Thursday, January 19, 2023

Sumptuous Fabrics with Ageless Style

Ageless Style is a monthly style challenge and link up for women of all ages.   Each month we pick a different theme and style an outfit based on that theme.  This month's theme is:  "Sumptuous Fabrics" and was picked by Leslie.

This month the ladies of Ageless Style and I are sharing our "Sumptuous Fabrics".   The dictionary defines Sumptuous as "Extremely costly, rich, luxurious, or magnificent".  Yeah, so not me.  Although I have been known to spend over a hundred dollars on a good pair of jeans, (like the pair I'm wearing today), I'm more of a fashion budget kind of girl.   Leslie described  her "Sumptuous Fabrics" challenge as "featuring feminine fabrics:  silks, satins, velvet, cashmere, soft sweaters, and lace;  a girly girl look".  The only thing I had on that list were "soft sweaters" but on the day of my photo shoot it was 40 degrees so I did not want to wear a sweater.  I know most of you think 40 degrees is the perfect temperature for a sweater, but for this northern girl, that's too darn hot to wear a sweater.

SO, I opted for this blush pink blouse.  Although it's not expensive, for it's a TJ Maxx find, it is pink which fits the girly-girl requirement and the flow of the fabric and fun blousy sleeves comes as close to "Sumptuous" as I have in my closet. 😀

Although I am a very feminine woman (no one would describe me as athletic or tom boyish), I don't really like to dress girly, so I downplayed this "girly" pink top with a new pair of wide leg jeans from Mavi.  I think Mavi is my favorite new jean brand.  I know they're expensive, but they are so worth it, and I don't get out much, so one new pair of jeans a year is all I need.  

My very expensive or "sumptuous" blouse cost me a whopping $20 at TJMaxx.  I've actually showed this blouse to you before in THIS POST where I styled it with a black skirt for Valentine's Day.

It was the sleeves that really drew me to this blouse.  They are 3/4 sleeve length balloon style sleeve -- so fun!

For jewelry, I chose a beaded necklace and matching drop earrings that had the same colors of my jeans and top.  I also wore a multi-strand beaded bracelet.

I included this crazy picture just so you could see the detail of the sleeves.

Because I don't like dressing too girly, I paired my girly top with wide leg jeans.  These jeans are actually on sale right now, and you can find them HERE!  They are high waisted, super comfy, with a raw hem.  I really love the wide leg style.  I'm not a fan of flares, but wide legs are fun.  I styled the jeans with white booties to keep the lighter, girly girl going from head to toe.

And this photo I just included because Jackson photo bombed it.  😂. I know how some of you love seeing photos of Jackson.

Now be sure to check out what the other ladies are wearing this month.  Hopefully they have more "Sumptuous Fabrics" in their closet then I do!  And be sure to link up with below!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Amy ~ Amy’s Creative Pursuits

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Bo ~ Bo's Bodacious Blog

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Joanna ~ My Slice of Life


Jodie ~ Jodie’s Touch of Style

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Leslie ~ Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

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Marsha~ Marsha in the Middle

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Mireille ~ Chez Mireille Fashion Travel Mom

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Rosemary ~ Distinctly Southern Style

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Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Great River Bluff State Park

This week's travel post will be the last of my fall hiking adventures, then I won't have anything to share with you for a while until we do our Valentine's Day weekend getaway. 😞 We won't be going on any more trips until spring.  But my fall travel post is a good one, for we went to a beautiful park in Minnesota that we had never been to before:  Great River Bluff State Park.

Great River Bluffs State Park has six and one half miles of easy trails with scenic overlooks of the Mississippi River Valley.  Unfortunately, we were a little short on time so we weren't able to do all the trails, but we did see the highlights.  Now we just have a great excuse to go back!

King's Bluff

The first trail we took was King's Bluff.  This is a 2.5 mile out and back trail that takes you through a forest to an overlook.  Because this is a park where you drive to the top, then get out and hike, all the trails are very level.  No mountain climbing involved!

When you get to the end of the trail, you have two views:  this one of the Mississippi River, then just turn around and you will see the next view of the valley in the second photo.

You can just park your car and hike all the trails at once, but because we were short on time, we kept getting back in the car and driving to the next overlook.  Our next stop was just a pull over along the road. The Mississippi River looked so breath taking through the dark canopy of the forest trees.


                              (Hill of Many Timbers Overlook)

I had read that the Hill of Many Timbers was the best view in the park, so I did not want to miss it.  It is a very short trail from the campground, but you can't park there if you're not camping.  There is a small parking lot near the East Overlook, but during busy times you may not be able to find a spot.  It is only 0.6 miles out-and-back, and the forest views are worth the little hike!

But the view is what really makes the short hike worth it!  Wow! Yes, I agreed with the reviews I had read, this was definitely the best view in the park!

It was super windy from the top of the overlook, even though it was not a windy day.  My husband took this funny video for the grandchildren.

South Overlook

We only had time for one more little hike, so we jumped back into the car and drove to the South Overlook.  The foliage was amazing on this trail.

This trail is the easiest trail in the park.  It's just a short 0.7 miles from the parking lot to see both the North and South Overlooks.  The trail actually forms a Y.  You hike to an intersection, and then you can turn right to see the South Overlook or left to see the North Overlook.  We only had time for one, and for whatever reason, we turned right.

At the end of the trail is a deck with an overlook.

Each overlook always has information on the view before you.

Once again, the trail was nice and level, I didn't even need my walking sticks!

You can even enjoy some views of the Mississippi on your return trip!

 We really enjoyed hiking this little park in Minnesota.  It's the perfect park for fall hiking, and I think it would make a great park for snowshoeing in winter since all the trails are so level.  Maybe I will suggest that to the hubby, and we can go back this winter to hit the overlooks we missed the first visit.

I hope you enjoyed my fall travel series!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Merrillan Dam

This week's travel post will be short and sweet, as it was just a little stop at this beautiful park in Merrillan, Wisconsin after we finished our hike at Wildcat Mound which I showed you in last week's travel post.   I thought about including these photos in last week's post, but I didn't want the post to get too long.  I don't know about you, but I really dislike long blog posts.  I get impatient with the length, and end up just scrolling fast through the post, and not get much out of it;  so, I try to keep my blog posts as short as possible when I can.

As I said above, we were just driving home from our morning hike at Wildcat Mound, and we saw this pretty park and waterfall.  Well, of course we had to stop and check it out and take some photos and videos.

I have never in my life seen such a pretty, natural looking waterfall that is actually a dam.  And the icing on the cake is that the city took advantage of this beauty and made it a park.  Usually dams are very industrialized, and have a lot of fencing around them for safety.  This dam just took our breath away!

Of course all the fall colors, fountain grass, and fallen leaves added to the beauty of the dam.

The water falls into a gentle river that I can just imagine children wading in on warm summer days.

And now here are a couple of really short, dorky videos.  I debated on whether I should even post them or not, but I really love the sound of the waterfall and how videos capture things photos cannot.  So have a good chuckle as you watch!

Next week I'll be back with a fall trip to a state park in Minnesota!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


Thursday, January 5, 2023

How To Style A Flawed Thrifted Dress

Well, here I am with my first fashion post of 2023, except I can no longer say:  "Fashion Over Fifty" because I turned sixty over the holidays.  Ugh!  Sixty.  I can't even bear to say it aloud.  I seriously cannot believe I am that old.  I remember when I was younger I would look at old people and say:  "I am never going to get old," and yet, here I am.  Everyone gets old, if they are fortunate.  I didn't mind turning 40, heck, 50 wasn't even so bad, but 60, that's old!  I thought of keeping my "Fashion Over Fifty" title, because technically, I'm still over fifty, but it doesn't seem right.  Sixty is so much older than fifty.  I'm officially almost a senior citizen 😁 eligible for social security (here's keeping my fingers crossed that there will be any left by the time I get there 😄). So, I've changed the title to "Fashion Over Sixty" because, it just seems right.

Well, enough about my age, onto fashion!  This week I want to share a dress that I found while thrifting with my daughter.  I don't usually look at clothes when I go thrift store shopping, I mostly look for decor/household items.  But my daughter is the queen of thrift shops, she will spend hours inside one, and frankly after I scoured all the home goods, I got bored waiting for her, so I started to look at clothes and I found this dress with the original tags still on it!  It was never even worn!

The dress only cost $3.99 so it was quite the steal, especially for a brand-new dress.  But it did have one flaw, which is probably why it was donated.  The back of the dress, where the seam is, was sewn so that the design you see in the front of the dress, is mismatched.  I didn't notice it till I got home and I used a hand mirror so I could see the back.  Geez, I wish dressing rooms had a way so you could see the back of garments when you try things on!  Anyway, rather than return it, I just decided to always remember to wear something over it to cover up the flaw in the back.

It was a warm winter day, so a cardigan and tall boots was all I needed to wear with this dress.  The print has the color black in it, so everything coordinated well together.  This is a lightweight, knit dress with long sleeves, so I can see wearing this in early spring with a white cardigan too...or even throwing a sweater or shirt over the top so just the skirt portion shows.  There are so many ways to still where this dress even with a flaw in the back.

I was so happy to find this dress because I love these comfy, knit materials.  It's also so rare to find a dress with long sleeves and a longer length.  Now that I'm SIXTY, I really want to keep the skirt lengths a little longer.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Wildcat Mound

Hello and welcome back readers from holiday break.  I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year.  I know the weather was a real challenge for many of us and my heart goes out to all the families that lost loved ones.   The stories were just heart-breaking.  Our weather got super cold, but we never developed the winter storm that was forecast.  However, the cold weather really affected our holiday plans.  We weren't able to leave the house for a week, so we didn't make our annual trip to Irvine Park to see the holiday lights, nor did we attend any church service.  Our daughter and son-in-law's car had a major mechanical failure due to the extreme cold, so they were delayed in getting back home by a day and a half, and had to spend $1,400 for towing and repairs.  Yet, despite it all, it was a wonderful Christmas and we had a great time together.  The whole experience reminded me of the ending of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".  Even though a lot of things were taken from us,  it could not keep Christmas from coming.  Jesus was still born, and we as a family were still celebrating His birth together.

Now, onto this week's travel post.  After finishing my North Shore Travel Series, I have been going back and sharing some fall hiking adventures.  Right before break, I shared our stop at The Devil's Punchbowl, and this week I will show the amazing views of Wildcat Mound.

Wildcat Mound is a peak in Clark County, Wisconsin that is surrounded by thick forests and has plenty of rocky, sandstone cliffs.  You drive up to the second parking lot, and then take a long series of steps (about a 100 yards)  to the top of the mound.  

Once you reach the top, the trail forms a semi-circle on top of the mound.  There are so many other-worldly, amazing sandstone formations!

Unfortunately teens (or maybe adults, who knows) have ruined the natural beauty with graffiti.  It just makes me sick.  But, there are also some old, very weathered petroglyphs, so perhaps cultures really never change.  

There's some rock scrambling to be done on this trail, especially if you want to see unobstructed, panoramic views.

Fall is the best time of year to hike this trail!

Wildcat Mound got its namesake from the iron stains in the rocks which resemble leopard spots and tiger stripes.

This scenic trail is an easy 1.8 mile loop with an elevation gain of 272 feet.  It takes an average of 47 minutes to complete.  I think we took a good two hours because we kept stopping to gawk at those views!

There were times I couldn't believe I was still in Wisconsin, just a few hours from my house.  The place reminded me of the Black Hills of South Dakota.

And did I mention how incredible it was to be there during peak fall foliage?

The trail is one of Wisconsin's best kept secrets.  You will encounter very few people on this trail.   It is very poorly marked but it's hard to get lost as there is usually a clear path to see.  At one point, we had to rock scramble to get back down to the trail, so I'm not sure if we missed the trail somewhere, or that was just the way it was supposed to be.  It is also a dirt or sandy trail, so walking sticks really come in handy, especially for the rock scrambling!

The crazy boldness of this son of mine.  He scares me half to death every time we go hiking.  I told him he should take up rock climbing as a hobby, but he doesn't seem interested in that.

We were absolutely blown away by our visit to Wildcat Mound and we couldn't believe we lived in the area for 25 years and had never been there before.  But apparently, most people in my area had never been there before either, because when I posted the photos to Facebook, everyone asked "Where is that?"  I have no idea how they kept this magical place a secret for so long.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!