Thursday, October 21, 2021

Ageless Style - Cozy Cardigans

 Ageless Style is a monthly style challenge and link up for women "over a certain age".  Each month we pick a different theme and style an outfit based on that theme.


This month's "Ageless Style" theme is "Cozy Cardigans" and was picked by ME!  I don't know about you, but I LOVE Cozy knits, especially cozy cardigans:  knits that I can snuggle up in, wrap around my body, and also take off in a flash if I'm having a "flash",  ha ha!  In the fall, I love wearing them in place of a jacket.  They are so much more comfortable to wear than a stiff jacket.  


This grey cardigan isn't new, but is new to me.  I actually purchased it for my daughter for Christmas a few years ago and styled it before on THIS POST.    My daughter recently returned it to me saying the bulkiness of the knit "made her look fat".  I was more than happy to take it off her hands, because at 59 I'm far more interested in being warm and cozy than caring if something "makes me look fat".  😀 Although, I myself won't wear a few items for that same reason as well, like purposefully over-sized clothes.  


The knit of this cardigan is so super soft.  I just love the feel of it.  And the light, soft grey adds to its cozy feel.  Yes, the thicker knit does add bulk to the frame, but I feel it makes up for it in the length because it elongates the figure.



I styled my cardigan with new jeans from Stitch Fix.  Did you know that you can now just order items from Stitch Fix without ordering an entire fix?  And they are completely returnable in the same easy way too!  I stopped getting monthly fixes when the lockdowns began as I didn't need new clothes anymore.  I never resumed them because I felt I had enough clothes, and frankly, I wasn't sure about the stability of the economy so I made the decision to cut back on a lot of things...like cable tv and clothes...just to be cautious.  I've hardly purchased anything new in the past two years.  I did make the decision to buy ONE new pair of jeans because I saw that skinny jeans were going out of style and all I had in my closet was skinny jeans.  I decided to purchase new straight leg jeans from Stitch Fix because I've always had so much luck with their jeans.  I don't know how they do it, but every pair of jeans they send me has always fit like a glove.  I never have that kind of luck when I go to a store to buy jeans.  I can take five pairs of jeans into a dressing room in a store, and none of them will fit.

These jeans are a brand I never heard of or tried before: Mavi High Rise Kendra Straight Leg Jean.    They are pricey (to me anyway) but worth every penny as they are the only jeans I will buy this year and I will wear them every time I reach for a pair of jeans.  I absolutely love them!  They are super soft and have a stretch to them making them very comfortable to wear.  They are high rise, which I need, because they keep everything tucked in instead of hanging over the edge;  and I'm really digging the straight leg!  I didn't think I'd like anything other than skinnies, but the straight leg still gives the slim silhouette of a skinny jean without the clinginess of a skinny jean.  The only drawback to the new pant styles is that they don't show off my cute shoes/booties the way skinny jeans do.  Other than that, I'm happy to say goodbye to the skinny jean.


Anyhow, enough talk about jeans, back to the cardigan!  Cardigans can be worn over anything, I tend to prefer wearing a cardigan over a tank as I don't like extra bulk on my arms.  In this outfit, I'm wearing my cardigan over a white Calvin Klein tank top (also from an old Stitch Fix box).  I added a plaid black, white and grey scarf because I'm crazy about scarves!  I love the added warmth they provide and I can easily remove them and tuck them in my purse.  I kept the neutral theme going throughout the outfit by carrying a black bag and wearing black booties.



 And now let's see how the rest of the ladies in the group are styling their cardigans and be sure to link up with us below.  You may notice some new faces in our Ageless Style group.  We did some restructuring and invited some new ladies to join us.  I hope you drop over and say "Hi!".





Amy ~ Amy’s Creative Pursuits

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Bo ~ Bo's Bodacious Blog

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Carrie ~ A Simple Lovely Life

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Daenel ~ Living Outside the Stacks

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Joanna ~ My Slice of Life

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Jodie ~ Jodie’s Touch of Style

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Leslie ~ Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

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Marsha~ Marsha in the Middle

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Mireille ~ Chez Mireille Fashion Travel Mom

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Robin ~ Hello I am 50ish

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Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!



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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Exploring the Great West: Day 2, Part 1, Bear Butte State Park

This is a continuation of a travel series to The Great West.  To start at the beginning, go HERE and HERE!

On the second day of our vacation out west we left Wall South Dakota and began driving towards our next destination Spearfish Canyon.  Hubby wanted to break up the drive a bit so he googled "Things to do in Sturgis, South Dakota" the night before, and discovered Bear Butte State Park.  It was a completely unplanned, spontaneous stop and we were so happy we kept a flexible schedule to allow us to stop here because it truly was one of the highlights of our trip.



Bear Butte State Park is located about six miles from Sturgis.  It is a famous landmark in the area.  The mountain is called "Bear Mountain" by the Lakota Indian Tribe, and is considered sacred to many American Indian tribes who come here to hold religious ceremonies. Red Cloud, Sitting Bull, and Crazy Horse have all visited Bear Mountain.  General Custer camped near the mountain, and Bear Butte served as a landmark guiding settlers into the area.


There are only two trails in Bear Butte State Park, a lake trail and the summit trail.  The park is mostly known for its fabulous summit trail.  It is 1.85 miles to the top of the butte which is 4, 426 feet above sea level.  There is a 900 foot vertical climb from the parking lot to the start of the trail.  In the photo below you can see me on the steps as we just start this climb with the famous Bear Butte behind me.


I was dressed in my active swim wear and hiking sandals because after this we were going to drive to Spearfish Canyon for a river hike.  Although my clothing was ok for this hike, my footwear was not.  I should have changed into hiking boots as the terrain was rocky and rattle snakes were plentiful.

There was a heat advisory this day, so it was advised to take lots of water and hike early in the morning or early evening.  But because we traveled early in the morning, we were starting our hike mid-morning.  We met plenty of hikers coming back down as we were going up, but a few were going up with us as well.


At the start of the hike, you walk through a lovely forested, prairie-like area.  Take advantage of the shade here, because the higher you climb the less shade there will be.


In this area you will notice brightly colored cloth strips hanging in all the trees.  They are prayer clothes that represent the prayers of the individual worshippers.  You are asked not to photograph them, which is why you may not see any in my photographs (although some got captured accidentally).


The views got insanely beautiful right away.  You don't even have to climb to the top to see incredible views.



Once you get to this point, you've done the worst of it.  The initial climb to the summit is the hardest, then it sort of levels off and you just walk along the ridge on switchbacks.  We ran into one woman who turned around at this point because her vertigo was bothering her.  Then on the return trip we ran into another woman who was really struggling and asked "How much further".  We responded "You have a long way to go yet".  We had no idea if she decided to continue on or not.  She did not look so good.


The unique rock formations are always so interesting to us.





There were a few benches here and there where you could stop and take a break.  We stopped at one in this area and spent quite a long time chatting and eating, and then I turn around and to my surprise I saw a deer!  I could not believe how unafraid he was of us.  


After our break, it was time to hit the trail again and then the real fun began!


Wow! I cannot say enough about the incredible beauty of this trail. If you're ever in this area, you really must hike this trail.  What made it so special is that the scenic views were non-stop because there were not any trees to block the view.  In most mountain trails we have climbed, we were climbing through a forest. The typical mountain trail, you hike awhile, reach an open area, enjoy the view, then back into the forest you go until the next opening.  On this hike, it's all open.  You are literally walking on top of a mountain ridge with obstructed views the entire time.  It's incredible!


We could hear a "mooing" sound the entire time we were hiking and couldn't figure out if the black animals we saw in the distance were cows or Buffalo.  There are buffalo in this park, and you will drive right past them as you enter the park.


The trail is very narrow and has steep drop offs.  I don't recommend this hike for children or anyone afraid of heights.  However, I am TERRIFIED of heights, and I managed.  The scariest part is at the very end, coming down from the scenic deck.



There were several spots like this one, where I thought "Wow, if I trip I could tumble right over the edge".  I thought it was insane that they didn't have little fences in certain spots like this.


The trail ends at this spot up on top.  It's a steep climb of stairs to get to the deck.



As I stated earlier, coming down off the deck was the hardest part because there was no guard rail at the end of the steps, just a steep drop off. It was terrifying for someone like me who is afraid of hikes.


This picture gives you a great idea of what the trail is like once you reach the summit and can just walk along the top of the butte.


I have to add, that there was a rattlesnake warning at the Visitor's Center.  We didn't see a rattlesnake, but we definitely heard a rattlesnake warning.  We were cautioned by some other hikers coming down that there was a rattlesnake under the steps so be careful.  As we approached the steps, we definitely heard the "rattle" sound.  I was really nervous, because all I had on was sandals, but I felt I had come too far to turn around now, so I just quickly climbed the stairs.  Other hikers heard the sound and turned around, not willing to take the risk.  On the return trip, I didn't hear the rattlesnake so he must have moved on.


The Summit Trail Hiking Trail in Bear Butte State Park was such a wonderful, spontaneous surprise.  It's always nice when something you never planned to do on vacation turns our so incredible.  We usually plan our vacations very well, but it's nice to have some flexibility to do things like this.

After our hike, it was back in the car to drive to Spearfish Canyon and enjoy a relaxing river hike:  more on that next week!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Cute Handmade Halloween Cards For Kids

I love to spoil my grandchildren every holiday by sending them a box of inexpensive treats.  For Halloween, I send them mostly healthier treats, with a little bit of candy, plus a hand made card.  I like to keep the cards either "Halloween Cute" or "Fall-themed". 

These cute Halloween images are pretty old.  I just love them, they are so adorable!  I think they are by Inkadinkado if you're lucky enough to find the stamps on-line still.  If you can't, shoot me an email and if you live in the states I'd be happy to stamp some images off on card stock for you and send them your way.


To make the cute Halloween cards I stamped both the dog and cat images on a separate piece of card stock , colored them in, and cut them out.  With the dog card, I even stamped the image a second time so I could just cut the pumpkin out and pop it up on dimensionals giving it a 3D look.


I chose the star designer paper for the background because of the stars in the dog's hat. Then I stamped the sentiment onto a piece of Kraft card stock, punched some holes in the end to add some eyelets and purple ribbon, and finally, I stamped some stars onto white card stock, colored, fussy cut them out, and glued those onto the Kraft card panel.  The card base is also Kraft paper.  The puppy is popped up on dimensionals.


For the kitty card, I used the same technique as the puppy card:  coloring, cutting out, and popping up the image with dimensionals.  The two outer pumpkins are also separately cut and popped up for extra dimension.


With this card I used my sewing machine to create a zig-zag edge around the entire card, and then I sewed another piece of candy designer paper on top.   The sentiment was stamped in white craft ink onto black card stock and popped up.


To finish the card, I wrapped a big rusty bow around the designer paper and adhered the whole thing to a Kraft base.


Finally, I wanted to show you a couple of tags I attached to their presents.  The pumpkin was cut using a Cuttlebug die and machine.  I made "grass" by just handcuffing some green paper and then sponging green ink on it.  The tag was cut on blue card stock using a Spellbinder's Nestability die, then sponged with blue ink.  I hand wrote their names on the tags.


So what about you?  Do you give your children or grandchildren special treats or presents for Halloween? I'd love to hear from you!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up wit these Fabulous Blogs HERE!