She works hard for the money

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This little ole $9.99 dress that I got from Ross for Less is a hard worker! I can’t afford to buy one season wonders and put them up until warmer weather rolls around again (although in Florida, it is mostly warm weather) my clothes have to do more than work for one look or occasion. So I picked up this dress late summer/early fall and wore it as is…sleeveless, no jacket, bare legs.

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Then on a day when there was a little chill in the air, I pulled on the same dress but with my quilted sweatshirt over it. Voila, we now have a skirt and a shirt,

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Today as it is even chillier I slipped a white button down up shirt underneath it belted it at the waist and grabbed my trusty black office blazer for warmth with tights to keep my legs warm.

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Three looks, easy peasy with hardly any thought involved at all…done and done.

How do you make your clothes work for you? Do tell, I’ve got to get a little more mileage out of this dress!

Like butter

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I’m just jumping right into this post because I can’t stop gushing about this skirt! OMG, it’s so fabulous I can hardly stand it. And when I find something fabulous that means I want to wear it to death! I’ve already worn it twice this week and fighting the urge to put it on again. I use to fear repeating clothing however isn’t that why we buy them to wear them as we please? So should you see me around town in the skirt, just smile and pray for me to show some restraint, LOL.

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My blogger boo, Jaye of Curvatude turned me on to this skirt and she knows her clothes. I try not to fall victim to purchasing every item that comes recommended by a blogger but this one I really couldn’t pass up. Let’s dig into the goodness of this skirt. The skirt is part of the June Ambrose collection on HSN.  It’s a faux leather but truthfully I couldn’t believe the quality. It’s so well made I’m spoiled on wearing just any old faux leather now. The color is not your usual black. As much as I love black and you know I do, I didn’t feel compelled to get black for a change. It’s a rich looking and feeling butterscotch color that is gloriously full, sweeping, lined and wait for it…has pockets!!! Just divine! June Ambrose out did herself with this but really what else can you expect from the reigning queen of fabulousness herself?

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I wore the skirt on Sunday to church and it was a bit nippy outside so I styled it simply with a long sleeved black tee shirt and animal print pumps. This skirt brings it’s own drama so no need to do anything except let it do it’s thing. Instead of my usual statement piece necklace I added as scarf around my neck, a studded gold belt and a snakeskin clutch.

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Stay tuned for the next way it shows itself on the blog! Have a beautiful day!

Fri-YAY!!

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I can’t even pretend to contain my excitement to see that Friday has arrived in record time due a short work week from the Veteran’s Day holiday. I kept feeling like I was one day short but today I’m so thankful for it! I feel like I want to get out and nosh on some hot wings and mojitos but I need a partner in crime. Anyone interested? If I don’t venture out of the house this evening I will probably do some more tinkering around the house. I’ve been on a major decorating spree and shopping my apartment like crazy. It’s wonderful to be able to just move stuff around and repurpose items that you already own.

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I woke up to chilly temperatures here in Jacksonville and it goes without saying that I’m not happy with it but oh well, I can’t change it so I’ll just dress appropriately to combat the cold. It’s an easy day in the office, no clients scheduled so I chose a relaxed office look. I’m casual enough to feel comfortable but polished just in case something comes up unexpectedly (plus you know I have my trusty black blazer on stand by)

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I pulled on a slouchy sweater to keep me warm, I have so been loving Target lately for casual clothes. It’s a thin knit but still warm enough without feeling smothered. My snakeskin print ankle skinny pants from jcp (they are a few years old) and my black wedges from Bakers also old. Threw on the fur vest for warmth and a bit of drama (you know how I love just a bit of the drama) and my work is done!

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What are your Friday night plans? Is the cold weather causing you to hibernate already or are you braving the temps to have a little fun? Whatever you do stay warm, safe, fabulous and of course….oh so FLY!

 

Fashion Break: Checking in

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So what I envisioned these first six months would be like are a far cry from what in reality they really are. The six months I’m talking about are post divorce. Yep it’s been six months since my marriage ended and it’s been such a roller coaster ride of emotions. I’ve gone from good riddance to how can I live my life without you and everything in between. To say this ain’t what I thought it would be, is an understatement! I thought I would spend these months running around spending time with old friends and making new acquaintances, enjoying cocktails and dinners out. I also thought I might have forayed into the dating world by now. At least A date or two with a handsome, intelligent man. Is that too much for a girl to ask for? I guess it is because every man that has shown interest in me was a man who should NOT have been showing interest in me, i.e, they were married or otherwise engaged. Cathy don’t play that!!

Enter reality check…God had to jump in and tell me to pump my breaks and get a grip!! First and foremost, I belong to Him so all this cavorting and carousing, ain’t gonna happen. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going out and having a good time but this life I had dancing around in my head, um is not in His plan for my life. Before you get all judgmental on me, I only go out when my ex has the kids and even then more often than not I’m home with some hot wings, popcorn and wine to keep me company. This ain’t what I planned however it definitely what is needed. You see I have some emotional and spiritual work to do and God intends for this work to be accomplished regardless of what I had planned.

I’m rediscovering who I am and what I need and want out of life. More importantly I’m learning what I deserve. For far too long I’ve accepted the crumbs and bare minimum from people as if that was all I deserved to have. I was afraid to insist that I get at least what I’ve given for fear that I would be abandoned and their love would be withdrawn from me. Well since some of that has actually happened, I’ve had to face my fears and learn to live authentically, courageously and honestly knowing that I had to fully embrace being me.

I can finally say, I’m ok not in a great place but a good place, a place where God can do the work that I have avoided in me for so long. I spend a lot of time with myself, I write a lot, I’m decorating my apartment exactly the way I want, I cook the things I want to eat, I pray constantly, I’m enjoying learning who my children are and spending time with my only grandson who lives here locally. I’m lonely for companionship at times but I’m also learning to reach out and ask to spend time with people, something that has always been difficult for me. It has proven to be very satisfactory and people have been very responsive. All that rejection going on in my head was just that in my head!  And as for dating, I’m getting content with not rushing into that. I know what I want as well as what I don’t want, I won’t settle. So until the best choice for me comes around, I’ll continue working on me…I cannot go wrong with that!

Peace….

 

P.S. About that outfit, this happened on Friday. Its a Forever 21 quilted midi skirt (that I have worn to death in the few short weeks I’ve had it), Old Navy graphic tee, accessorized with my Catos faux leather jacket and BCBG shoes. It’s everything I love about being a woman!

It’s all in the statement

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Saturdays are all about cute and comfortable!  If I can’t feel like I’m wearing pajamas. I’m probably not gonna wear it. My skinny boyfriend jeans meet the requirements fabulously. Add slouchy sweatshirt,  slip on sneakers, a statement necklace and a bold lip. .. done!

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This is all I can manage on a Saturday,  good thing it’s easy and chic!  I just realized,  I’m wearing Target head to toe with exception of my necklace.

Embracing my grey

 

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It really shouldn’t be a such a big deal that a woman chooses to allow what is natural to make a statement.  As we grow older it is natural that things change,  one of the most noticeable changes are hair color losing its color and becoming white,  silver or grey. I’ve got almost all those colors going on but until now you would have never known it.

 

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I’ve been coloring my hair since my late teens. You name it I can assure you I’ve had that color from extreme blond to coal black, I did that, but it was for fun,  not to hide anything.  A few years ago I discovered that I had an abundance of grey and I didn’t like it. So I started the monthly process of coloring my hair. I did it for a number of reasons but the main one was vanity with a side order of insecurity.

 

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I was married to a man much younger than I and quite frankly I was concerned about how my greying hair would look to him and how others would perceive our relationship. You see I’ve been a victim of the snarky woman who was interested in him making comments as to refer if I was his mother (as if, she wishes her mother looked like me) or the man who was closer to my age being equally sarcastic by asking if he was my son. And then on the in between coloring sessions when my grey hairs would peek through, the ex himself would make jokes calling me “old woman” I was not amused!.  I wasn’t yet comfortable with myself aging so that made me uncomfortable with how he felt about me aging.

 

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Fast forward a few years and now I’m divorced from said husband.  As I am experiencing many changes in my life,  I started reevaluating my hair color. Do I really want to keep coloring?  And if so why am I doing it? The old reasons were no longer valid or needed.  After my last hair cut I took a good look at myself in the mirror and thought I’m ok with this grey. In fact it’s more than ok,  I actually like it.

I’m beginning a new journey of self discovery and letting myself embrace the grey is a part of it. I’m not giving up looking good,  I’m going one step further. I’m committed to looking as good as I can while being true to myself.  I’m learning so much about who I am and what I want and what I want is to do only what makes me happy with no voices in my head except my own. I honor her voice. .. she’s been silent for way too long!

Fur fighting

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So we are approaching that time of year when I will complain repeatedly that is COLD! !! Florida is experiencing a cold snap right now and you know mutha is not feeling it at all!  I don’t like to feel weighed down with clothes yet I’m not trying to be cold. The compromise is a vest. ..a fur vest.

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I’ve owned this vest for quite a few years now and it has held up very well. Actually my oldest daughter is campaigning to have it. .. we will see.

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I went with a classic pairing of white button down shirt and this gorgeous full, quilted skirt from Forever 21. I so wanted to just twirl in this skirt and a curtesy or two,  the fullness called for it. I was originally planning on wearing some ankle strap sandals but the wind made my feet say no to that idea. Cheetah pointy toe pumps answered the call of duty and we were good to go.

Florida,  it’s too early for this type of behavior,  get your life and warm back up! 

LBD

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Everyone knows that you MUST have a little black dress!  How little it actually is should be a personal preference.  I have a collection of LBD’s for different occasions.  I have a couple of body cons to guarantee a date night successful ,  a maxi or two and this most perfect classic,  knife pleated knee length dress.

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I received a gift card from Bluetique last year for participating in a styling event they held and I thrifted this dress with the card.

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It is timeless and will look fabulous as time marches on!  I dressed it down a notch with my much-loved camo shirt then threw on my multi strand faux pearls to take it back up just a bit.  A skinny leopard belt and my favorite ankle strap heels finished the look.

How many black dresses do you own?  I hope it’s at least one!

This was a “I wasn’t ready shot”

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Oh taste and see that Nordstrom…is good!

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The day has finally arrived! Nordstrom has invaded Jacksonville and we’re glad! I remember when I first saw the signs at the St. John’s Town Center hailing the news that the retail giant was making a home there, I squealed with delight. Then to make it even better I scored an opportunity for a private pre-opening tour through my savvy and shameless Instagram stalking LOL! So let’s see what we shall see and who’s who!

We began our tour with a quick check in and a brief overview of the Nordstrom philosophy and it’s culture. Then we were briefed on the flow of events for the afternoon, then we were on the move! We started the tour in the main shoe salon where we were seated which was pure candy for the eyes and feet…you all know I’m a shoe girl, so I was in heaven!

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We breezed through the beauty center which was being equipped with the some of the most sought after names in beauty.
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The gift section was filled with great and wtty ideas for home decor, there’s something for everyone to be had here
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Men’s fashion was in no short supply
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And for the kiddos in your life, they have THE most adorable items
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The photo above is a mini play area to keep the little ones busy while you shop, how great is that?
After all that shopping we were in need of refreshments and boy did they have that covered! We were treated to custom cocktails and yummy snacks in their beautiful restaurant, Bazille.
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My girl Trice at High Heels and Good Meals was my partner in crime on this excursion. The bartender insisted that we have more than one. .. who were we to refuse.
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And if you just need a quick jolt of Java, don’t worry they’ve got you. An on site coffee bar with fragrant brews and energizing spritzers. I tried the orange pineapple and it was delicious!
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The day ended with a gift bag that was filled with goodies to take home and enjoy
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Am I a Nordstrom convert, sure am, no need to twist my arm. They’ve earned my loyalty and my dollars! ! Thank you Nordstrom you’ve got a fan for life!

Fashion Break: Say hello to who I use to be

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Dear Younger Self,

I’m so sorry I forgot about you! I’m sorry that I forgot how fearless you were, how fabulous you’ve always been, how full of life you were! I forgot all about your larger than life spirit and how it oozed itself on everyone you encountered. I didn’t remember how unstoppable you were and allowed nothing to slow you down. Yes, you experienced hurt but you always knew how to shake the dust off and get back on the road again. You never defined yourself by other’s perceptions of you. They always tried to subdue that wild spirit but you fought tooth and nail to remain apologetically you. You were clear in who you were and where you were headed. Then love came along, or what I thought was love and everything changed. I started listening to them more and you less. I drowned out your voice because you were too strong, you would not accept anything less than what you deserved. You would tell me to be alone is better than this; but I didn’t want to be alone so I put you away. I didn’t allow you to speak. Please forgive me for stuffing you in a box and hiding you in the closet, I didn’t know how to be me and love them too so I sacrificed you on the altar of acceptance.

Why did I wait so long? Why did I let them tell me that I wasn’t enough? It had gone on for so long that I started believing it was true, after a while I just didn’t have the strength to leave, so I stayed and eventually I didn’t even remember you existed.

It has taken this ultimate act of betrayal to finally wake me up and go back to get you. Do I even remember where I put you? After so after many years are you still there? I retreat into the last place I left you and there you are, right where I left you.  A little confused by the events of my life but even sadder that I didn’t come for you sooner. You told me that although you were young, you were wise and could have saved me years of pain if only I had chosen me instead of them. I am sorry that I didn’t realize that you loved me more than anyone ever could and as long as we had each other, we had everything we needed. I’m ready to begin again, this time with you right by my side. No more hiding you away because someone doesn’t like how strong you are, how bright you shine….We’re a package deal, you get beauty, brains AND boldness or you can go get someone basic and bland. The choice is yours, we are one and I’m never leaving her again!

 

All my love

The Me I use to be