Monday, February 18, 2019

On Winter Break!

I'm on winter break this week enjoying time with my children and grandchild.  I will not be posting here, but you can follow my on Facebook and Instagram to see all the fun I'm having!

See you next week!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Friday, February 15, 2019

Stitch Fix Review #25: Red Floral Bell Sleeve Top

On Monday's Fashion Post I shared a Dolman Knit Top I received in my 25th box from Stitch Fix.  The second item I'm showing from this box is this Red Floral Bell Sleeve Top.

Skies Are Blue Fairly Tie Detail Blouse

Status:  Returned

I really liked this top.  I thought it was really pretty and I don't have a lot of red in my closet.  However, I returned it because there were three other items in my Fix I liked a whole lot more plus I just received a similar top from Stitch Fix just a few months earlier (you can see that top HERE).  I also wasn't thrilled with the tie detail on the sleeves. 

I styled the top with a pair of grey jeans that was also sent in this Fix.  I kept those jeans, and will share more about them in a later Fix.

Overall it was a cute top that fit me well but my closet is already filled with enough floral items.

Next week I'll be taking a week off from blogging because I will be visiting my children in Illinois!  I can't wait to see my sweet Alethea again and kiss those adorable cheeks.  When I return the following week I'll show you the three items in this Fix that I kept plus do a review of the entire box.

If you have never tried Stitch Fix before but would love to give it a try, use my Referral Code to get $25.00 off your first box!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Our Fall Vacation To South Dakota, Day 4, Part II: Mt. Rushmore

This is a continuation of a travel series to South Dakota.  To start at the beginning, go HERE.  The rest of the posts in chronological order are  HEREHEREHERE HERE,  HERE,  HERE,  and HERE!

At some point in every Americans life they need to visit Mt. Rushmore.  I can't believe how much seeing this national memorial in real life moved me.  I had to choke back tears multiple times.  When driving to Mt. Rushmore, you actually see the memorial before you pay to get through the gate.  I squealed with delight upon it's sight.  I couldn't believe I was finally here, that I was finally seeing the mountain I had seen pictures of my entire life.  I couldn't wait to get through the long line of cars and just park the car.  I even got irritated at my husband cause he took too long finding the perfect parking spot. 😊  I just wanted to get out of the car, and get as close to this masterpiece as possible.

Of course, we had to stop and take pictures of ourselves in front of the sign first!

This is the entrance to the memorial.  More than two million people from all over the world visit Mt. Rushmore annually.  We were amazed at all the different languages spoken around us while we were there.  

And here is the Avenue of Flags with Mt. Rushmore seen in the distance.

Here is some information of The Avenue of Flags from Wikipedia:

"The Avenue of Flags was initially established as part of the celebration of the United States' Bicentennial in 1976 at the request of a visitor. The 56 flags represent the 50 states, one district, three territories, and two commonwealths of the United States of America.  The placement of the flags are in alphabetical order with the A’s on the walkway near the concession building and the W’s near the Visitor Center and Museum. The names of each state, district, commonwealth or territory are listed on the pillars directly below each flag."

We made sure to look for our state flag!

The heads of the four presidents  (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln) are 60 feet high.  Did you know originally the presidents were suppose to be depicted head to waist but lack of funding forced construction to end in 1941?

After the initial excitement of rushing into the memorial grounds and seeing the Avenue of Flags, when you walk closer to the memorial using the planked walkway, the ambiance changes.  My husband and I noticed how quiet it got.  He semi-joked "It's as if people know they are walking on hallowed ground".  It was here where I really had to fight back the tears.  The political turmoil of the past two or three years has really gotten to me.  I worry so much about what is to become of our country.  I worry about losing our roots, our traditions, our freedoms.  I listened to people talk in hushed tones around me and I could hear conversations of worry.  Many expressed concern that Mt. Rushmore is next on the chopping block of monuments to be destroyed because someone doesn't like the person being memorialized.  I don't think that will happen.  But then again, I never thought in my lifetime I would see some of the things I'm seeing today.  These are scary times.

Another interesting trivia fact:  Did you know Mt. Rushmore was an idea conceived by historian Doane Robinson to promote tourism in the area?  His initial idea was to sculpt Needles, which is located in Custer State Park and I will show those amazing formations in a later blog post.  However, the sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, rejected that idea because he found the granite in Needles to be too poor of quality and he also faced opposition from Native American groups.

Robinson also wanted the sculpture to feature American West heroes like Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud, and Buffalo Bill Cody, but Borglum decided on the four presidents because he wanted the sculpture to have a wider appeal.   I think he made the right choice!

 The memorial park covers 1,278.45 acres and is 5,725 feet  above sea level.  There are multiple walking paths you can take around the park to get different views.  Unfortunately, one path was closed for maintenance when we were there. 

This is the main viewing area.  There is also a seating area below the fence.  Here is where people gather for special presentations or the night time show.

The park is open daily from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  The sculpture is illuminated every night, and there is an Evening Lighting Ceremony at dusk during the main tourist season.  There is no fee to enter the park, but there is a $10.00 parking fee which is good for one full year!  Ours s still in the glove compartment of our car in case we have the opportunity to go back!  I'd love to see it lit up at night!

Hare A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Handmade Valentine Cards

I have four handmade Valentine cards to share with you today and hopefully my finally will not be snooping on my blog and see them before I give them to them.  I made all four cards using a new stamp set from MFT.  I thought it was such a cute set and I could use the set even when it wasn't Valentine's Day because most of the sentiments in the set are only love related.  

I did case the cards from Pinterest, and I will link the cased cards to the originals.  But as always, when I case a card I make a few changes to make my card my own.

First up is this pretty in pink card.  You can see the original version HERE.

My card uses a brighter, bolder pink for the hearts and different die cuts and sentiments, but the layout is the same.  To create this card, I stamped the heart images on white card stock.  Then I cut letters out using my Cuttlebug machine and dies.  I popped the letters up on dimensionally so they would stand out from the hearts.  The sentiment was stamped in white ink on black paper.  I added pink adhesive crystals throughout the card.

My next card was cased from this one HERE.  Again, mine is more bold.  I used a pinky red card stock for the sentiment, and I stamped the hearts in brighter colors too.  I also popped two of my hearts up on dimensionals and I added two tiny hearts near the sentiment.

To make this card, after I stamped randomly on the top card base, I just fussy cut around the hearts with a pair of scissors. 

In the picture below you can see the two popped up hearts very well.

My next card I made for my granddaughter because she loves kitty.  I thought she would get a kick out of the cute kitty felt sticker.  I cased this card HERE.

To make this card I cut heart holes in both the white card stock panel and the pink heart designer paper using a heart die.  I glued both pieces over a red card base.  I put dimensionals on the white card stock to pop it out from the red card base.  I stamped a "Hey Cutie Pie" heart in pink ink and fussy cut it out then popped it inside the largest heart, up on dimensionals.

The sentiment was stamped in white ink onto black card stock and then cut out using an MFT banner die.

The kitty is just a felt sticker I picked up at a craft store.

For the inside of Alethea's card,  I stamped another heart with white ink.

My last card was cased from this card HERE.  Again, I just changed the colors and the sentiment using the supplies I have.  My chipboard love letters were from my stash.   I popped them up on dimensionals.

I also stamped my background a little different than the original card.   I started off trying to copy the original layout, but screwed up, so  added more randomly place hearts to hide my mistake.

 I used a little heart die cut to substitute for the word "heart" in the sentiment.  I love adding extra special touches like that.

Well if you haven't made your Valentine's Day Cards yet I hope this post inspired you.   I look to Pinterest all the time for ideas when I buy a new stamp set and/or need to make cards in a hurry.  You don't need to own all the exact items of the original artist, you can substitute with your own supplies.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Stitch Fix Review #25: Dolman Knit Top

Today is the first post of my latest box from Stitch Fix, Fix #25.  In this box, I received two tops, one cardigan, a pair of grey skinny  jeans, and a bracelet.  Since my hubby was available to take nice photographs of me in my Stitch Fix outfits, I'm going back to reviewing one item per post finishing off with a review of the entire Fix when I'm done.

Laila Jade Bowie 3/4 Dolman Knit Top

Status:  Returned

I did not like this top at all.  I think the only thing I liked was the color.  The material was very thin and very clingy.    It  did nothing nothing for my figure and made me look bigger and bustier than I am.  My husband had the same feelings.  He hated the dolman sleeves.  The picture below cracks me up.  I look like I have bat wings.

To style this top for you, I paired it with both the bracelet and the skinny jeans I kept from this box.  But I will show you more of those two items in a later post.

I really did like the color, I thought it flattered me quite nicely.  I'll have to keep an eye out for other items in this color as I don't think I have anything like this color in my closet already.

So what do you think?  Did I make the right choice in sending it back?

If you've never tried Stitch Fix before would like to, use my REFERRAL CODE to get $25.00 off your first box!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Lace Up Side Slit Green Cardigan From CJBanks

Ladies, if you need any winter sweaters now is the time to buy them as the sales out there are incredible.  I really don't need anything, but if I see something interesting that I don't already have in my closet at a fantastic price, you bet I'm gonna snatch it up.  That's how I felt when I saw this gorgeous green cardigan from CJBanks.  I loved the color, and I didn't have a cardigan this color in my wardrobe.  But I also was drawn to the lace up detail on the side.  How fun is that?  Plus, I practically stole this cardigan!  I had a $10.00 reward from all my Christmas purchases, the cardigan was on sale for $24.99 (still is!) so  got it for a whopping $14.99!

I styled my cardigan with another CJBanks piece (old) a grommet tank top.  I felt the grommet tank really tied the outfit together because of the grommets on the sweater.

I kept the rest of the outfit black as well, wearing a black baker boy cap, black leggings, black booties, and black bag (all old).

I just love this detail on the sweater.  I also love the length, just long enough to cover the butt so I can wear it with leggings.

For jewelry I just wore silver bracelets and rings as a necklace wasn't necessary because of the grommets in the neckline of the top.

Boots are from Liz Claiborne (old, JCP).

It was so nice to be able to photograph outside again.  The weather has been so bitter cold lately, but we finally had a few days in the 30's/40's.  Of course, then the challenge is finding a spot in my yard to take photos as everything is covered in snow or mud.   I don't have nice sidewalks where I live to take pictures like so many of my other blogger friends have.  So you get to see my husband's woodpile!  ha ha!  He's so proud of his walnut wood.  It does make a nice backdrop for photos.

I wore this outfit to church, lunch, and lots of shopping!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Our Fall Vacation To South Dakota, Day 4, Part I: Pactola Dam & Reservoir

This is a continuation of a travel series to South Dakota.  To start at the beginning, go HERE.  The rest of the posts in chronological order are  HEREHEREHERE HERE,  HERE, and HERE!

On our fourth day in South Dakota we decided to go to Mt. Rushmore in the morning and start exploring Custer State Park in the afternoon.  On the way to Mt. Rushmore we drove over this bridge and saw one of the most beautiful sights I ever saw in my life!  I wanted to stop my car right there on the bridge to look at this amazing view.  Thankfully, once we got off the bridge there was a parking lot for viewing and slightly down the road bit was also a very nice Visitor's Center.

We found this scenic spot totally by accident.  I love it when that happens don't you?  It makes vacations so much more exciting!

I won't get into all the details of the Pactola Dam & Reservoir because I took a picture of the sign which explains it all.  If you find it hard to read, just click on the picture below to enlarge it.

We discovered this cute little chipmunk enjoying a nut on a tree stump.  My, what a wonderful life he must lead with views like this every day!

I could not believe how blue this water was!  So stunning!

We did walk down off the viewing deck to get close to the water's edge.

The rock formations surrounding the body of water were amazing as well.

Look how crystal clear this water is!  Amazing isn't it?

If you'd like to stop and view this scenic reservoir it is located about 15 miles west of Rapid City.  To get there, take State Hwy 44 from Rapid City, turn left or south on 385,  travel 2 miles to the Dam.

The Pactola Dam & Reservoir is definitely worth a stop if you're ever in South Dakota!

Next week:  Our special visit to Mt. Rushmore.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!