Pantone Colors for 2015!

Well, girls, here’s what Pantone’s given us to play with this spring:

 

How will you use these colors? There are so many fun options! A new outfit? New throw pillows? Probably an amazing pair of shoes…Β πŸ™‚

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Top Post from 2014!

From Pinterest again… What a great pairing! The scarf ensures modesty, and the blazer adds class. πŸ™‚

I thought I’d start the year off by reposting some of my top posts from 2014. This one was the most popular (thanks, y’all!):

What to Wear: Making the Outfit Work

So, we’ve now seen some examples of every dress code from casual to white tie formal. And, honestly, it was a sadly difficult series to do with modest pictures. If it’s that difficult to find decent pictures of more formal outfits, how impossible will it be to actually find something to wear?

Thankfully, there are many great ways to make your outfits “work”. Here are some tricks that I use a lot:

  • Shrugs

These are fabulous for transforming any tank top, sleeveless dress, or even strapless gown into a more modest outfit! They can work well for the most casual or the most formal looks.

  • Tank Tops/Sleeveless Shells

We can be thankful that layers are “in”! Find a tank/shell with either a high neckline, or (more commonly) a high BACK, and wear it under those tops that are too low in the neck. And, yes, when I say a high back, I mean that I actually wear these things backward (very often). It works wonderfully!

  • Scarves

These are amazing. I’ve used them to make baggy clothes appear to fit better, create a halter on a strapless dress (over which I then wore a shrug or tied a button-down top… I’ll try to remember to post about that one later!), or make the neckline on my outfit modest. If your top has a neckline that is a bit low for your taste, simply add an infinity scarf and voila! A modest ensemble.

  • Necklaces + Safety Pins

No kidding. I’ve done this several times with success! I’ll often wear a tank top, tie a button-down shirt over it, then wonder what to do about the low-ish neckline of the tank. I want it to be modest even when I bend down, so, I’ve found necklaces to do the trick. I have several medium-length necklaces (reaching just lower than the collarbone) that I can discreetly safety-pin to the tank top neckline, and prevent any gaping when I bend over.

  • Belts/Sashes/Ribbons/etc.

So, your whole outfit is modest and cute… until you bend over. Then, low and behold, half your back is showing. Sometimes this will require adding a long tank top under your current top. But, often, putting a cute belt/sash/or even wide ribbon over your outfit will fix your problems!

Jewelry Cleaning

I may have posted about this in the past, but it’s worth re-hashing. πŸ™‚

A dear friend…Β it was Miss Connie (our bass player), as it so often is… gave me this great tip on cleaning jewelry. In fact, when I’ve stayed at their place, she has often cleaned my ring for me!

This method works really well, for an at-home job.

All you need is:

  • Mug
  • Water
  • Dish Soap/Detergent (I use Dawn)
  • Soft-Bristle Toothbrush

Heat the water and dish soap until boiling. This is can take a minute or less in the microwave…

Carefully drop the jewelry into the hot water mixture. Let it soak for a few minutes. Remove the jewelry (being careful not to burn yourself, if it’s still hot), and gently scrub with the toothbrush. Rinse, and let air dry.

Now the question… Where would y’all recommend taking jewelry for an occasional check-up/cleaning job? I’d like to find a trustworthy place that could do my ring, as well as Mama’s engagement ring, and other valuables.

 

 

Festive Fall Table

Last year, Daddy bought Mama a set of each color (at the time: red, cobalt, green, yellow, orange) of Mainstays dishes.

At the time, this color was not available… But, this is the kind we purchased – Mainstays 16-Piece Round Dinnerware Set ($26.88). Click on the image to see it at Walmart.com.

So, this year, I was able to set a festive, fall-colored table using all but the cobalt.

It is so simple, affordable, and festive. We paired them with alternating green and gold napkins (avoiding setting the gold by the yellow, or the green by the green…). On the table, we have a white (off-white would work great) brocade table cloth, covered with an off-white lace cloth. A centerpiece of a few varying-sized pumpkins – some white, some orange – makes for an excellent fall table.

 

 

Liquid Foundation + Brush

Over the past few years, I’ve been on a somewhat wandering journey to figuring out makeup. I tend to be something of a minimalist, I guess, always preferring the more natural or classic makeup looks. So, I’ve never even attempted contouring, and such techniques.

But, I do like my liquid foundation. My skin is naturally pretty clear, so foundation is usually enough to double as concealer as well. Even foundation, though, can leave your face looking caked with makeup. I like to avoid this. πŸ™‚

Here’s what I’m using right now:

Click on the image to find it on Amazon.com.

I useΒ maybe one pump, dab it over my face, and rub it in with my fingers. I distribute it as evenly as I can, occasionally adding a bit more under my eyes, or wherever needs a little more concealment.

Next, I go over it with a brush. (One day I’ll probably use a foundation brush… But, right now I’m just using a big old blush brush.) This helps SO much to give my makeup a more natural, less “caked-on” look. I love it!

Make Way for Baby

A sweet Norman Rockwell picture – found, of course, on Pinterest. πŸ™‚

It has been many years since our household has had a baby crawling around, getting into everything. I am amazed at how quickly our house and routines become “un-babyproofed”. You don’t really notice the change until suddenly… grand babies come along. πŸ™‚

This weekend, my sister and her husband are coming down – with the baby. Even the idea of this makes our whole family smile. Is there anything cuter than my nephew? I didn’t think so. πŸ˜‰ But, it also makes us start thinking about baby proofing, and pulling out all the nearly-forgotten baby stuff. Here’s a list of items that are good to keep on hand for guests with babies (I’ve probably listed these before, but this will serve as a refresher):

  • Portable Crib(s)
  • Baby Gates
  • Baby Swing (We just got one of these… Having one really REALLY helped on those long nights when Ryan was smaller.)
  • Quilts/Blankets (These should be washable, and allowed to get stained.)

Meanwhile, we need to think about moving chemicals, etc. to a higher cabinet, and using all those old outlet covers again. I’d better get busy…

Closet Re-Org

Yesterday I finally got in my “closet” (a.k.a. a corner of the sewing room/guest room/etc. that is connected to my bedroom) and reorganized. Organizing is a job I love, but, when it comes to my personal stuff, I’m usually in a mess.

Now that my older sister is married, the second bed in my room is far too often covered in clothes. With as much traveling as I’ve been doing these last few weeks, suitcases and shoeboxes have added to the chaos.

So, it was past time to address the issue. Instead of just hanging my clothes and being done with it, I decided to actually reorganize the whole space and make a new start.

It’s not the best photo, but it’ll give you a good idea of what it looks like.

Our house has no closets, other than a small medicine closet in the hall bathroom, a sort of coat closet under the stairs, and a small closet added into the master bedroom. So, I use wire shelves, shoe shelves, and hanging cubbies to take the place of a closet. Yesterday, I organized the hanging clothes as you see above:

  • Tunics
  • Skirts (roughly by color)
  • Dresses (by color, hung in the corner in order to open up the top of the shoe shelves)
  • Tops (by color)
  • Long Coats (hung to the side, out of the way of the shoe shelves)
Shoe Shelf #1

Shoe Shelf #1

For gig nights, I usually wear stilettos… Which don’t fit well on or under these shoe shelves. But, I did find that they fit pretty well like I have them in the picture above. They would obviously fit fine on the top shelf, but, considering the amount of boots I have, it was clearly reserved for them.

Shoe Shelves #’s 2 and 3

Since the hanging cubbies are holding most of my other shoes, I was able to dedicate all but the top shelf of these last two shoe shelves to clothes. I folded my jeans and cardigans, and laid them in neat piles on the floor (after cleaning it!). The middle shelves hold my “crinkly” skirts – the kind that can be stored in knots.

We’ll see how this system works out! Do you have any favorite organization tricks for closets?