Monday, July 16, 2018

I'm Feeling Like A Princess In My Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs Dress

I have a funny story to tell you about this dress.  When planning my vacation to Savannah, Georgia I read over and over again that the city was a "photographer's dream".  So of course I wanted to do a lot of fashion shoots to take advantage of the location.  I specifically was looking for romantic/midi/maxi dresses that would harmonize well with the old-world landscape.  But, because long dresses don't really fit my normal lifestyle, I did not want to spend a lot of money on them as I knew I wouldn't get a lot of wear out of them.  So, I checked clearance racks at all the stores I went to and found some beauties at Charlotte Russe,  New York and Co., and JCPenney.  I got really lucky at JCPenney and found two dresses on the clearance rack:  both less that $14.99.  I've already shown you one of those dresses HERE, and this is the other one.

Now for the funny part of the story.  When I got home I noticed the label and tags were by Disney and said "Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs".  I was so perplexed.  "What in the World?"  I wondered.  "Did I accidentally buy a costume?"  I checked the material and how the dress was constructed.  It was not costume material and it was made like a real dress.  I looked over the floral print of the dress very carefully wondering if there was some hidden "Disney" or "Snow White" hidden message I wasn't seeing.  No, nothing.  I called my daughter and she and I had a good laugh about it.  I sent her a picture of the dress and we both agreed nothing about the dress looked like what Snow White wore except maybe the color and the princess cap sleeves...but lots of dresses have princess cap sleeves and are blue.  So then I googled the label, and I just found lots of Snow White adult clothing but not specifically this dress.  Eventually I just came to the conclusion that I just bought old Disney merchandise and that's why it was so cheap.  


Well no matter where the origins of this dress came from, it doesn't matter, because I absolutely LOVE it and it is gorgeous.  And boy, did I get the compliments on this dress when I wore it to Tybee Island, Georgia.  This is a dress that makes you feel like a princess when you wear it (Hmm, maybe that's where the Snow White name came from? haha!).  It has a beautiful shape and the soft chiffon fabric flows so lovely in the breeze.


There is a shorter, shift/slip in a solid blue underneath the chiffon maxi.  The chest is a wrap style but it has closures so I don't have to worry about too much cleavage showing.  It also has a tie in front to help accentuate the waistline.


The dress is shorter in front and longer in back,  making it easy to walk in.  And if the wind picks up and blows my outer chiffon layer back, it doesn't matter because I have another dress underneath for full coverage.


Because we were walking a lot this day, I paired my dress with black flip flops.  They are a little more dressier than the traditional flip flips.  They have more of a heel and a black/silver flower on top.

I also added a black hat for sun protection.


Here is an example of how the dress flowed in the breeze. I absolutely loved it!  What a perfect dress to wear to the beach if you weren't planning on doing any swimming!  haha!


I kept the accessories simple to let the dress take center stage.  I only wore a red bracelet and blue/gold earrings for jewelry.  I added pink sunglasses  when I was in bright sunlight.



Other than the beach photos, all these pictures were taken at an old fort on Tybee Island.  I plan on doing a travel post soon on this fort.


I love how you can still see my legs through the sheer fabric.  It is modest, yet the thinnest part of my body is not covered up.






Well, regardless of the origins of this dress, I ended up absolutely loving it.   I definitely felt like a Disney Princess when I had it on!  It was worth the clearance price!

Have a  Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Reflections Of My Summer Break With Family

 4th of July week I took a one week blogging break so I could spend five days with my children in Illinois.  I thought I would do a Lifestyle Post highlighting what we did every day.

The main reason we went down to Illinois was to celebrate my granddaughter's Alethea's 1st Birthday.  I did a huge post on Tuesday showing pictures of all the decorations of the party.


The entire week we were in Illinois it was hot, hot, hot.  In fact, they even had an"Excessive Heat Warning" in Illinois.  Alethea's party was suppose to be outside, but we had to move it indoors because of the heat.  Somehow 20 people managed to squeeze into Ashley and Jason's small apartment.

 Alethea seemed to really enjoy being the center of attention.  She loved showing me all the party decorations.  She enjoyed opening and playing with all of her presents.


The next day we went to church and then to Starved Rock State Park.  I've been wanting to go to the park for years, for I heard it's Illinois best state park.  It was still very, very hot, which made the experience not as fun as it could have been, but we still enjoyed ourselves.  It was so hot that my husband did not even want to carry the DSLR camera, so the only pictures I have are with my IPhone.


There are so many steps in Starved Rock that you can not use a stroller on the trails, so Jason carried Alethea in a front pack.


Starved Rock State Park was so beautiful, it was hard to believe it was in Illinois and not in Wisconsin.  Haha!  Everyone says that about this park.  It looks like a Wisconsin State Park, with gorgeous river views, green trees, and actually some height to the landscape.

This is "Lover's Leap Overlook", so we decided to take some pictures of the couples.  First, my husband and I:


Then my daughter and her husband with their baby.


One of the most surprising thing about this park is that they have pelicans!  We had never seen pelicans in any area that was not by an ocean before.  It was so beautiful to see them in flight and grouped together like they are below.


This park is very well maintained;  which surprised me as they do not charge an admission like they do for Wisconsin State Parks.  We loved all the wooden paths and overlooks.


We had heard there were waterfalls in this park and my son was bound to find one.  However, we were getting so hot from walking and the baby started to fuss.  Ashley and Jason decided to turn back and get in some air conditioning.  My son wanted to keep going, so even though I was hot, exhausted, and ran out of water in my water bottle, I relented.

I am so glad I did because only a 100 feet more we found this!


The "waterfall" was reduced to a trickle this time of year,  but Jordan said it still hurt to stand directly under it.


I was nervous about climbing the wet rock, but I did venture into the muddy waters to cool off from the heat.  It felt so refreshing!

We were so disappointed Ashley and Jason turned back before discovering this magical place.  They would have loved it!  They were unhappy about it too when they saw the pictures.  Ashley said "WHY didn't you run after us?"  I replied, "I was so exhausted at that point I was couldn't.  I wish now I would have sent Jordan back for you."


We were blessed to see not one, but two groundhogs on our hike.  This one posed nicely for a picture.


After our long hike in the heat we all needed a cool pick-me-up, so we headed to Culver's for Ice Cream!  Ashley and I had their Lemon Ice and Ashley decided to give a bite to Alethea.  I was ready for her lips to pucker from the sour taste, but she loved it!  She surprised me and opened her mouth for more!


The next weekend, we went out to breakfast at my favorite restaurant in the area:  Buttermilk!  This time we tried the Naperville location instead of Geneva as it much closer.  It was so good!  My husband love it...which is a huge compliment coming from him as he is picky about restaurants.  And I was happy because I got to try their omelettes and pancakes!  The last time I was there I had their crepes, and I couldn't wait to get back and try something else.

Jason tried one of their skillets.  I love how it's served right in the pan.



Ashley and I each had the same omelet:  "The Frenchie".  It had wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, smoked bacon, and brie cheese.  It was so good!  And so huge.  I actually cut mine in half so my hubby could have a taste and then I took a 1/4 of his pancakes so I could try them!


And these were my husband's pancakes:  "Lemon Blueberry", a full stack.  He could not finish them all, even after I took a quarter.  They were delicious.  They had a lemon-infused batter and just look at that blueberry sauce!  Yum.  I'm drooling just looking at these pictures and remembering this breakfast.



After breakfast, we headed over to Centennial Beach, in Centennial Park, Naperville.  This is such a unique and fun "pool".  They call it a "beach" but it's not a lake, ocean, or pond.  It's actually an old quarry that now looks like a swimming pool, but it has sand and a lawn..hence "beach".  You really have to see it to understand it.

Alethea had been to an apartment pool before, but not a "beach", so she had the time of her life.  She loved the sand, but we had a hard time getting her to understand that her shovel was not a spoon for eating sand.  haha!


 The pool is HUGE!  Even though it was super crowded on a hot day, it didn't feel like it because it's so large.  There is a large area for families/small children, a slide, an area for swimming laps, a diving board, and two floating islands the teenagers liked to hang out on.  There are also free chairs and umbrellas, and a restaurant.  You can also bring your own food in!


The water is not heated, but it was so warm because of the hot weather Illinois had been having.  It felt like bath water.

Alethea loved going into the deeper water in the family section.  She was not afraid at all.  She even laid on my husband's back while he swam around.  She was so brave.



Isn't she just the cutest?  You can tell how happy she was this day.  I gave her the bathing suit and cover up as one of her birthday gifts and the hat was a gift from a friend.  We were thrilled that the hat matched her new suit so well.


Grandpa Todd carrying Alethea.  Everyone took turns watching her and playing with her so that everyone had time to swim in deeper water too.


She just wanted to take those little legs and wander everywhere!  We had to keep a close eye on her.  And she never let her shovel out of her grasp the entire time!




The next morning we were off to breakfast again.  This time I took my husband to the "Egg'lectic Cafe" in downtown Wheaton.  I had been here many times before, but it was new to my husband.  He absolutely loved it and he could not believe I never brought him here before.

I ordered a Mediterran Omelette and he ordered a skillet.  Both were amazing!  I think I found a new place for hubby to enjoy when we visit Wheaton.



It was another scorching hot day, so we went to a splash pad in Lisle, Illinois called "Dragonfly Landing".  Ashley had taken Alethea here before and wanted to show us.  The water was icy cold, so you don't want to get soaking wet...but a mist or partially wet on a hot day feels wonderful.

Here's Alethea again, still holding on to her shovel and pail.  My daughter said that her and Jason went back to Centennial Beach the next weekend, and Alethea hung on to her pail and shovel the entire time she was there.  She is so funny.


The park has a little playground and a beautiful pond with fountains and a walking path as well.


That day was July 3rd, and Wheaton had their fireworks that night.  So we headed home for lunch and a nap, then we went to a friend's 4th of July party.  After the party, we all walked over to to see the fireworks.  We were all anxious to see how Alethea would react to fireworks.  Would she love them or be afraid of them?  We kinda thought she would love them, as she is a brave, inquisitive little girl.  But, you never know how a baby will react to fireworks, do you?  

Here she is in her stroller patiently waiting for the fireworks to start.


And here she is after....she LOVED them!  I missed about half the fireworks because I was too busy watching her reaction to them and taking pictures with my IPhone.  haha!


This is my favorite photo of the evening.  That expression says it all!


The next morning was the 4th of July parade.  It was very crowded, and even though we arrived an hour early, this was the best seat we could get.  A friend told us that people "saved" spots as early as three days ahead of the parade by putting their lawn chairs on the curb.  I was surprised the city of Wheaton would allow that.

But it didn't matter that we had to sit so far back because the parade was not very good and we ended up leaving early.  They had long spaces of time in-between floats/parade participants when there was nothing to see and we were just waiting.  Most of the participants were politicians or businesses that did not have a float but were just carrying a sign or driving a vehicle.  It was very boring.  Then, we saw one float that we really objected to, so we just decided to give it up and leave, along with about ten other families.  We were very disappointed in Wheaton's 4th of July parade.  We had seen their Memorial Day Parade two years earlier and loved it.  We thought their 4th of July parade would be better, but it was not.

There were however a few things about the parade that we liked, like this large American flag being carried.


I also thought the Republican Party float was great because at least they had this large elephant for the kids to see.


Alethea held up well, the elephant definitely caught her interest.  But she was ready to leave after two hours.  I worried that leaving early was a mistake and they saved the best for the last, but it was really hot and we were ready to get back in some air conditioning.


We took Alethea home for a nap then Todd, Ashley, Jordan and I went to see the new "Incredibles" movie at the historic Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove.  It was such a great movie!  I love "The Incredibles"!  And the historic theatre is gorgeous and a treat in itself to see.

And that ends our five day summer vacation in Illinois with our kids, for the next day we drove home.  We did take Alethea for a walk in the morning so I could get a cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts and Alethea could get some time playing in the local toddler park.  So we didn't hurry off too fast!  It's always hard to say "Goodbye" to her.   As we were leaving, she walked over to the patio door to watch us leave.  She had a big smile on her face as we waved goodbye.  I said to Ashley and my husband, "The time is coming when she will scream and cry when we leave."  Todd said "Yep, cause she will know what it means and how long it will be before she sees us again."  I'm just grateful for any time I get to spend with her and that she seems to remember me, even after not seeing me for a few months.

It won't be such as a long of a time period before I get to see her again, for she is coming to my house for almost two weeks in August!!!!!!  Yay!  Two weeks with my precious grand baby!  I can't wait.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Linen Pants: The Next Best Thing To Shorts For Hot Weather

I love shorts and skirts for hot summer weather, but sometimes I just wanna wear a pair of pants too...do you know what I mean?  This is an outfit I wore for a long day of shopping, visiting friends, and ending with a evening at church.  I needed to be comfortable and cool yet covered for air conditioned buildings and church appropriate.  So what do I wear?  Linen pants for coverage yet cool to beat the heat!  


These pants are by Liz Claiborne and are available at JCPenney.  They come in several different colors too!  I tried on the white in the store, but it was very see through.  I was kinda bummed about that because I would have loved a white pair.  I really like the grey white striped pair as well, but I didn't see that one in my local JCPenney.  


I paired my new pants with an old sheer sleeveless floral top.  I wore a tank underneath and left the top buttons unbuttoned.

I wear a headband almost every day in the summer to keep my hair away from my face in this heat.  The one I have on in these pictures is olive green to coordinate with my pants.

 

I love the cute tie waist on these pants!


The pants are super comfortable to wear and very cool because of the wide width and linen fabric.  The fabric doesn't cling to your legs like the older style of capris do.


For jewelry, I went with rose gold rings,  a rose gold bracelet, and a rose gold necklace.  I chose coral earrings to pull out the coral in the top.




I  chose this beige cross body bag (old) to match the beige in the top.


My beige and gold boho sandals are from Express and super old.  I've thought many times of donating them, but every time I wear them I get compliments, so I still hang on to them.


I really loved this outfit and I got so many compliments on it.  It's so comfortable (How many times have I said that now?  haha!  It just proves how important comfortable clothes are to me!) I also feel it truly represents my style and who I am.


Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!