Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Favorite Outfits of 2015

I'm still on a blogging holiday break, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year and show my favorite fashion photos I posted in the year 2015!


I don't think I love this picture necessarily because of what I'm wearing but because it's me and my daughter together!  We had so much fun doing this photo shoot, and are already planning a special Mother's Day post to do together!


This was another favorite post of mine because my daughter put this outfit together and I'm wearing her dress.  I always meant to borrow this dress from her, but I keep forgetting to get it.  So Ashley, if your reading this, I want to borrow this dress!


It was difficult to pick a favorite for March, as I liked a lot of my fashion posts that month, but I finally settled on this one that my daughter styled for me.  I'm wearing one of her dresses again...hmmm, I'm starting to see a pattern here.  Maybe I need to hire Ashley as my stylist, or just start wearing her clothes instead of mine!


I love this outfit because the weather finally warmed up and I could wear my sandals and lighter colors for a change!  And surprise, surprise, I actually have my own clothes on in this picture!


It was hard for me to narrow down a favorite for the month of May because there were a lot of outfits I really liked that month, but I settled on this one because I love my yellow bag my daughter gave me for Mother's Day and this cute red and white polka dot scarf.


I love this outfit not just cause it's really cute and one of my favorite dresses, but because when I see this picture I instantly smile for I remember a wonderful, happy day!


This is another dress that is a personal favorite of mine.  I have owned it for several years now, and I still get so many compliments on it.  It is just so comfortable, especially in hot weather.


This is another outfit that I like not necessarily because of what I'm wearing but because of the lovely memories I have when I see this picture.  I wore this outfit on a date with my husband on a sultry August day.  We had so much fun that day, and I remember being so blissfully happy;  until a tornado started to blow in.  Then I got a little stressed out. :)


This is hands down one of my favorite outfits of the year.  I love my comfy pants, the funky shoes, and the snakeskin print tank.  So comfortable to wear, edgy, yet dressy at the same time.


This picture is my second most popular pin ever (pinned over six hundred times), and the post received over six thousand page views.  And the sad thing is, I ruined this poncho.  I accidentally threw it in the dryer and it shrunk.  Don't you hate it when that happens?  It seems to happen to me a lot.  I remember when I throw it in the washer to not throw it in the dryer, but when the washer is done, from force of habit I just automatically put everything in the dryer without thinking about it.  I think it's still wearable, it shrunk up, making it shorter.  But, it's just not the same. Sniff, sniff.


This sweater vest was another one of my most popular posts this year.  I think it's because sweater vests are difficult to style and everyone is always looking for ideas on how to wear them.  I was on the fence about whether or not I liked them before this post, but they are definitely a must-have item for me now!


It was sooooo hard picking only one favorite outfit for the month of December because I got a ton of new clothes for my birthday that I loved, and of course I had a couple of really pretty holiday outfits this month too.  I finally settled on this one, (again one of my most popular posts), because I remember how happy I was this day.  My husband loved this outfit, and told me repeatedly how beautiful and sexy I looked in these boots (Not bad for a fifty three year old and almost thirty years of marriage !).  It was just such a wonderful day, in a beautiful city in Florida, spending time with my husband and children.  I couldn't have been happier.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my re-cap of my favorite fashion outfits of 2015,  I know I certainly did because it brought back so many fond memories.  2015 was a really good, happy year for me.  I feel so blessed.  I hope yours was too, and if it wasn't, don't worry.  I'm sure you will have plenty of good years ahead.  I know I have had a lot of years in my life that weren't so happy;  that's why I really take time to enjoy the good ones when they are here!

Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a Blogging Break

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I am going to take a blogging break for the next week and a half to enjoy time with my family and friends.  I wish all of you a wonderful holiday and hope you get to do the same!  I will back to a regular posting schedule on Monday, January 4th with a special re-cap of all my favorite fashion outfits of the year on New Year's Eve!

In the meantime, here is a videotape of my beautiful daughter singing "Rejoice" from Handel's Messiah for you to enjoy!  If you have any trouble viewing it on my blog, you can see it HERE!

Have a wonderful Christmas Holiday week!  I wish you all the best for the New Year too!


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Winter Park Florida Scenic Boat Tour

The very first full day of our fall vacation to Florida we wanted to do something laid back, relaxing, and local;  so we chose a scenic boat tour of three lakes in Winter Park.

The boats are eighteen passenger pontoon boats.  The tour is an hour long and cruises through three of seven lakes and two man made canals.  Each boat has a tour guide who tells you fun and fascinating stories of the history of the area and all the beautiful multi-million dollar homes on the lakes.

The canals were our favorite part of the trip (that and seeing a big white bird eat a lizard, but we didn't capture a picture of that!).   The narrow openings were so lush and full we felt we were on the Amazon river at times instead of a lake in Florida!

The homes and the stories behind these homes were amazing.  There is a lot of history of wealth in this area.  Our guide told us one of the owners of these homes was Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone with the Wind".  He also said "Mister Rodgers" lived in one of these houses when he attended Rollins College nearby.

Winter Park is a very affluent area in Florida.  These homes are certainly a reflection of that wealth.

Rollins College (which I will show more pictures and stories of in a later post) is also located right on this lake.  That is their boat house in the picture (they have an Olympic rowing team) and a spire of one of their buildings in the distance.

This house had an interesting story.  I hope I re-tell it correctly for I am going only by memory.     Our guide told us that a man had to move to Winter Park for his work but his wife would not move with him because she loved her home back east so much she couldn't bear to leave it.  So to get his wife to come to Winter Park, Florida, the husband built an identical house on this lake.  I thought, either that was one really spoiled wife, or, the husband was deeply and madly in love with her.  I prefer to think the latter.

We had the pleasure of going through two canals on this boat trip.  See the pretty stone bridge in the background of the picture?

Most of the homes had boat houses on the canals.  I can't even imagine maneuvering a boat through this narrow canal and into that tiny boat house!

Whenever I see homes this big, I always wonder "What do they do with all that space?"

We found it so interesting that these trees were growing right in the center of the lake!

And finally, I leave you with a picture of my two beautiful children Jordan and Ashley.  Jason had to work this day so that is why he is not pictured.  It was also a chilly morning, only 66 degrees, and these two are so use to hot and sultry temperatures that they were bundled up trying to stay warm!  The boat tour did provide nice fleece blankets to cover up with while on the boat, as it does get cold when the boat goes fast!

The cost for the tour was only $12.00 for adults and $6.00 for children under 12.  You can learn more about the boat tour HERE.

Have a great day!  Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE and Travel Tuesday!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Christmas Video Tour of My Home, Part Three

Today is the final post of a series of video tapes that show my home decorated for Christmas.  In my first post I revealed my side porch, entry way, family room, and sun room of my new addition.  You can find that post HERE if you missed it.  In my second post I unveiled my front porch, dining room, office, living room, kitchen and downstairs bath.  You can see that post HERE if you need to catch up.  

Today's post features the third level of my home where our bedrooms and main bath are located.  Unlike my other videos, these videos are super short because the rooms are very small and the decorations minimal.  However, when my husband saw my previous videos, he really thought I should be in them so he offered to videotape.  It was a very awkward and uncomfortable experience for me, but kinda fun to, and definitely a learning experience.  They are by no means "professional" tapes and we certainly didn't even try to make them that way.  Each video was shot in one take and no editing was done.  It has never been my goal to produce a flawless video recording, my only goal was to share a bit of myself, my family, and my home with my readers.

So without further ado, here are this week's final videotapes of my home decorated for Christmas!

Video One:  Upstairs Hallway 

                                            Video Two:  Master Bedroom and Guest Room

                                             Video Three:  Boy's Room and Upstairs Bath

And that is my entire house decorated for Christmas!  Now all the work has been done and I can just sit back and enjoy it, oh for about two weeks, and then start taking it all down! :)  If you made it all the way through the third video,  you would have heard that the boy's room will be renovated this winter into a walk-in-closet/dressing room and I will definitely be doing a post about it!  I can't wait till it's done, it's so exciting!

If you have any trouble viewing these videotapes on my blog,  you can see them all on my YouTube Channel HERE.

Have a great day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Black and Gold Holiday Outfit

Did you ever get an idea at one store, only to buy the item somewhere else?  That's what happened with this outfit.  I was shopping for some last minute Christmas gifts last Friday and I parked my car at the Macy's entrance because it was closest to "Bed and Bath" where I needed to go.  While walking through Macy's I saw the most amazing holiday display of mannequins wearing black and gold outfits.  The two colors looked so elegant and beautiful together, and even though I already had a holiday outfit planned, I thought, "I really like that color combo and I'd like to try it out".  

So I pulled a few black and gold outfits off the racks and tried them on but nothing fit really great.   I also realized that I had $30.00 in coupons and rewards from J.C. Penney burning a hole in my pocket, so maybe I should check there before buying something at Macy's, and off I went!  The first item I saw when I stepped into Penney's was this beautiful, shimmery, gold top.  It not only was love at first sight, it was a door buster item for only $17.99!!!!!  Score!  

I already had plenty of black in closet, so I didn't need to buy anything else to complete my new holiday look.  Therefore,  it only cost me $17.99 (or less, considering I used coupons and rewards) for a sparkly, Christmas outfit!

This top is so pretty in real life the pictures both here and on the J.C. Penney website do not do it justice.  It is a very pure gold, with a lovely, intricate design on the neckline, and it is extraordinarily shimmery.

It is a very clingy,  form-fitting top.  I bought a size large when I would normally wear a size small in the Worthington brand because I don't like my tops too form fitting due to my ample bust.  I really like the extra room I have in the stomach area because I sized up.  However, I don't think it was meant to be worn this way.

My pleather, perforated swing skirt was purchased from J.C.P last year and I showed it to you before in THIS POST.

I wore black tights and black suede wedge pumps with my pleather skirt and new gold top.

 For accessories, I debated between a colorful holiday handbag or my leopard clutch.  I settled on the leopard clutch.

Because the neckline was so pretty, I didn't wear a necklace and I just wore gold and diamond earrings instead (not pictured, my hair always covers my earrings up and I forget to tuck my hair behind my ears for photographs) and black and gold bracelets.

How much I actually spent on the top after all the deductions were taken off, I have no idea.  Now you gals should know by now I didn't leave JCP with only one item!  I bought this top, a pair of metallic dress pants, a black fur vest, and another holiday sweater for a whopping total of $44.00 after all my coupons and rewards were taken off.  That averages out to about $10.00 per item!  Yes, JCP, I love you!  You make me look great without having to spend a lot of money.

This will be my last fashion post this week.  I plan on finishing my video series of my home decorated for Christmas tomorrow, then Wednesday I will do a travel post as normal, but after that I will take another blogging break to enjoy the Christmas season with friends and family.  I will resume a normal blogging schedule on Monday, January 4th with a special re-cap of all my favorite fashion outfits of the year on January 1st.

Have a great day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Trees and Beautiful Holidays Displays

I was reading on a website last night about how people were disappointed that they are not seeing as many seasonal displays or Christmas decorations in stores or store front windows anymore.  The reason given is because people of other faiths (or no faiths at all) are offended by Christianity.  I thought it was so sad that one group of people, Christians, have to have their holiday taken away from them while other groups are still free to practice their religions and traditions.  I am certainly not afraid to say "Happy Hanukkah" or "Happy Kwanzaa" to someone, so why would someone not want to say "Merry Christmas" to me?  This is America, a place of religious freedom, where everyone is free to worship whatever and whoever they please, and no one should be limiting the religious freedom of another.  Christianity at its core is about freedom and liberty and Christmas is about love for all humanity.  So in honor of that I thought I would spend some time showing all the beautiful Christmas trees and holiday displays I discovered on my last vacation to Florida.

The first Christmas tree I fell in love with was actually displayed in a store.  It was covered in the most gorgeous seashell and aquatic ornaments I have ever seen.  

This large tree is at the entrance to Sea World.

 These beautiful trees are scattered all over a lake.  Their bases are actually in the water.  There is a very long bridge across the lake where you can get the best view of them.

I loved how they did the lights up the trunk and branches of this tree.  Amazing!

Another pretty Christmas tree with a palm tree all lit up too!

I continuously marveled how they are able to grow poinsettias outside in Florida.  It is such a fragile flower for us in the north.  I loved this display of poinsettias in clay pots.

 And these white and red poinsettias are growing right in the ground!

 Perhaps the most amazing holiday display I saw in Florida was the nativity at Busch Gardens.  WOW!

It is a set of seven topiaries:  an angel, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, a camel, donkey, sheep, and cow.  My favorite was the camel.  Is that amazing or what?  And what's really amazing is that they even had a nativity in a public place and they weren't afraid of repercussions.  You just don't see this too much anymore.

In the Sesame Street area of Busch Gardens, they had these fun Christmas trees in the Sesame Street colors.

This large tree was located in a plaza in the center of Busch Gardens.  Don't you just love the puppeteer?  He was so fun to watch,  it took some time to figure out where his actual head and body parts were in relation to the costume.

It was nice to see that Sea World wished everyone a "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays".

And this is the same entrance tree to Sea World that I showed you at the top of this post, but this time it's all lit up for night.

Whether your a believer or not, or you follow a different faith, my wish for you all when I say "Merry Christmas" is love and peace.

Merry Christmas!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE.