Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fashion Over Fifty "Skinny Jeans?"

Hello!  We got a very unusual cold front in Northwestern Wisconsin this past week, forcing everyone to dig out the long pants and jackets.  I was really in a dilemma about what to wear to church.  I wasn't scheduled to sing, so I could dress a little more casually than I normally do, but I wanted to be 'warm' in the cooler temperatures and yet still look like 'summer'.  I decided on a pair of dark skinny jeans, a chiffon sleeveless shirt (with a brightly colored cardigan to keep warm) and a pair of blue striped wedges. (The cardigan and shoes were purchased last season, so I don't have links to those items).   I prefer the way this outfit looks without the cardigan.  I felt that when I put the cardigan on that I automatically looked ten pounds heavier.  But, in the end, the cardigan won because warmth and comfort is far more important to me than fashion and beauty.

 I dug this mustard colored purse out of my fall closet so that I could add even more color to my outfit.  I chose chunky gold bracelets, gold hoop earrings, and a blue/gold pendant necklace for my accessories.
 The weather was so cold, I couldn't even bear to take the photographs outside, so I chose to take pictures in my sun room instead.  This is me with the cardigan on, which I ended up wearing all day, because it never did warm up.  My original intention was only to wear it in the morning, but I think my teeth chattered all day.
 And here is a close up of my necklace and jewelry.
Now for my opinion about skinny jeans.  I was on the fence about them the first season they came out, so I bought my first pair at J.C. Penny for $20.00 just to try them out.  Big mistake.  I liked the way they looked, but they felt so uncomfortable.  The material was just like any other pair of I felt like I was wearing a straight jacket whenever I wore them.   I then went to Express and tried on a pair of their Extreme Stretch Skinny Jeans.   I was in heaven!  The material is so lightweight, soft, and breathable.  They are very comfortable to wear, they feel like leggings...I could sleep in them!  Once I found a comfortable pair of skinny jeans, I went back and bought several more pairs in different colors. I personally really like the tailored fit, they look so much more polished and dressy than regular jeans, but, I don't think they are for every body type.  I'm sure some people would say no one over the age of forty should wear skinny jeans, but I would say, it's more about your shape, not your age.  I've always had long, thin legs, so skinny jeans really work well for me.  Now, if there was such a thing as a 'skinny top', that I would avoid with a ten foot pole....because I'm definitely NOT skinny on top!  I've also heard a few people comment that skinny jeans weren't modest, and for that reason should be avoided.  I  can certainly understand how some women would feel that way.   I usually wear  a looser, longer top with my skinnies to cover up, just as I would if I were wearing leggings, so I don't feel I am being immodest at all.  What are your thoughts or experiences with skinny jeans?  Have you ever tried them?

I hope you enjoyed another fashion discussion for women over fifty.  Have a great day! Amy

Monday, July 29, 2013

Vintage Christmas Cards

Hello!  Today I have my July Christmas Cards to share with you.  As most of you already know, I play the Christmas Card Challenge on Splitcoaststampers where we make Christmas Cards all year long so that we're not stressed out during the busy holiday season.  I make about four Christmas Cards a month so that I'll have about fifty cards at the end of the year.

This month I used all vintage images from Crafty Secrets because it's a busy month for me with another vacation to prepare for, gardening chores, and work.  But I know, I say that every month.  It's always hard for me to get my Christmas Cards done every month, it seems I'm never done till the last day of the month.  But, that is exactly why I play the challenge:  because I'd never have the time to make fifty cards during the Holidays! LOL!

My first card I actually cased from Pinterest. You can see the original card HERE.   I didn't copy her exactly.  I just liked the way she cut out the image and put a doily behind her.  I didn't add any where near the detail or layers that she did.  Not that I didn't LOVE her card, it's just not me to layer or embellish so much.  I don't have the patience for it.  

 I sprayed all four Crafty Secrets images with a shimmer mist so they look really pretty and sparkly in real life.  Here is my second card:  All the poinsettias are pre-purchased primas.  The paper which borders the main image is gold glitter paper and this poinsettia has red glitter on it.  So combine all that glitter with a sparkly gold ribbon and bow and you have one shiny, shimmery card!
 My third card uses a sketch from The Deconstructed Sketch no. 93.  The holly leaves are artificial and the white snowflake behind the flower was crocheted by a friend that she sent me inside a card last year.  I think I'll send this card to her this Christmas so she can see how I used her artwork.
 And finally, my last card uses an image by Splitcoaststampers (SC430).  I was inspired by THIS tag.  I embossed the creamy background with a Cuttlebug folder.
Have a great day! Amy

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sweet Love

Hello!  I have a really cute, simple card to share with you today.  I used a old sketch from the Clean and Simple Blog, but I added a doily because I just felt it needed something more.  There is no stamping at all in this card.  The sentiment is a sticker from DCWV and the flowers are all stickers that I juiced up with Stickles, sequins, and adhesive crystals.  Quick, and easy!  I needed an Anniversary Card in a hurry, and using this easy sketch and let stickers do all the work for me, fit the bill.

Have a great day! Amy

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Our Final Day of our Missouri Vacation

Hello!  Today is my final post of our week long vacation to Missouri.  And that's a good thing, considering I'm leaving for another vacation in August and I will have plenty more pictures and stories to share.

By the time we reached Day Six of our vacation, to be perfectly honest, we were all ready to go home. But, we paid in advance for our hotel and thought it would be wasteful to just leave, so we stayed the full time as planned, but decided to do something just relaxing and totally us, and not touristy at all.  We went to the Springfield Conservation Nature Center! 

Now, spending time outdoors is always a treat for our family.  We love to hike through the woods and see wildlife.  We really didn't know what to expect of this Nature Center,  we just knew it was FREE and close by.  But, we ended up being very pleasantly surprised and it ended up being one of the highlights of our trip.

The Nature Center is right in the city, but it you would never know it!  The first thing I noticed when we stepped outside our car was all the birds singing.  My, what a sound that was!  I love to hear birds sing!  The parking lot was very wooded and secluded and it seemed hard to believe that there was a freeway just a few yards away.  We went inside the Nature Center Building first to get a map and more information about the trails.  The interior was very well kept, and was just this wonderful interactive experience for children, or adults young at heart.  When we first walked in, we headed straight to this picture window and this is what we saw!
 It was a room filled with windows and outside the windows were all these bird feeders filled with wild turkeys, squirrels, and yes, even a deer!  And there were not only plenty of birds to view, but because the entire Nature Center is an interactive learning experience there were all these pictures and information about all the birds you could spot.  After we were done watching the birds, we headed to check out the rest of the building.  It was filled with exhibits that had something of interest for all ages.  One of my favorite exhibits was the Missouri Night Life exhibit.  You walked into a room of total darkness and then a voice would start speaking about all the creatures of the night.  As a specific animal was mentioned, a light would come up on just that animal, it seemed to come out of nowhere, and you would hear the sounds the animal makes and learn more information about the habits of the creature.  There were also many other exhibits like a cave you could enter and learn about the Missouri Caves, and lots of interactive things like a tree, where you would open various doors and see insects, or animals that live in or off the tree.  My husband's favorite exhibit was a shooting gallery, that one I thought was pretty funny to see in a Nature Conservation Center, but I suppose hunting is part of wilderness.

After our fun inside the building, we decided to check out the trails.  The Nature Center has three miles of well maintained paved trails, including a board walk over a marshy area.  The trails really form one big loop, but there is a short loop too if your not up for a three mile hike.  We opted for the longer trail and were quite happy that we did.  In the longer trail you not only go through the woods, but you see rivers, a lake, a field, a marsh, and lots of wildlife.  We found this little guy in the woods:
 Here is my daughter cooling her feet in one of the shallow river spots.
 Now it's my turn.
 This was such a romantic spot to stop and take a couple's picture.  The trail was filled with cute little bridges like this.
 Now my son needs to cool his feet too!
 A view of the lake on the property.
 Hubby checking out some small fish.
 My son-in-law and daughter take a turn for a romantic picture.

We really liked our hike because it took us through so many different views of nature:  woodlands, marsh, sunny meadows, lakes and rivers all in one three mile hike.  It was so peaceful, and we saw and heard so much wildlife.  We even got surprised by another deer as it bolted in front of us as we walked the meadow path.  And the birds;  oh my the birds!  We saw so many different species and their song was so beautiful to hear.  If your ever in Springfield, I strongly suggest checking the Nature Center out. It was a wonderful experience.

The next day we headed out for the long twelve hour drive home to Wisconsin.  We chuckled and talked a lot about our trip and made a few jokes about how my husband's family (who are originally from Wisconsin yet moved to Missouri) always talk about how wonderful Missouri is and how life there is so much better than life in Wisconsin.  I've always jokingly referred to it as 'The Promised Land' because they bragged about it so much.  But even though we enjoyed our vacation,  we were never so happy to be home in Wisconsin again.  We live in beautiful Buffalo County which is filled with rolling, lush hills, and gorgeous scenic drives, and we are known for the best deer hunting in the state because our area is populated with enormous bucks with trophy antlers.  

So as we were done making jokes about The Promised Land and came down the hill into our little town, we were greeted with this beautiful sight:
To us, it was as if God was telling us, there is no place like home, and we already live in the Promised Land.  What a welcome home be treated with this beautiful double rainbow landing right into our small town church.  God is good.  He is faithful.  AMEN!

Have a great day! Amy

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fashion Over Fifty: 'The Wrap Dress'

Hello!  Welcome to another 'Fashion Over Fifty' post.  Today's post is all about The Wrap Dress.  I received this 'Tart' dress from Stitch Fix last month, (yes, I will have a post all about Stitch Fix soon, I promise), and I must admit that when I pulled it out of the box I wasn't quite sure what to think of it.  It definitely wasn't anything I would pick out for myself.  But when I tried the dress on, I was thrilled!  I loved the feel of's made of a very soft knit, and it is so comfortable to wear.  But most importantly, I loved the way it hugged my body in all the right places.  Normally, anything 'knit' would be too clingy and reveal bulges I don't want anyone to see.  But the way this dress wraps around my waist, it makes it actually appear like I have a waist line.  My stomach has always been the part of my body I dislike the most.  It's where I always gain all my weight, and no matter how much I diet or exercise, it never goes away.  And as I age, the problem seems to get worse, not better, as I'm sure most of my older readers can relate too. Thus, I'm always looking for ways to conceal my bulging tummy. And, with the wrap style of this dress,  it does just that!

 The top of the dress has beautiful shirring at the shoulders and I love the floppy, princess cut sleeves.  I do have to wear a camisole underneath the dress, or it shows way too much cleavage than I comfortable revealing.  I opted with a navy camisole instead of white, just to bring in more color.  
 I forgot to bring my handbag outside when we were taking pictures.  I chose a Lulu Crossbody Bag from J.C. Penny to carry while wearing this outfit.

I tried so many different pieces of jewelry to wear with dress, but finally settled on just a pair of simple drop pearl earrings, and two separate necklaces which are simply gold chains with small pearls on them.  I just felt the bold print of the dress, only needed simple jewelry, because anything big would conflict with the dress.  The jewelry pieces are way too old to provide links.  Sorry.
 And finally, for shoes I settled on these pretty wine pumps from Express which I purchased last year, so again, no link.  Now, my natural inclination would have been to wear white or black shoes with this dress. I tried white and black shoes with the dress, but it just seemed so bland, and  Stitchfix suggested wearing a bright pump instead.  I decided a bright color would be too much for me,  so I settled on wine shoes because it was a different color, yet it's still in the same color family as the navy flowers in the dress.  The shoes have a really pretty suede detail o the toe that I like.
Have a great day! Amy

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Simple, Yet 'Cool' Boy Cards

Hello!  The heat wave in Wisconsin is over.  It'll be in the 70's this weekend.  Yeah!  I can turn the AC off and open the windows and drapes again.

I needed two masculine cards this week for teen/college age boys, and I needed them quick.  Letting designer paper do the work for me, I simply cut a sheet of designer paper from the Me and My Big Ideas 'Urban Youth' stack, and adhered it to a complimentary colored card stock.  Then, I applied Epoxy Stickers by Creative Imagination 'Sports Extreme' to the bottom of the card, right on top of the designer paper.  It was super easy and quick, yet, still looks 'cool' and well done.

 Here is the second card using a different sheet of designer paper and stickers.

I use to hate stickers because they were so 'cheap' looking;  but now they have dimensional stickers, they have epoxy stickers, glitter name it, they have it!  Stickers now look so sharp and well done, that they can not only be used as just an embellishment, but also as the main focal point of the card.  I love them because they can really make paper crafting quick and easy when I'm pressed for time.

Have a great day! Amy

Thursday, July 18, 2013


"Were having a heat wave!  A tropical heat wave!"  I don't know about you, but that song always goes through my head when it's hot outside.  Now, I'm not one to complain that I'm hot, because you all know how much I hate winter and any temperature below seventy degrees, but, IT'S HOT OUTSIDE! I live in a three thousand square foot house without air conditioning, and I normally don't mind, because I don't like air conditioning, HOWEVER, it's gotten so uncomfortably warm in the house that last night the hubby pulled out the little room air conditioner out from storage to help cool off at least part of the house.  I have a pocket door that can close off the new 1200 square foot addition, from the main part of the house, then I hung some temporary drapes in my dining room, so I can have my office, kitchen, and dining room a cool 72 degrees.  But my third floor is an oven!  I'm afraid the candles will start melting soon!

Anyway, in honor of this heat wave it seems most of America is experiencing right now, I decided to play the CASology Challenge this week because their cue word is 'COOL'.   Well, when I think of cool, I usually think of something refreshing, like a nice cold glass of Lemonade.  So I pulled out my old retired Stampin Up! image from the retired set 'Simply Summer' and created this:

Doesn't it look cool and refreshing?  I put Stickles on the lemons, lemonade, and ice cube.  The lemon slice button is from Colorbok 'The Sweet Life' and the paper is DCWV 'Lemon Flower'.  I used a paper doily and ribbon for embellishment.

Stay COOL, and have a great day! Amy

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day Five of Our Missouri Vacation - Eureka Springs, Arkansas - Part Three

Hello!  This is my third and final post of our family visit to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  Scroll down if you missed the first two posts.

After touring the downtown shops, we started to walk uphill to see some of the beautiful residential homes.  At the top of the hill, we discovered this beautiful Historic Hotel.  It is called The Crescent Hotel and was built in 1886 and is absolutely gorgeous!  That's me standing in front of one of their signs.

This is the backside of the hotel.  It has a lovely gazebo and gardens, with a beautiful dining room that's full of sunshine.
This is a scenic view of the hotel.
A lovely water fountain in one of the many gardens the hotel has.
The view from the top of the hotel garden spot.
We did go inside the hotel to see the restaurant and gorgeous lobby.  You can see more pictures of the interior of the hotel HERE on their website.  We were also able to climb up to the very top of the hotel using an exterior railing and saw some magnificent views like the one below.
My son-in-law and daughter in the hotel garden.
After touring the historic hotel, we decided to stroll through some of the neighborhoods.  These were some of my favorite homes I saw:

Aren't these street posts cute?
This was my absolute favorite house by far!  I love the Victorian Charm and the way it was built into the corner of the street.  So adorable!  And it was for sale too!

Before we headed out of town, we decided to see the Christ of the Ozark's Statue.  Eureka Springs is known for it's great Passion Play which has been performing since 1968.  It is an outdoor theatre with a permanent set, 125 actors, and live animals.  We did not go to see it, so I can't give you a review.  The reason we chose not to see it is because they only do night performances, starting at 8:30 p.m.  Well, our hotel was over two hours away, and Eureka Springs is not an easy town to find.  We couldn't imagine trying to find our ways out of the Ozarks in the dark!  So, we skipped it.  BUT if I ever get back to Eureka Springs, and get a room at the Crescent Hotel, I will definitely attend a performance.
We did however stop and visit the Christ of the Ozarks statue.  This statue is seven stories tall and overlooks the beautiful town of Eureka Springs.  We could see it when we were on top of the Crescent Hotel.  It is the third largest statue of Jesus in the world.  Now, I must admit, I really do not like this statue.  I love Jesus, I just don't like this statue.  But, apparently I'm not the only one;  locals refer to this statue as 'Willie Nelson in a dress', and an art critic called it a 'milk carton with a tennis ball stuck on top'.  I can see both descriptions in this statue.  I just feel it's too stiff, cold, and frankly, kinda silly looking. However, I must agree with what my husband said when he viewed it....'if you're  going to have a seven story statue watching over your might as well be an image of Jesus.'
This is the view in front of the statue, you can see the Crescent Hotel from here.
As we were leaving the Passion Play grounds, we spotted this original piece of the Berlin Wall.  I had to get out of the car and place my hands upon it.  It was so meaningful to me to physically touch something that came from another part of the world, another lifetime ago, with so much pain and suffering connected to it.

That was the end of Day Five of our Missouri Vacation.  Only one day left to share.

Have a great day! Amy

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fashion Over Fifty - The Classic Peasant Top

Hello!  Today's Fashion Over Fifty Post is all about the Classic Peasant Top which seems to never go out of style.  I've always loved peasant tops because they are so comfy.  Most of them are made of a cotton gauze, but the one I'm wearing in the photo below is a knit material.  I bought it from T.J. Maxx last year, but it's such a classic and versatile top, I can still wear it this year too.   It has an elasticized waist, and is very roomy in the tummy....just where I need to be roomy.

I felt this peasant top was the perfect match to go with the ethnic print in my new Joe Fresh skirt which I purchased from J.C.Penny.   While I was checking out, the sales clerk informed me that Joe Fresh was the number one selling clothing brand in Canada.  Who knew?  I can certainly see why, the clothes are so fun, colorful, fashionable, and comfortable.  

 For jewelry, I wore a seed bead crocheted bracelet that's the same color as the skirt, and a Tori Spelling Bohemian Necklace,  which were both purchased at JoAnn's Fabrics and Crafts.  My earrings are a simple clear brown bead that dangles from the lobe.
 These sandals were one of my favorite finds this year.  First of all, their wedges....I'm always a sucker for wedges because they give you the lift without the discomfort.  And for me, when your over fifty, comfort always takes precedence over fashion!  Secondly, I love all the bright, fun, colors that are in the shoe.  They are all the new colors that are trending this season, wrapped up into one pair of shoes, so they go with just about everything in my closet.  I found them at my new favorite shoe store -- Designer Shoe Warehouse.  They are made by Italian Shoemakers, and are much cheaper now than when I bought them;  if your looking for a late summer sandal.
 Here's a close up of the print in my skirt, but you can also see a close up in the J.C Penney link I provided above.
 For a purse, I chose this cross over style from J.C.Penney.  Penny's has a purse line called 'Lulu'.  I just love the fun style of these purses and I own at least four of them now.  I have the purse I'm holding in the picture in two and tan.   It will be perfect for all the summer traveling and vacations I have coming up when I don't want to lug around a big, heavy purse nor worry about being pick pocketed.
It was a hot, sunny, 90 degree day when I wore this outfit.  I wore it to church in the morning, and then for lunch and shopping in the afternoon.   I felt cool and comfortable all day, yet at the same time  stylish.  It's nice to have a outfit that keeps you cool, yet is still feminine and fashionable at the same time.

Have a great day! Amy

Monday, July 15, 2013

Embossed Anniversary

 Hello!  I needed a quick anniversary card for a couple at my church, so I pulled out some old Cuttlebug Embossing Folders.  To create this card, I first cut out and embossed the floral background onto glitter paper.  Then, I used a Spellbinders Nestability to cut a small square and I embossed the cake onto the square using an embossing template. Next,  I glued the square onto my card base and I cut out a window from the card base using the same square.  From there, I just glued my floral background onto the card base, and added ribbon, pearls, and a button for embellishment. I did add a touch of chalk to the embossed cake to highlight it.

 Here is the inside of the card.  The sentiment is a sticker.
Have a great day!  Amy

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Day Five of Our Missouri Vacation - Eureka Springs, Part Two 'Basin Spring'

Hello!  Welcome to Part Two of our Day in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  If you missed the first post, just scroll down.

Today's Post is all about Basin Spring, which is a small park in Eureka Springs dedicated to the water that made Eureka Springs famous and started the whole town.   Native American legend tells of the great healing spring and many cultures and peoples arrived there for it's healing powers.  It eventually became a popular tourist destination, spa, and flourishing city.

Well, I did not see any famous water spouts to drink from to see if any of my ailments could be healed, nor did I see any Eureka Springs water for sale, but I did find this quaint park with a lovely water fountain.  Above the fountain, is a natural rock formation and a band shell where the arts are celebrated.

Below is a picture of my daughter looking up at one of the lovely homes above the park.
My husband at the fountain.

A Goddess Statue which is above the park.
This natural rock formation is above the park and tells the story of the healing waters of Eureka Springs.

My daughter and son-in-law standing at the entrance to the park with the fountain and band shell behind them.

Have a great day! Amy