Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Fall Harvest Card

I have one more fall card to share with you before we move into the holiday season.  This is a fall card I made for my daughter and her husband.  I used a very old set from Stampin' Up!  called "Feathered Friends".  I actually sold this stamp set, but I stamped off a few images before I sent it on it's merry way to its' new owner;  and, I'm glad I did, because it is a classic!

I colored the image and cut it out with square Nestabilities from Spellbinders.  I added lots of embellishment to this card since it was such a tiny image.  I used Prima flowers, a brad for the flower center, and some hemp cord for a bow.

On the lower right corner I added another Prima flower and brad, but this time I cut out a leafy stem using an MFT die and I added a couple of shiny red apple brads.

The designer paper is from an old DCWV fall mat stack.  I created lots of frames and layers by matting it multiple times.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Stitch Fix #22: A Plaid Vest, Sweater, And A Necklace

I just got my November Stitch Fix box this Saturday and at the time I'm writing this post, I'm still trying to decide what to keep and what to send back.  I'm having a hard time because I love everything!  I created a poll on my Instastories on Instagram and I would really appreciate it if you'd pop on over there and vote on each item.  The poll should run through 3:30 central on Monday.  I don't need to decide what to keep until Tuesday, and I will really be taking whatever you guys say into consideration.  So please vote!  And of course you can leave your opinion of these three pieces in the comment section below this post.

In this Fix I received a vest, a sweater, a necklace, a pair of skinny corduroy pants, and a bell sleeve top.  Today I will review three of those pieces:  the vest, sweater, and necklace.   On Friday I'll review the last two pieces and then do a review of the entire Fix and let you know what I kept and what I sent back.

The first item I will review is this vest.

Lemon Tart "Kallen Ponte Puffer Vest"

I'll be honest and admit I sneaked a peek on the Stitch Fix website to see what they were sending me in advance.  I try so hard not to do that, because I really liked to be surprised, but sometimes I just can't help myself.  When I saw I had a puffer vest in my Fix I initially thought "Oh no, I don't need another puffer vest.  I already own five!".  But then when my Fix arrived and I pulled out the vest I was blown away.  It is so well-constructed!  It's one of those items when you examine it you realize you definitely get what you pay for because the quality is amazing.

I'm normally not a big plaid lover, but this plaid is so subtle it works for me.  I like the colors in the plaid.  It has a tiny bit of burgundy in it which really works for me because I have a lot of burgundy in my closet.  It is very tapered, so even though it's quilted and thick, it's very slimming for a vest.  It doesn't feel or look like it adds a lot of extra bulk to my frame.

It has side pockets with zippers!  Yes, another plus for me!

My husband really liked the vest too, and feels I should keep it.  He says I don't have anything like it, and he's right, I don't.  He liked the quilting as well.

The next item is this necklace.

Marlyn Schiff "Newman Circle Charm Layering Necklace"

I like the style of this necklace but the quality of the necklace is kind of cheap for the cost.  I could find something similar for half the cost or less at Charming Charlies or elsewhere.  I will probably only keep the necklace if I keep the entire Fix because it is pointless to send only the necklace back and lose my 25% off discount.

 The third item in this Fix is this burnt orange sweater.

Vero Moda Leroya Crew Neck Pullover Sweater

Things I love about this sweater:  the color, the thin knit, the length.   Things I don't love:  the crew neck and shoulders don't flatter my figure.  I also have two similar colored sweaters in my closet already.

The two similar sweaters I already own are slightly different.  One has a lace up neckline (HERE) and the other is a thicker knit and shorter (HERE).   I prefer this Stitch Fix one over the thicker, shorter knit one I already own.  This happens a lot to me with my Stitch Fix items.  I already own a similar item, but I like the one Stitch Fix sends me better, and I want to keep the Stitch Fix item, even if I really don't need it.  Ugh!  That's why I need you to help me decide!

I'm actually not a big fan of pullover sweaters in general because I never think they flatter me.  I always prefer tops with cardigans or vests.  But, living in Wisconsin, pullovers are often necessary:  as you can probably tell by these photos.  Yes, we have snow already.  This is actually our 4th snowfall this season.  It's going to be one long, miserable winter.

I'd really love your thoughts on these items!  I don't have to decide till Tuesday, so please advise me!  I'll be back on Friday with the other two pieces of this Fix and I'll let you know the results of the poll on Instagram and also what I ultimately decided to keep.

Have you always wanted to try Stitch Fix but you were a bit nervous about it?  Did you know if you use my Referral Code you can save $25.00 on your first Fix?  Give it a try!  What do you have to lose?  

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Friday, November 9, 2018

What To Wear On A Christmas Walk

Every year our small town does a "Christmas Walk" where three houses in the community are chosen  and open to the public.  They are also decorated for Christmas.  One year, many years ago, my home was chosen.  It was a lot of work, but a huge blessing too.  If you want to see the posts I wrote about that event, they are HERE and HERE.  But, beware, as a lot of my house has been redecorated and doesn't even look like that anymore.

This year my husband and I went on the Christmas Walk together and we got to see a renovated barn that was decorated for Christmas.  The barn is rented out for weddings and other special events.  I took lots of pictures, and I can't wait to do a blog post about it after Thanksgiving. 

 For today's post, I'm showing what I chose to wear on the Christmas Walk.  It was a cold, dreary day so I wanted to be warm and comfortable.  You are also required to remove your footwear to tour the homes, so I had to pick shoes that I can take on and off very easily.

 I decided on this long, animal print sweatshirt that is super old.  It's one of my favorite pieces in my closet.  I've always loved the length, the weight of the sweatshirt, and the print.  I've previously styled it with grey jeans HERE and with light denim crops HERE.  Today, I'm styling it with my new eggplant leggings from Stitch Fix and a new pair of booties from JCPenney.

The sweatshirt has quilted shoulders and a bit of silver metallic scattered throughout the print.

 I carried my black Liz Claiborne tote (old)  to coordinate with my black leather jacket and black booties.

This top is great to wear with leggings because it's long enough to cover my backside.

I've been seeing the booties with the multiple buckles for a few seasons now and they have been on my wish list.  I finally took the plunge when I saw this pair by a.n.a called "Women's Ann Bootie Zip".  They are super comfortable, but I wish they had a little more of a heel.  I think they would be more attractive on me if they had more of a heel.  But, on this day they were the perfect booties to wear because I could take them on and off very easily (there's a zipper on the inside of the shoe) and because they're flat, they were comfortable to walk in.

For jewelry I chose these long, thin silver/black earrings and my usual rings.

I chose my faux leather jacket from CJBanks (old) because it was a bit drizzly this day so I needed to wear outerwear that could handle a little rain.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Our Fall Vacation To South Dakota, Day 1, Part 2: Al's Oasis, Wall Drug, and Rapid City

This is a continuation of a travel series to South Dakota.  If you'd like to start at the beginning, go HERE!

In last week's travel post I started a new series of our trip to South Dakota we took in September.  I started with the Badlands because that was our first stop other than for lunch at Al's Oasis.  I debated whether to cover Al's Oasis, Wall Drug, and Rapid City, because they seemed so insignificant but then I realized most people road trip when they take a vacation to South Dakota and might appreciate the  road side tips.

Almost everyone visiting South Dakota's main attractions will travel on I-90.  Now, I've spent a lot of time in the car road tripping with my husband over the years, and never had too much of a problem with long car rides; we've had a lot of very long days of driving.  On this trip, our first pit stop for the night was Rapid City:  that's only 9 hours and 49 minutes from my house.  Easy Peasy, right?  Not really, because the drive on 1-90 was probably the most boring drive of my life.  There is nothing out there folks.  So my first tip: make sure your car is tuned up because if you have a break down it might be a long walk for you.  I will say South Dakota has a lot of humor for they know everyone is traveling this road to get to see Custer State Park or Mt. Rushmore, so they provide a lot of funny billboards to entertain you along the way.  My favorite one was the first Wall Drug sign I saw.  I think it said "It's not far now....only 201 miles left to go!"  ha-ha! I read that Wall Drug has over 300 billboards along the 650 mile long interstate of I90.  Most of them are pretty funny, and by the time you reach Wall Drug, you really want that free glass of ice water and 5 cent cup of coffee (yes, it's really a thing!).

But before you reach Wall Drug (if coming from the Eastern part of the United States) there is Al's Oasis.  Not that I'd have to pull your arm or anything as by this point you will be dying to get out of your car and stretch your legs, but this place is worth the stop if only for a piece of pie!

It's a super cute faux western town.  It's main attraction is the restaurant, which is always busy.  Be prepared to wait for a table.  There are also gift shops, nice restrooms, and some fun statues out front for pictures.

I did not think the menu had a lot of options, so my husband and I ordered the same thing:  roast beef and mashed potatoes.  It was very good and reasonably priced.  It's not something I normally eat, but again, the menu was very small.

The best part of this restaurant is the pie!  If I took this trip again, I would only stop and get the pie and wait to eat dinner at Wall Drug or one of the other towns along the way.  This pie was so good!  We both got Banana Cream and loved it, but their strawberry pie looked great too!

After we ate, we walked outside and took our pictures by the "Welcome" sign and the buffalo statues.  I love to do that, do you?  Especially if it is a state I've never been to before.  This was my first trip to South Dakota so I was pretty happy to scratch another state off my bucket list.

After we had lunch we headed to the Badlands!  It was only a two hour drive from Al's Oasis.  I should also mention that there is a cute western town to explore on I90 but we didn't have time to stop,  next time we will.

I already covered The Badlands in last week's post, so I will move on to Wall  which is located right next to The Badlands.  Most people, when visiting The Badlands, stay in Wall  for it's the closest town.

I apologize so much for these pictures.  We had put away our DSLR at this point so I only used my IPhone.  The sun was really intense the time of day we were here and it seemed to really affect my phone camera.

Here is one of the streets in Wall.  I was pleasantly surprised at how cute it was.  These are gift shops located directly across the street from Wall Drug.

This is the exterior of Wall Drug Store.  It covers an entire city block.  It is so huge;  I felt I was in a maze walking through it.  There was so much to see, do and buy!

Now you're probably wondering by now, what is the big deal about a drug store?  I know I was wondering that.  And why did this town get the strange name of "Wall"?  I'll give you a little history of each.

The Badlands area is divided into two prairies:  the lower prairie and the upper prairie.  The lower prairie lies along the floodplain of the White River and is a sod-covered expanse dotted with scattered buttes.  The upper prairie varies from great grassy flats to gentle grassy undulations.  "The Wall" stands between the lower and upper prairie, serving as a barrier to travel north and south.  It is a rugged strip a half mile to three miles wide, a succession of tinted spires and ridges with twisting gullies.  The town of Wall, South Dakota gets its name from this "Wall".

Wall Drug was the only drugstore in Wall in 1931 when Dorothy and Ted Hustead purchased it. By the summer of 1936, business had not grown much., but they were seeing a lot of jalopies driving across the prairie and  going by without stopping.  So on a hot summer day, Dorothy came up with the idea of putting up signs offering free ice water.  The rest is history!

Wall Drug has everything!  A pharmacy, gift shops galore, a restaurant (famous for their 5 Cent coffee, donuts, and hot beef!), an arcade, a splash pad, even a museum!  We didn't have a whole lot of time to spend there as we needed to make it to Rapid City for the night, so we walked around quickly.  I did enjoy a cup of coffee, and on our return trip we tried their donuts and a pecan roll (both were amazing!  Do not visit Wall Drug without buying a donut!)  I found this cute Native American style bracelet for only $13.99.  I thought it was so pretty, and I loved the metal clasp.  I also purchased some fudge from their candy shop.  It was so good, and very reasonably priced too!

There's so much for the "kids" to do, which is awesome because I'm sure after a long, boring car drive they are anxious to run around.  

This "rabbit" was located in "Wall Drug Backyard" which also features the Train Station Water Show (i.e. a really fun splash pad), a roaring T-Rex, a miniature Mount Rushmore, and a giant Jackalope.

What really surprised me was this beautiful chapel located inside Wall Drug.

After our brief stop at Wall my husband and I realized the next time we come back to the area to explore The Badlands more, we would stay in one of the hotels in Wall so we could spend more time at Wall Drug too!  Don't miss this stop!  You will regret it.

Finally, it was time to get back in the car and finish the last leg of our journey to get to our first hotel of this trip located in Rapid City.  We only had one more hour of driving for the day.

After checking into our hotel when we arrived in Rapid City, we headed downtown to check out a restaurant my husband's co-worker recommended:  Firehouse Brewing Company.  I can't recommend the restaurant because we did not have a great experience there.  I would like to go back and try it again though;  although my husband was so turned off by the experience he never wants to go back.  My husband's friend recommended the place because of the ambiance:  it's located inside an old firehouse.  But the night we were there it was super crowded and we had to wait almost an hour for a table.  No problem, we just walked around downtown and enjoyed the beautiful weather until our table was ready.  Finally we received a text that our table was ready.  We were so excited to see the inside of the firehouse!  Well, the hostess walked us five feet inside and seated us at a bar type table near the bar and right next to the drink station.  We couldn't see the restaurant at all, we don't drink alcohol so we didn't appreciate being seated next to the bar, and on top of all that we couldn't even hear each other speak because the ice machine was right behind me and all the waiters/waitresses kept coming to get ice making a huge racket.  Well, my husband really wanted this evening to be special, so he asked for a different table (we never normally do that), and after all, we waited an hour to be seated and this was the best they could do?  The hostess said the only table she could offer us was outside on the sidewalk, not even in the outdoor seating area, but literally, on the side walk, just a few feet away from the bumper of a car!  My husband was so upset he wanted to go somewhere else.  I at this point just wanted to eat and go back to our hotel to sleep.  It was a very long day.  So we stayed and ordered two hamburgers which cost about $30 after tip and they were absolutely terrible; very dry.  So no, I can't recommend this place.  But if you have ever been there and were seated at a great table, and therefore got to experience the unique ambiance of this restaurant, I'd love to hear from you.  And be sure to tell me what you ordered, because I will never order a burger from this restaurant again.

Here is the outside of the restaurant.  See the red umbrella on the left?  That was where our table was located, right in front of the cars.

The restaurant did have a nicely lit outdoor eating area, but we were not seated there.

Oh well, enough negativity.  I feel stupid telling this story at all with all that's going on in the world, it seems so trivial.  But I felt if I mentioned the restaurant in this post, I had to also mention that I could not recommend it and why.   I would never want anyone going there because they saw it on my blog and they also had a bad experience.

But, with every cloud comes a silver lining.  Because we had to wait so long for a table, we had time to walk around downtown Rapid City and enjoy it's gorgeous architecture.  All the stores were closed already, but I still enjoyed window shopping!

My son is a percussionist so I was very intrigued by this Native American drum store.

Here are some of the drums in the window display.

We were very impressed with downtown Rapid City.  It was very clean and well-kept.  It had a nice mix of historic buildings (all well maintained) and modern elements.  We really loved the town square which had the largest splash pad I have ever seen in my life.  The kids sure seemed to be enjoying it and all I could think of was how much I'd love to bring Alethea here someday.

 I do hope to get back to Rapid City someday, preferably when the stores are open, so I could explore more.  It was so lovely.

 Next week I  will start with Day Two of our South Dakota trip when we visited Deadwood!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

"Happy Fall Ya'll" Handmade Scarecrow Card

In last week's craft post, I shared that I send my kids and grandchild handmade cards and treats for all the holidays.  In that  post, I shared the fall card I made for my granddaughter Alethea.  This week I'm sharing the card I made for my son.

I used a super old retired set from Stampin' Up! called "Happy Fall Ya'll".  I actually sold this set long ago, but before I shipped it off to it's new home, I stamped some images for future use.  I'm so glad I did, as this is a super cute set!

I cut the sentiment into three parts and scattered it on the card.  The pumpkin is also from this set.  I fussy cut the pumpkin after coloring it in and adhered it to the card.

I colored the image with Copic markers, using colors that were in the plaid designer paper.

I chose the plaid paper and colors to keep the card as masculine as possible.  The oval shapes were cut using a Spellbinder's Nestability die.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Monday, November 5, 2018

Grandma & Me: Establishing Traditions

When my sweet granddaughter Alethea was visiting me for two weeks during the summer, one of the many places we took her was the famous "Nelson Cheese Factory".  I wrote all about the Cheese Factory in this post if you missed it.  Going to the Cheese Factory is a summer family tradition for us.  Most of the time, we just get ice cream, but I also love to go there for lunch with my girlfriends or to just enjoy some of their delicious coffee.

This was Alethea's first visit to the Cheese Factory and I said to my daughter,  "We should bring her here every summer and take a picture under the "Nelson Cheese Factory" sign.  It will be so fun to watch as she grows up in those pictures!" 

So here is Alethea's very first picture at Nelson Cheese Factory.  Just look at that smile!  What a doll.

For our special first photo shoot at the Nelson Cheese Factory, we chose blue chambray dresses;  mine is a solid blue, Alethea's dress is a blue and white stripe.  We accented our dresses with black accents.  I wore black booties, a black cardigan, and carried a black bag (everything old).  Alethea wore pretty black shoes and she was suppose to wear a black hair bow but somehow we forgot to put it on her before we started to snap pictures.  Ah, the realities of fashion blogging.  😊  She finally reached the age where she started pulling hair bows off her head, so if there is a hair bow we want her to wear for photos, we have to put it on her right before we start taking pictures and distract her so she doesn't notice it!  Ha ha!  Oh, all the tricks we have learned to photograph Alethea!

I did not forget my hair bow though! 😊 I wore a light grey plaid hair band from Forever 21.

After we enjoyed our delicious coffees at the Nelson Cheese Factory, we headed to Wabasha to take a walk along their river walk.

Oh, my little pumpkin.  I miss her so much.  Thanksgiving can't come fast enough for me.  Only a few more weeks, and I will have her in my arms again!

So do you have any annual traditions with your grandkids?  What are your plans for Thanksgiving?  Will you be able to spend time with family?  I'd love to hear from you!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!