free) offering on a book....

I have always like Mary Alice Monroe and this book had enough information interwoven into the story about Monarch Butterflies that I now have a new interest in butterflies, much like I gained an interest in bee keeping after reading  Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees!  Weird?  Probably, but hey I love odd facts especially if you can weave some mystery and good story telling around them. 

Although The Butterfly's Daughter does weave lovely stories about butterflies in this story, it doesn't come close to the emotional pull of many of Monroe's other works .  The main character, Luz, just isn't developed enough to get invested in fully nor are any of the other characters, except possibly one who actually dies early on in the story.  It was an enjoyable read, because I like reading, but over all it wasn't Mary Alice Monroe's best offering by far.  Honestly, each turn in the book just left me hanging.  It was as if I needed more of the multiple story lines before the author was off dragging the shallow main character into another. In the end....I was just left feeling like I was read a book that wasn't finished. It was disappointing,  as I kept feeling like at any moment I was going to find the page that wouldn't let me put the book down, but it never came.  That being said, I know I will continue to follow Monroe as an author and look forward to reading another of her books where her characters have more depth and puts her talent as a writer more fully on display.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Back With A New Name, New Address and New Directions!

Photo from: Divas Can Cook

Welcome all ones of you that may still pop by here to see if I have posted anything!  Though since I have changed my domain name, you ones may have been lost...oh, my.  Nothing like starting from scratch?

Obviously, I have not posted in a very.long.time.  I had mentioned in previous posts that I had lost direction and motivation for the blog and writing in general. It has taken some time to start figuring it out. Be warned it is still a work in progress.  I *think* I have determined my direction(s) and part of it is embracing the season I am in and incorporating the things I love into the blog the way I did when I started blogging back in 2005. (YEP.....2005!)  I started blogging as a way of journaling what, at the time, was a busy life with words and photos and I think it is time to start again...just with my new 2.0 life.

My challenge has been to some degree that I no longer fit into the "Mommy or Wife" blog world and my crafting and decorating is sparse, but I still love my South and all it offers, from fashion and our special kind of Belle Beauty, to extraordinary sights and travel, beautiful homes (even if mine is a wreck!) shopping and lest we not forget our Southern Food (notice Biscuits is right there at the top!)  My family and fur babies are still very important to me but I only have one baby still in the nest and he turns 18 in 2 months....yes, you do hear a slight Mama Meltdown in the background.  I plan to figure out how to incorporate the new dynamics of family life into my blog since we are all in a different season and it is harder than when I had them all under my roof.  By the way, my beautiful and talented daughter, who is now married and blossoming into a wonderful woman still is active and blogging at Starting out Southern.

I invite you to join me in my new online journaling adventure and lets get to know one another, both new and old!  Happy Saturday and drop me a line or two if you happen to stop by to help keep my creative juices flowing.


Sunday, January 20, 2019

Welcome to Michelle 2.0

I have taken quite the blogging hiatus as my life has been overwhelmed with so many other things and I had little time to devote to the blog.  Also, quite honestly, I felt a loss of direction or enthusiasm for blogging (something I am still working out.)  A lot changed...and as I am realizing...that never stops...change, I mean.  I do think I am getting better at rolling with the punches of change and have stopped hoping for some miracle to make life easier.

The good things are still good things and the bad things, well....they are still there.  The best we can do is the best we can do and that only comes with a big dose of humility, reality, acceptance and forgiveness.  So, I hope that I will find a reader or two to head back over and drop me a note every so often to let me know you are there!

Welcome to my life 2.0!



Sunday, May 20, 2018

Learning from others....Financial Knowledge!

I admit it, finances scare me and I also realized how little I truly understand about how our financial systems/banking worlds work.  So, I have been doing a lot of reading.  I do run into things I don't know if I buy or agree with, but then I usually take away a nugget or two from everything I read which as the saying goes, "knowledge is power!" I wish I had more time to devote to learning more quickly, but being a full time college student, full time employee and a full time Mom does present it's own challenges and I am not beating myself up for not being able to study this topic 24/7!

This week has found me with several unexpected medical expenses (thank goodness for medical insurance) as my son needed a unexpected medication refill and I was diagnosed with a severe (and I do mean severe, care of Mono....yes go ahead and laugh...no, I didn't get it from kissing - not that I would have minded getting that way, but...I apparently have  Chronic Epstein-barr virus, which has caused me, at this unlikely juncture in life to develop mono.)  According to my doctor, I have had it for a while and it explains my extreme tiredness and other issues I have been trying to ignore. So, when you are trying to pull together a good budget and just getting started it is a bit frustrated to have this little surprise dropped in my lap.

Anyway, back to budgets...I have been working on mine and have found a few blogs I would like to share that I thought others who are determine to get out of debt and stay out debt might enjoy:

Dear Debt

Jackie Beck

Mr. Money Mustache

Even if you don't take away some insight, I think just staying focused and reading on debt removal is crucial to keep me on my path.  Hope you enjoy.  Lets stick this out and get out from under this miserable stress called debt.  Freedom is the goal!

P.S. My first debt snowball will be paid off by FRIDAY!!!! Yipppeee!!!!

Please join me in some great chat on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SouthernSpark16


Sunday, April 1, 2018

What I wish more churches would share with young parents

There are lots of things I like about the church we attend, and I could really go on and on about what wonderful guidance I received in celebrating this year's Easter observance, but today, in the packed Easter Service my eyes were drawn to a little note that hangs in each pew.  It is for parents of young children.  Now, of course, I no long fit this demographic but I totally appreciate it because when you are the parent of a young child it can feel like they make no louder ruckus than in church!


It says:

To the Parents of Children, May We Suggest....

Relax,God put the wiggle in children; don't feel you have to suppress it in God's house. All are welcome.

Sit towards the front where it is easier for your little ones to hear and see what is going on. They tire of seeing the backs of others heads.

Quietly explain the part of of the service and actions of the pastor, ushers, choir, etc.

Sing the hymns, pray and voice the responses. Children learn liturgical behavior from copying you.

If you have to leave the service with your child, please feel free to do so, but please come back. As Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me."

Remember that the way we welcome children in the church directly affects the way they respond to the Church, to God, and to one another. Let them know that they are at home in this house of worship.


TO THE MEMBERS OF OUR CHURCH
The presence of children is a fit to the Church and they are a reminder that our congregation is growing.

Please welcome our children and give a smile of encouragement to their parents.

So, Mamas and Daddies, don't feel you are disturbing the service.....YOU are part of the service and YOU are the ministers to the next generation.