Friday, August 31, 2018

How To Style Red Pants

I absolutely LOVE my new red pants from Stitch Fix.  They are so flattering, super comfy, and the color works great for summer and fall.  But styling red pants can be difficult as there are only three solid colors that really work well with red:  black, white, and blue.  I know it's a popular trend to combine red and pink together, and I love that look, but it's a little much for me.  I'm not quite ready to go that bold yet.

Since I've received my red pants from Stitch Fix two months ago, I've actually worn them quite often.    I've styled the pants with the traditional colors (black, white, and blue), but I'm always keeping my eye out for new tops to buy that will go with my red pants, especially for fall.

Here is a top I picked up at Ross in the spring, way before I received my red pants.  Isn't it stunning?  It has a sheer net Swiss dot panel in the chest and back with pretty red and pink flowers.  I guess that's one small way I can combine pink and red together!  It also has a little ruffle on the sleeve cap and neckline.

I'm going to wear my strappy red sandals as long as it's still warm, but if the temps were colder, a nude, black, or beige bootie would work with this outfit too.  My shoes are from Worthington.

Leopard print always, always, always goes great with red anything!  I love to use it as an accent when wearing red.  Here I am using a leopard print clutch, but leopard print shoes would work great with this outfit too (see last picture in this post).

For jewelry, I skipped a necklace since I had so much going on with the neckline in the top, and wore black and dull silver bracelets only.

Isn't the detail of this top just stunning?  I got it at such a great price.  I think I only paid $12.99 for it.  If you don't mind digging, and checking back often, you can find a lot of great clothing at Ross.

The top has such a nice length and is just the right looseness.  Not too boxy, like a lot a lot of looser fitting tops are.  The back is almost as pretty as the front.

Here are some other ways I've styled red pants in this past.  

These are the same red pants styled with a light blue top that has a red embroidered design.  When going with a completely different color than the pants, it helps a lot if there is some red detail in the top.

Here are the same pair of red pants styled with a white top, but again, there is a little bit of red in the top so the contrast is not too much.

This is the first pair of red pants I ever owned.  My, have I aged since this picture was taken.  That's what menopause does to you!  haha!  Anyway, I no longer own these pants.  I bought them at Old Navy but I didn't check the washing label when I washed them and they shrunk in the length turning them into capris.  So I gave them to my daughter who is shorter than me.  That's why I asked Stitch Fix to send me a new pair.  I didn't want to take the chance with an Old Navy pair again.  Here I styled the red pants guessed!  I wore white booties and added a beige belt to keep the look from getting too patriotic.

And here I styled those same Old Navy red pants with beige and white and leopard print flats.

So what do you think?  Which look is your favorite?  How would you style red pants?  I'd love to hear from you!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Having Fun Locally: River Prairie Park

 When my daughter was visiting my husband and I for two weeks in August, we wanted to be sure to get Alethea out of the house at least once a day.  A couple of days, that didn't happen, as we were too pooped from running around, but most days we found something fun to do...and FREE!  We tried to keep everything within an hours drive from our home as Alethea is not great in the car.  My own children would fall asleep the second I would put them in the car seat...not Alethea!  Strap her in a car seat, and she's not happy.  She's a child on the go;  she loves to move and explore and a car seat is just too confining for her.  I look forward to the day when she understands that cars take her to fun, new places to explore.  Then perhaps, she won't mind the car ride so much.

We took Alethea many places during her two week stay with us:  zoos, parks, beaches, small towns, etc.  I hope to cover all our adventures in many travel and lifestyle posts to come.  Today I want to share a new park near Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  It's actually located in a smaller city right next to Eau Claire, called "Altoona".  This new park is called "River Prairie Park" and is actually part of a new development in Altoona.

The development is called "River Prairie" and is located just a few miles from downtown Eau Claire. My first experience with River Prairie was last year, when my husband and I went to a restaurant called "Cowboy Jacks".   I was blown away by this restaurant because it was so posh and different from anything else Eau Claire had to offer.  It reminded me of something I'd see in a big city not in our small town.  It had a great atmosphere with fun outdoor seating and river views.  We noticed at the time that there was a lot of construction going on nearby and wondered what else was moving in. Flash forward one year, and wow, what a difference a year makes!  More restaurants moved in, housing, shops, and an amazing new park called "River Prairie Park".

River Prairie Park has picnic areas, a splash pad, a small stage (live music every Wednesday during the summer) a large lawn, gardens, play area, but most impressive:  this beautiful man made river for the children to play in.

The play ground equipment was so different than anything I've ever seen before.  Beams for the kids to walk on and learn to balance, and little "houses" to play hide and seek.  I loved all the natural wood and how it blended so beautifully with the landscape and gardens.

The river is huge!  It wraps around at one point almost like a maze. It runs all through the park, appears to go under a road, then comes back out again by Cowboy Jacks.  We wondered how  the water was clean enough for children to play in, but after examining the flow of the river we think old water goes right into the Eau Claire River so it is never stagnant. We assumed the original source was city water.

It was so much fun to kick off our shoes and wade in the cool water.  There are little waterfalls scattered through out the river that kids love to play in.  The river is my favorite feature in the park because it is so pretty, fun to play in, and looks so natural.

The small splash pad is very popular.  Alethea ran through it briefly, but I think she preferred the river.

She was very interested in picking up rocks and small pebbles in the river bed.

Alongside the river pretty perennials, grasses, and wildflowers are planted.  There are even little, narrow garden paths to walk on to explore.  There are different types of bridges (one is even just a beam) to cross from one side of the river to the other.  There is one large bridge in the background of the picture below.  I loved the natural-looking arches spanning across the bridge.

Oh the fun children can have in this place.  My daughter was so envious that we had such an amazing place in Eau Claire for children to play in that was "free"!  She said there is a similar park in her city in Illinois, but they charge $15.00 to visit.

Here is the end of the river that I thought looked like a maze.  I saw many small children walking the length of the river while I was there.  They had fun in this maze portion.

Another bridge where the water is a little deeper.

Did I mention how much I enjoyed taking off my sandals and put my feet in the cool water?

Alethea loved to run across the great expanse of lawn.  I was glad we had her daddy there to chase after her.  He's in much better shape than I am to keep up with her!  haha!

After a picnic lunch, we headed down to the "real" river.  That is Cowboy Jacks in the distance.  It has outdoor seating on two levels.

This portion of the river is right next to Cowboy Jacks.  We think this is the water from the park that goes under the road, back into this area above ground, and then right into the Eau Claire River.

And here is the Eau Claire River.  There is a river walk/trail that goes for miles, and miles.  It is very pretty, but very long, so most people use this trail to bike on.  You can also see this gorgeous, scenic river view from the balcony of Cowboy Jacks.

This is such a beautiful new development.  Ever since we moved to the area 25 years ago, I was always homesick for the things big cities had to offer.  It may be a little late, but I feel like my town is finally stepping up it's game and making a lot of great improvements.  Downtown Eau Claire also has been steep in renovations the past few years.  When I took my daughter there to see all the new developments, she was shocked at how different it all looked...but that's for another post!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A Wedding Card And A Boho Wedding

Our very close, long time friend's son recently got married, and this is the card that I made for them.

I used all the wedding papers I already had in my stash from my own daughter's wedding eight years earlier.  The hearts were all cut with Spellbinder's Nestabilities Heart Dies.  I put adhesive pearls around the edge of the largest heart.  The smallest heart was cut using embossing paper.

I added a Prima Flower for embellishment and then put a large adhesive pearl in the center.

I cut a sentiment tag using a MFT die and stamped the sentiment on it with VersaMark, followed by gold embossing powder.

The background paper is a metallic gold print.  I added a gold foil designer paper behind everything to highlight the gold elsewhere in the card.

And here are some decor pictures from the wedding.  The wedding had a bohemian/rustic style as it was held outdoors on a hobby farm in the country.  Upon arrival to the wedding, all the guests had to enter under this trellis.  I "helped" my friend with this trellis, and I use the word "helped" loosely as she did all the work and I just stood back and was her pair of eyes to tell her what it looked like.  It really was a two person job though because when you were up on the ladder, you couldn't tell what you were doing.  The grapevine was so hard to bend and wrap around the posts.  Would you believe it took us hours to do this?  We both got so hot and sun burnt.  But, I think it turned out quite lovely in the end, and it was a great dramatic entry point to the wedding as the rest of the decor was much more simple.

The focal point of the trellis was a chalkboard design of the date and the bride and grooms initials.  The bride hand drew it herself.  Once the focal point was on, we wrapped the grapevine around the trellis, followed by the tulle.  It was so hard to get the tulle on because it kept catching and ripping on the grapevine.  Ugh!  Finally, we stapled some faux flowers to the sides of the trellis.

The galvanized containers were planted in pinks and whites to coordinate with the wedding colors.  A pretty wreath was hung on the gate.  A container of water bottles for the guests was placed at the entrance.

The guests walked through this country field on a mowed patch of lawn to get to the wedding ceremony location.

Cute little tulle bows and flowers were placed on barb wire fence posts.  Underneath each post was a scripture verse on chalkboard.

Another chalkboard sign greeted guests at the entrance to the wedding.

The ceremony was held under a large oak tree draped in white fabric with lanterns and lights dripping from the branches.  I must say, my favorite thing about this wedding was how this tree was decorated.  The fabric especially was so pretty.

Another great feature is how the sound speakers were hidden by these fern stands.  Two potted ferns were placed on white plant stands specifically designed for hiding speakers.

The chairs were simple folding chairs with white chiffon fabric draped over the top and tied on the side.  Flowers cut from the bride's mother's garden and placed in clear jars lined the aisle.

This is another arch I "helped" decorate.  The entire concept was the bride's idea.  She wanted a focal point to enter through.  The lace panels were closed right before her entrance and then held open so she could enter.  Tulle was draped across the top.  And I must say, it was a lot easier to drape the tulle without the grapevine to snag on.  haha!  The eucalyptus wreath was my friend's idea.  I said the trellis needed some type of focal point and we were looking at different options and trying to come up with ideas, then she went in her house and came out with this pretty wreath and we all loved it.  It complimented the simple Boho design theme perfectly.

On either side of the trellis my friend placed two urns.  She said those tall plants were willow shrubs. I thought that was such a great idea to plant a shrub in an urn.  My friend said in the fall, she will take the shrubs out and plant them in the ground.  I think I will try this next year in my own garden as I love the height and the dramatic look.

Alethea loved running through the lace panels and playing "Peek-a-Boo" with her mom after the wedding was over.

The reception was held inside a white tent.  The tent was decorated very simply with eucalyptus, white candles, and willow reeds.  At the top center of the tent a large floral wreath was hung.  The bride designed the wreath herself.

Willow reads and white lights were put behind the back of the bridal party table.  More willow reeds were draped over the front of the table.

On the guest table, eucalyptus ran along the center with tall battery operated tapers and little white votives as well.

One idea we thought was very clever and practical were these fans that were both the wedding programs, but also very practical for a hot, outdoor wedding.  Trust me, we really used these fans to keep cool, and I saw other wedding guests use them as well.  Great idea!  Only one word of caution:  Proper wedding etiquette is to always have the bride's name or initial first.  After the marriage it switches over to the grooms name or initial first.

 We did take some family photos that I already showed on a previous fashion post, but I will show them again here in case anyone missed that post.

This is my husband and I with our granddaughter and son.

And our granddaughter with her parents,  our daughter Ashley and her husband Jason.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

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