Thursday, May 19, 2022

How to Wear Tiered Dresses and the "Ageless Style" Link Up

Ageless Style is a monthly style challenge and link up for women of all ages.   Each month we pick a different theme and style an outfit based on that theme.  This month's theme is ""May Flowers" and was picked by Marsha.

When Marsha picked "May Flowers" as our theme this month I knew that would be an easy one for me since I could photograph in my own garden.  I planned on just picking out a floral top or dress from my closet, but instead I chose a new tiered dress.

Tiered dresses or skirts are really in-style right now.  And like anything in-style women seem to love them or hate them.  Most women that hate them think they look "frumpy" or too "Little House on the Prairie".  I can see that.  But I love them!  I love how romantic they look, and most of all, I love how modest they are.  Dresses and skirts the past decade have been anything but modest, so it's nice to see a modest style become "in" again.

I purchased my tiered dress from Amazon for only $39.00 (price has gone up since then).   I first saw it on Amy's blog, where the dress is a midi on her because she is so tall.  On my 5'7 frame, it is a maxi dress.  I rarely buy something that I see on another person's blog, but this dress was so pretty and the reviews were so awesome, I couldn't resist.

The best way to avoid the "frumpy" look when wearing a tiered dress is to accessorize with modern touches.  I did this by choosing the latest style of sandals, and choosing modern jewelry.

Another trend this dress exhibits is "smocking".  If you hadn't already noticed, smocked tops are all the rage right now.  I was unsure how a smocked top would work on a bigger bust like mine,  but I think it worked just fine.  In fact, that's what sold me on the dress because a lot of the reviews said the dress looked good on a big busted woman.

I carried a straw bag as my handbag choice.  I probably should have picked something more modern, but I needed a bigger bag this day, and it was the one bag in my closet that coordinated the best with the dress.

As I stated earlier, I chose the latest in-style sandal to modernize my tiered dress.  These are "Quilted Sandals", called such for the "quilt-like" appearance on the strap.  If you can only buy one new pair of shoes this spring/summer, I would pick something "quilted" as they are really on-trend.  I purchased mine at TJ Maxx.

For my jewelry I chose modern white hoop earrings and light green beaded bracelets.

In this picture you can also see the smocking detail in the bodice and the abstract floral print of the dress.

If you haven't tried on one of these tiered dresses, I highly encourage you to give them a try.  It might surprise you, as it did me.  Oh, and did I mention how COMFORTABLE this dress it?  It is a lightweight easy breezy polyester material that doesn't wrinkle and is so cool and comfy.  I love it!

Now be sure to check out how the other ladies in the group are interpreting the "May Flowers" theme and be sure to link up with us as well!

Amy ~ Amy’s Creative Pursuits

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Bo ~ Bo's Bodacious Blog

Blog / Instagram /Pinterest / Bloglovin'

Cathy ~ My Side of 50

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Joanna ~ My Slice of Life


Jodie ~ Jodie’s Touch of Style

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Marsha~ Marsha in the Middle

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Mireille ~ Chez Mireille Fashion Travel Mom

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Rosemary ~ Distinctly Southern Style

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Have A Great Day!  Amy

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Shenandoah National Park, Day Four, Part One: South River Falls

This is Day Three of a travel series to Shenandoah National Park.  If you'd like to start at the beginning, go HERE.  Day Two is HERE, and Day Three is HERE

Day Four in Shenandoah National Park was our last day in the park so we had two ambitious hikes planned.  I decided to divide Day Four into two separate posts because the hikes were very long and there were a lot more photographs.

Our last day in the park was our best day in the park.  We didn't plan on "saving the very best for last", it just happened that way. The weather was a gorgeous 70+ degrees.  The snowstorm days earlier had become a distant memory, and the two hikes we took were are favorites of the week.

But before I share about our hiking adventure, I must talk about this quaint diner we went to for breakfast first.  It was a hoot!  My husband and I love discovering places like this when we travel.  C & S Diner is located in Elkton, Virginia.  Most of the week we were grabbing breakfast at a Burger King or McDonalds and my husband was ready for a sit down real breakfast meal, so he asked me to see if I could find a local diner.  I googled it and found C & S Diner and saw it had great reviews so off we went!

The place was adorable!  The waitress, pictured walking behind us, was so friendly, energetic, and quite the entertainment.  All the customers were local except for us, so we got a real flavor of the area.  We chuckled that they had a Trump sign on the wall and were not worried in the slightest of repercussions of that.  Then to top it off, a customer walks in, and starts talking to another customer about how he "can't retire because ever since Obama Care was  enacted he can no longer afford health insurance".  Ah, yes, we can relate to these people.

We thought their idea of putting the menu pages under the glass table top was genius.

The food was absolutely delicious and so ridiculously inexpensive we wondered how they could even make a profit.  I ordered the "Top Hash Brown" which was incredible!  It was "sausage, peppers, onions, tomatoes, scrambled egg with cheese, and topped with sausage gravy" for $7.50.  I highly recommend ordering this dish if you go to this diner.  And the coffee was the best!  So much better than a Starbucks coffee.  I have no idea what they do to it to make it taste so good.

And the most incredible part of this diner story is that all the food is cooked by this young lady pictured below.  Would you believe she is 86 years old?  What an inspiration.

And here is our waitress.  What a joy she was!  We really enjoyed meeting and talking with her.  On every vacation we take, my husband and I always pick the most interesting person of our trip...she was the winner for this one!

If you're ever in the Shenandoah Valley area, be sure to stop by this diner.  You will love it!  They are only open for breakfast and lunch and closed on Sundays (of course 😀).

Now on to our hike:  the South River Falls Trail.

Like most of the trails in the park, you have  options to take.  

1) A 3.3 mile moderate circuit hike which has an elevation gain of 910 feet and takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete.

2)  A 2.6 mile round trip hike rated as moderate with an elevation gain of 850 feet and takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete.

We chose to do the first hike because it takes you to the base of the waterfall, which has the best views, and not just an observation deck from the top of the falls.

Of all the trails in Shenandoah National Park, South River Falls was my absolute favorite.  Perhaps it could have been because it was a beautiful day.  Perhaps it was because it was our last day.  Or perhaps it was because we hiked it in the wee hours of the morning and had the trail pretty much to ourselves.  Whatever the reason, I loved every second of it.

If bird-watching is your thing (like it is mine) you will love the first part of this trail...especially if you hike it early in the morning like we did.  The birds were singing like you wouldn't believe.  We even spotted one I didn't even recognize.  I kept stopping on the trail and looking up to identify the birds.

After hiking so many monstrous trails the previous days, this trail seemed like a walk in the park.  Although in the reviews, a lot of people complained of the return hike being steep.  I did not find it to be nearly as bad as other hikes I had been on in this park.  "Moderate" is definitely the right description for this trail.

The best word I could come up with to describe this trail would be "Fairyland".  I just felt the whole time I was hiking that I was in some magical forest that was filled with moss covered rocks.  At any moment I expected a little fairy or creature to come out.  It was so enchanting.

Once you get out of the heavy wooded area where all the birds are, and you have descended down to the South River you are blessed to be walking next to running water for the rest of the hike.

South River is a beautiful water way filled with pretty moss covered rocks.

And if the birds weren't enough of a blessing on this trail, there were hundreds of gorgeous Trilliums in bloom too!

I saw both white and pink Trilliums.

The early morning sunshine seemed to make the trail even more beautiful.

You also get a nice view of the mountains while hiking this trail!

My favorite part of the trail was AFTER you reach the observation deck at the top of the falls.  Don't stop there, but continue on and descend down the trail because the best is yet to come!  Here you will enter an even more magical fairyland as you walk to the bottom of the falls.

South River Falls is an 83 foot waterfall that has a initial center drop, then splits into two separate falls.

South River Falls trailhead is great for wildflower and bird enthusiasts,  and I highly recommend it!

Now, here are some short videos so you can "experience" the hike a little bit for yourselves.

South River Falls

South River Falls Trail

South River

Have A Great Day! Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Shenandoah National Park, Day Three: Upper Whiteoak Falls and Hawksbill

This is Day Three of a travel series to Shenandoah National Park.  If you'd like to start at the beginning, go HERE.  Day Two is HERE.

Every succeeding day at Shenandoah National Park got better than the day before.  The weather warmed up, melting all the snow and each trail was better than the previous one.  We definitely did the trails in the right order, saving the best for last, although we didn't plan it that way.

Whiteoak Canyon Trail is one of the most popular trails in the park, and it certainly was the trail we saw the most people on while we were there,  although I still didn't feel it was too crowded.   There are multiple ways to experience this trail, and everyone needs to decide for themselves what is best for them.  You have three options:
  1.    "Cedar Run - Whiteout Circuit Hike" which is a very strenuous 7.3 mile circuit with a 2,794 elevation gain, and takes 6.25 hours
  2. "Boundary to Lower Falls Hike",  which is the easiest hike but you'd miss the tallest waterfall.  It is 2 miles round trip with a 500 foot elevation gain and takes 1.5 hours hiking time
  3. "Skyline Drive to Upper Whiteoak Fall Hike" which is a moderate hike of 4.6 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 1,040 feet and takes 3.5 hours.  You can stop there after viewing the tallest waterfall or continue on and add another 2.7 miles to the hike to see five more falls.

Although we would have loved to have seen all the waterfalls, because our bodies were aching from two full days of hiking already, and we had other hikes we wanted to take in the park, we chose option 3 and hiked only to the tallest waterfall on the trail, and returned back.  We also cut some time off of our hike by parking in the Limberlost Trail parking lot and NOT the Whiteoak Canyon Parking Lot.

This trail was so far on our trip one of the prettiest, and easiest trails we hiked yet.  I've heard if you start on the opposite end, it's pretty tough as you are pretty much climbing straight up, but the way we went was very moderate and comfortable hiking.  

Once you get through the Limberlost Trail area and a small forest, you are walking alongside a gorgeous river all the way to the waterfall.

My son Jordan was always scurrying ahead of us to rock scramble on the river or climb the largest rock he could find.

The trail had lots of large rocks and boulders of interest along the path.

There were lots of spots where there were smaller rapids and pools of water where one could swim on a hot day.

The waterfall is breath taking!  It is 86 feet tall and you do get a nice look at it from a rock formation above.

This is the rock formation that you climb onto to view the falls.

And here is a very short video of the falls.  It was totally worth the hike to see these falls!

My son went on ahead of us to see the other five waterfalls and said it was the "Best Waterfall Hike Of His Life!".  I wish we could have done it, but our bodies were saying "No" so we returned back.  Below are four of the waterfalls Jordan went on to see (he didn't take a picture of one of them).

After lunch, Jordan caught back up with us and we headed out for our last hike of the day:  Hawksbill Summit.

Hawksbill Summit is the tallest point in the park and a must-see if you are ever in Shenandoah.  Once again, there are multiple ways to get there and you need to pick the option best for you.

  1. "Hawksbill Loop Trailhead" a 2.9 mile circuit hike rated as moderate with an elevation gain of 860 feet and a hiking time of 2 hours.
  2. "Hawksbill Summit Trailhead"a shorter 1.7 mile , yet steeper hike to the summit rated as moderate with an elevation gain of 690 feet and a hiking time of 1 hour 15 minutes.
  3. "Hawksbill Summit via Upper Hawksbill Trailhead" a 2.1 mile hike rated as easiest with an elevation gain of 520 feet and a 1 hour and 30 minute hiking time.

Our goal, was just to make it to the summit as quickly and as easily as possible, so we chose option 3.  However, we were perplexed why the trail was described as "Easiest" (maybe it was the easiest of the three?) as we thought it was quite challenging since we were pretty much hiking straight up all the way there.

The steep, long hike was worth it though because it was GORGEOUS!
The top of the Shenandoah's highest peak offers a 360 degree view of the Shenandoah Valley, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Virginia Piedmont.

It was a cloudy day, but the views were still incredible.  

The summit of Hawksbill Mountain is 4, 050 feet.

There is also a historic building at the top that the park turned into a picnic pavilion.


By now, it was late in the day and we were tired, so we called it a day.  Our next day in the park, was our last and best day yet and I will talk about that next week.  I might have to divide the post into two separate was that good!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!