Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids and A Thanksgiving Break

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers.  I am taking the week off from blogging to enjoy my family and celebrate the holiday.  I will be back to a regular blogging schedule starting the week of November 29th.

In the meantime, enjoy these cute little Thanksgiving figures I made for my grandchildren.  I plan to put them on our Thanksgiving table along with some paper turkeys I crafted years earlier.  My Thanksgiving table is filled with babies and pre-schoolers so no fancy table centerpieces for us.  I use our nice china, but the decorations are something the grandkids can touch and play with.

I wish I could link to a tutorial of how I made these adorable Thanksgiving figures, but the link appears to be broken.  I found the idea on Pinterest, but when I clicked on the link, it would just stall and never connect;  so, I made them by just looking at the picture.  They turned out pretty good for not having a template and/or instructions.  I think the only thing I messed up on was the Pilgrim Ladies hat.  Mine looks more like a chef's hat than a pilgrim's hat. 😁

If you haven't figured it out by looking at them, they are made using cardboard toilet paper rolls.  I then cut all the "colored" pieces out using card stock and then I hand drew the faces, necklaces, and buttons on.  They were a lot of fun to make!


PHILIPPIANS 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Amy


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Styling Booties with Ageless Style

 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 "Booties" and was picked by Bo.  

Now I am a huge fan of booties.  I have far more booties in my closet than I have tall boots.  I find them so much more versatile than their taller cousins.  I have every color and style of bootie imaginable so the hardest part of this challenge was deciding which pair to feature.  I ended up going for one of the oldest, most popular, and original pair of booties in my closet.  I found these off-white ankle boots at Francesca's years ago, and way before white booties were even trending.  I spotted them and I just thought they were so original looking I bought them on site.  I remember I was shopping with a more conservative-dressing friend and she was so surprised I bought them.  But guess what?  Every single time I wear these booties, someone comments on them and always asks where I got them.


My favorite thing about these booties is they are white, so they go with just about everything.  I live in Wisconsin, and it is cold here nine months out of the year.  I find I wear these booties the most in spring, when it's too early to bring the sandals out because of the cold, but I want to "look spring".  But in this post, I'm styling my booties with a fall outfit!


My next favorite thing about these booties is that they have a chunky heel making them easy and comfy to walk in.  At 59 years of age, comfort for my feet is a must.  I want to look stylish and on-trend, but not if it costs me my comfort or my safety walking on icy sidewalks.


I think my white booties go great with this hi/lo long maxi skirt.  This is one of favorite skirts in my closet that I picked up on a clearance rack for around $5.00.  I know it was quite the score!  I've shown it to you several times on this blog styled for all three seasons.  You can see other ways I've styled this skirt in THIS POST.

I paired the skirt with two upper garments from old Stitch Fix boxes:  an off-white embroidered boho top, and an eggplant cardigan.  I chose these items to match both the colors in the skirt and the style.  I picked a brown hobo bag to complete the look.  I also decided on this cardigan for it's fall color because I like to wear the colors of whatever season it is.


For jewelry I kept it simple with a multi-strand gold beaded necklace.


Booties today can be worn with anything:  pants, shorts, skirts, dresses.  Heck, last week I wore a short skirt with black tights to church and combat boots (sorry, no picture).  I was going to wear tall boots but the night before it snowed and I was worried about slipping on the ice, so I wore my combat boots instead.  I thought "I know some of the church ladies might think this is weird, but I'm old enough now to get away with these quirky styles".  And you know what?  I ended up getting several compliments from women as young as 20 something to as old as 50 something!  So go ahead, break all the rules, and wear whatever booties you want, however you want!


And now, be sure to check out how the other ladies in our group are styling their booties, and be sure to link up your outfits with us too!


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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Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Have A Great Day!  Amy


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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Theodore Roosevelt National Park: Scenic Loop Road Part 1, Exploring the Great West Travel Series

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

I am so excited to reach Day 4 of my "Exploring the Great West Travel Series" because I can finally share the highlight of my trip, Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Now most people have never heard of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and you know what?  Neither did I! 😀. I found this park by googling "National Parks that aren't busy".  Isn't that hysterical?  See, because of Covid I had to change my vacation plans twice (I know, whine, whine.  If the worst thing that has happened to me in the past two years is simply altering my vacation plans, I am blessed and I know it). In 2020 we were suppose to go to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.  Well, we decided to cancel those plans because things weren't quite up and running to par due to Covid and we knew it would be a very expensive vacation and we didn't want to waste the $$$ if we couldn't have the full experience.  Well, fast forward to 2021 and I go to make my vacation plans in the middle of winter for the fall of 2021 and everything is booked!  I couldn't believe it!  Normally, I don't make hotel reservations till a few months before.  I've since read that Yellowstone experienced a record-breaking year for tourists.

So,  I'm upset.  It's now the second year in a row I could not go to Yellowstone.  But, I still want to take a vacation out west.  I read that all the National Parks were busy and experiencing huge numbers of visitors.   Many parks even went to a reservation system.  Never in my life have I seen anything like this before.  We've always been able to get into any park with no problems and no reservations.  So I get on my computer and find out that there is a little known park within a days drive of my house.  Who knew?  I started looking at pictures and videos of the park, and I wasn't impressed.  I wasn't sure I wanted to go based on the photos.  But it was when I started reading reviews of the park that my mindset had changed.  Everyone said how "peaceful" the park was.  How you would never see another human soul.  How the vistas were so tranquil.  How the wildlife was so abundant.  Usually photos are what draw me to a vacation spot, but for the first time ever, it was words.  You see,  for our spring vacation to Smokey Mountains National Park, I was constantly annoyed with all the crowds.  The idea of going to a peaceful place where I have more chance of running into a buffalo than another human being really intrigued me.  So, off we went!

The park is divided into two units separated by an hours drive.  We planned on spending two full days in the park, one day in the south unit and one day in the north unit.  We never made it to the north unit because there was so much to explore in the south unit (oh well, maybe next year?)   The first full day we spent in the park was driving the 36 mile scenic loop drive (although it is no longer 36 miles and no longer a loop because they closed a portion of it indefinitely due to erosion),  The scenic loop has multiple short trails and scenic overlooks to pull over and admire the landscape and learn of it's history.  Today's post will cover just three of those trails/look-outs and hopefully next week I can show all the rest.

The first scenic lookout is the "Skyline Vista".  It is an accessible 0.2 miles roundtrip trail that shows wonderful views of the western horizon.


Here you are introduced to a unique land formation the area is known for:  the butte.  Unlike mountains, they don't peak but have flat tops.  You can read how these are formed in the sign below.


I had read that there was a lot of wildlife in this park, but I didn't quite believe it until I saw it for myself.  This park is FULL of wildlife, especially BUFFALO.  The buffalo are as common as robins.  They are everywhere and their little "patties" are everywhere too.  There is not a spot in this park where the buffalo are not allowed to freely roam.  We found buffalo patties near the visitor center, the bathroom, and on every single trail.  There are signs everywhere warning you to stay away from the buffalo.  I found that laughable as there wasn't anywhere I could go where there wasn't a buffalo.  If there is only one bad thing I could say about the park, it would be that I couldn't hike anywhere without fear of running into a buffalo.  In fact, my husband and I had to turn back on a trail because there was one buffalo sitting right on the trail and another one on the side.  They advise "giving a wide berth" if you run into a buffalo, but there was no where to go if there are two of them one on the trail and one to the side of the trail.


Another little guy this park is full of is prairie dogs.  There are many "Prairie Dog Towns" located in the park.  They have benches so you can just sit and enjoy these funny little creatures for hours.  


In the photo below, the "Prairie Dog Town" is in front of the bench, but as you see there are also buffalo right behind me and in front of the bench.  I was nervous to just sit there and watch the prairie dogs knowing that there were buffalo directly behind me.  And in case you're wondering, yes, buffalo do attack, but it is rare.  They have had buffalo attacks  as recently as 2019 and 2020.  In both attacks, the tourists were not doing anything wrong.  They were simply hiking, rounded a bend, and came across a buffalo and it attacked.  So now you understand my fear.  We ended up doing very little long distance hiking while in this park because of all the buffalo.


Wind Canyon Trail

The next stop on the scenic loop road was Wind Canyon Trail. I think this was my favorite short trail from the road.  It is a 0.4 mile loop that follows a cliff edge overlooking the Little Missouri River.  This is a favorite spot in the park to watch the sunset.  


The trail is a dirt trail that once again, is frequented by the buffalo as evidenced by all the patties they leave behind.  I found we always had to be careful before heading out on one of these short trails to look ahead to see if there were any buffalo on them.

 

The area was experiencing a drought while we were there, so the water level was quite low and no where near as wide as it should have been.


But we were awestruck by the beauty and how peaceful it was.




My husband found this interesting little sand dune area he wanted to explore.  It was off-trail so I hung back to take pictures of him.  Notice the "trail" heading to the sand dune?  That is actually not a hiking trail but a "buffalo trail".  These are everywhere in the park and they actually make it very difficult for the hiker not to get lost.  We've learned not to look for worn paths, but to keep an eye out for trail markers, but like I said, it can be very tricky.


From the top of the cliff we could see the scenic road and noticed cars stopped due to buffalo on the road.  This is a common occurrence in the park.  Be prepared to always drive very slow and see animals blocking the road.


Boicourt Overlook

Our next stop on the scenic loop road was Boicourt Overlook.  This is a paved 0.3 mile round trip trail that looks out across the park to the south.  You can see four famous buttes from this overlook.


It was here that we saw our first herd of wild horses and I almost cried.  Little did I know I would be seeing hundreds more of them before the trip was over!  It's so funny, because I see horses all the time where I live, but seeing them running and living free in the wild is a whole different experience.


The Boicourt Overlook is considered to be one of the best views in the park.


When the pavement stops, you can take one of the many buffalo trails to other high points of interest.  You don't need to worry about getting lost or running into a buffalo because you can see for quite a long distance ahead of you.







We hiked this buffalo trail all the way out to the peak.







I hope you can get a glimpse of the beauty of this park through my photos, but believe me, the photos do not do this park justice.  It is so much more breath-taking in person, and because it is not over-populated with tourists, the peace and quiet makes it even more beautiful to me.

Next week I will share more overlooks and trails we took from the Scenic Loop Road.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

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