Saturday, July 22, 2017

Saturday Scriptures #25-Counting Our Blessings

Counting Our Blessings

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Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits
Psalm 103:2  (NIV)

Last week I mentioned that I was going to start listing at least one thing each day for which I was grateful. I asked if anyone cared to join me. How have you done with this practice this week? For me, it has been an eye opener to be grateful each day for the many blessings the Lord has given me. I've been counting my blessings more which is a good thing.

Psalm 103 reminds us to not forget the benefits of the Lord...all the blessings that come our way each day. This Psalm basically lists all of the many blessings given to people by God and reminds us of God's compassion and love. 

Today, I am grateful for safe travels for my family members who have all returned from Colorado having had safe flights. I am happy that my husband and I found a new used bookstore we had not explored before on our way to Charlotte today. I am thankful for good health, my home, my loved ones and friends. I am grateful for the words of Psalm 103 as a reminder to express my thankfulness to the Lord. What do you have in mind to be thankful for today?

Blessings,
Debbie

Friday, July 21, 2017

How to Wear Orange Tones in the Summer

Orange Is The New Pink


Certain colors are typically looked at as Spring/Summer colors, while others are more Fall/Winter. Orange is certainly a color most associated with Fall. There are certain shades/tones of orange that are related to pink, however. So, I have decided that orange is the new pink, as I am styling orange as a Summertime look today! 


In my opinion, any color can be worn in any season, as long as it is paired with pieces and accessories that match the season. So, I'm pairing this orange tone blouse with a pair of thrifted khaki shorts and a leopard print orange tone scarf. 


Scarves are back as headbands and to tie up ponytails, by the way. There's a little bit of retro to this look with the leopard print adding a more modern vibe to the orange scarf. The background shade of this scarf is a deep salmon or coral color.


So, how do I wear orange in the Summer? Here are a few rules I follow:
  • Choose a tone of orange that is more "summer" like. My blouse and scarf are in the orange family as coral or salmon shades of orange.
  • Pair the orange tone piece with a lighter colored piece. The khaki shorts provide the lighter color.
  • Choose accessories that are light and summery and/or add a unique pattern to the look. My silver Paparazzi wrap bracelet and copper earrings paired with the silver sandals are the light and summery part and the leopard patterned scarf adds the unique part to the look. 


The silver of the bracelet also hints at the silver glints in the headscarf. If you look closely at the scarf you can see the little silver glimmers. 


And you remember these gorgeous copper color earrings from when I did my Paparazzi post. The earrings also have a unique pattern and are another tone of orange to add to this summertime look. 

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To me, this outfit just works as a cool, summertime look even though there are several tones of orange throughout this look. If it has been hot in your part of the world like it has been in mine, then you are most likely looking for your coolest outfits to wear. Shop your closet and don't give up on those pieces that you might think only fit one season! With the right accessories, you can get more bang for your buck from your clothing! I know you will be seeing this blouse again in the Fall/Winter paired with a great sweater!

Be sure to let me know if you wear Fall/Winter colors in the Spring/Summer seasons and how you like to accessorize your summertime looks. Have you been wearing scarves as headbands or to tie back your ponytails? Hope you'll leave a comment, it will make my day! And, please be sure to recommend debbiethisandthat.com to all of your friends! Feel free to pin photos and to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest. C'mon, you know you want to! Have you signed up to subscribe so you never miss a post? Look for the subscription box on my right sidebar of this blog. Thanks to all those readers who have already done so! And join me next time for Saturday Scriptures!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

DIY Breakfast Bowls and DIY Purse for the Novice Sewer

Easy Do It Yourself Projects for A Novice Sewer

                                    (But Not A Novice Eater!)

  So, you're getting two for the price of one in today's post! I'm showing you a tasty breakfast bowl that you can make at home and also a shoulder purse that is easy peasy for a novice sewer like me, and possibly you, to make yourself. If you like quick gratification, like I do, with do-it-yourself projects, then today's post is for you!


First, let's talk breakfast. I've mentioned in previous posts about how I like to put vegetables into my breakfast meal. It just seems like if I don't start the day off with healthier choices, I can quickly go downhill with the rest of the day's eating. So, I'm always on the lookout for veggies that I like eating early in the day. Squash and zucchini are so plentiful right now and I love to simply throw some into a bowl with water and cook it right in the microwave. It only takes between 5-8 minutes to cook tender and it is so delicious!


In this morning's breakfast bowl I included three egg whites/one yolk scrambled to perfection, spinach sauteed in olive oil with a little added onion powder and black pepper and the zucchini/squash that I microwaved. It was delicious! Breakfast bowls are popular in restaurants right now. A few days ago some friends and I ate in downtown Asheville and one friend ordered a breakfast bowl that came filled with eggs, cheese, black beans, rice and avocado topped with salsa. I haven't gone that route yet, but it looked delicious. If I do try one with the black beans, rice and avocado I'll be sure to take pictures and share that with you! Now, let's get busy sewing!


I enjoy sewing projects that are simple and easy and can be completed fairly quickly. Like I said before, I like instant gratification when it comes to do-it-yourself projects! For this simple purse I needed my Janome sewing machine, scissors, straight pins, skewer for pushing out neat corners, cord for the purse strap and, of course, material for the purse itself. 


Now, here's my little secret for the purse material. I used place mats that I picked up at a thrift store! As a novice sewer, I like having finished edges whenever possible. This place mat material already had finished edging so all I needed to do was turn two pieces inside out, pin the edges on three sides,  and sew those three sides up. I then turned the material inside out and used my skewer stick to gently poke out the corners to neat squares. The place mat pieces were part of a set of place mats that included smaller pieces that could be used either as coasters or as hot pads for dishes. Those smaller pieces were the ones I used for the purse. I then carefully inserted the cord on the inside edge of each side on the open side and ran the material back and forth with the sewing machine to secure the strap. 


For a purse closer, I used these Velcro stick on tabs that you can pick up at any sewing store or in the sewing section at Walmart. They come in all sizes/shapes so you can easily find what you want. I used white, but they also come in black, as well. 


The end result is a cute shoulder bag that can be worn to carry whatever you like in it! This is not a huge purse, but can certainly carry several smaller items. I see this type of purse for sale all the time at high prices. Making your own is fun and thrifty as well!


This selfie gives you an idea of the size of the purse. And yes, my husband is laying on the bed in the background watching TV. Oh well!

How about you? Are you doing any do-it-yourself projects right now? Have you tried breakfast bowls? Did you like them? Hope you will leave me a comment. I love hearing from you! I like trying new things, like breakfast bowls and simple sewing projects. How about you? 

And please be sure to recommend debbiethisandthat.com to others. I'm always happy to meet new readers.....and to re-connect with faithful readers. Also, feel free to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest and to pin photos. Join me next time when I will be shopping my closet to show how to wear orange tones in the summer!

Until Next Time,
Debbie


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saturday Scriptures #24-Full of Gratitude

Finding Reasons To Be Thankful

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Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.  I Chronicles 29:13

I recently visited a reader's blog in which they had done a post on finding something in each day that had made them happy. This happy event was recorded in a daily diary. That got me thinking about being thankful and having gratitude in my life. It would seem that, at my age, I wouldn't need to be reminded so much to be thankful. But, it is easy to get sucked into the day to day living process and to forget that the Lord has blessed me with so many reasons to be thankful! I've read about others who recommend keeping a gratitude journal and that is not a practice I have started. This reader, however, suggested writing just one thing down that made you happy each day. Somehow, being able to write one thing down seems easier than coming up with a list of ten or twenty items on a daily basis. Although, I know that if I am honest there are hundreds of reasons each day that I should be full of gratitude to the Lord. But, sometimes, it's good to start small and grow from there. I'm interchanging words here using "happiness," "thankful" and "gratitude" as if they have the same definition. Actually, each word carries different meanings. Happy is more of a feeling. I can choose to be thankful and have gratitude whether I am feeling happy or not. In case you are curious about the definitions each word carries, I will provide those for you. (For you "wordsmith" readers!)

Happy: 1. feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. 2. fortunate and convenient. 

Thankful: 1. pleased and relieved. 2. expressing gratitude and relief. 

Gratitude: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. 

(Definitions taken from Merriam-Webster online)

Although each word has something in common with the others, there are still nuances to each word. I am drawn to the definition of thankful that emphasizes being relieved. Perhaps if I concentrate more on things to be thankful for I will be "relieved" of focusing on the concerns of my life. Remember that commercial that used to be on television that asked, "How do you spell relief?" Perhaps one way to spell relief is to remember what we have to be thankful for in our lives! What about you? How do you address being thankful, full of gratitude or being happy in your daily life? Do you keep a diary or journal or reflect on things you are thankful for each day? I'm going to start keeping a notepad by my bedside to write down at least one thing for which I am thankful, full of gratitude for and happy about each day. Care to join me?

Blessings,
Debbie

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Casual Styling for Bargain Shoppers

Staying Casual, Stylish and Thrifty!


So, if you have followed my blog for awhile now, you know that I love a good bargain. I like to be stylish without breaking the bank doing so. Today, I am styling a casual summery look and literally everything I'm wearing or carrying (including jewelry), with the exception of the jeans jacket, cost well under $10! 


I'll be sharing info about each item and showing some indoor and some outdoor photos so you can see the items in different lighting. First, let's look at the top. Can you see what is on it? Butterflies! This top has a story.


I tried on this top along with several others at a local thrift store last Saturday. This thrift store's prices are a little higher than Goodwill, but it just so happened that they were celebrating "Christmas in July" and were offering a "buy one, get one" special. I had definitely settled on two other tops and was debating this one and another lavender blouse when the Mr. told me the lady was closing the store early and I needed to check out. Arghh....I hate to be rushed, especially when I'm making clothing choices! I also decided to be "cheap" and only get two items. Of course, I continued to think about the two tops I didn't get over the next few days and decided yesterday to look back at the shop to see if they were still there. They were....AND.....because it was Wednesday and I am "of a certain age" I got a 35% discount, meaning that I scored both tops for about seven dollars! A bargain shopper's dream, for sure!


This skirt is "Basic Editions" brand purchased at K-Mart. It has a stretch waist and is super soft and comfortable! I haven't typically worn skirts and summer dresses to keep cool in the summer, mainly relying on capris, jeans and shorts to stay cool, but this outfit may change my mind on that subject! It was all day comfort for me wearing this outfit. The skirt cost a whopping $7.98! And you will remember my fun, striped tennis shoes from this previous post.
They were a steal at Walmart for $5.87! 


You first saw my blue jeans jacket and purse on this previous post. The jeans purse was a Goodwill find for one dollar! The jacket is by Gloria Vanderbilt and is the one item that cost more than ten dollars. If memory serves me, I believe the jacket was around $25 and I bought one in white and one in blue. You have seen both of them on the blog several times. Now, let's talk jewelry.



Both the wrap bracelet and earrings that I am wearing are Paparazzi and you know what that means....each piece was only $5 each! So.....how did I do as a bargain shopper? Let's add it all up.

Top: $3.50
Skirt: $7.98
Shoes: $5.87
Purse: $1.00
Bracelet: $5.00
Earrings: $5.00 (Came as a set with a necklace!)
Grand Total: $28.35

That's right...an entire outfit, minus the jacket, for under $30 including shoes and jewelry! Woohoo!! If we add in the jeans jacket, which I consider to be a "staple" clothing item which can be mixed and matched with outfits over and over, the total cost is $58.35. Still, a bargain, for a total outfit to be under $60!


The point of my post is that fashion does not need to be expensive. I learned this at an early age when my Mom, who worked many jobs during her lifetime, just didn't have lots of money for me to spend on "name brand" clothing. I remember being in Junior High and High School and it was all the rage for girls to get their clothing at "The Diamond" which was an expensive store at the local mall. Most of my clothes came from Hills Department Store, where my Mom worked as a Department Head in the women's clothing department. Hills is no longer in business, but was comparable, at that time, to K-Mart or Walmart. At the time, I kind of wished I could have gotten the name brand clothing because I was a teenager and you know how teenagers are....everyone wants to be "the same" and fit in like everyone else. I am so glad, however, that I didn't get the name brands, though, because I learned how to shop for "quality" looking clothing in the cheaper stores. It can be done. When I go to thrift stores I don't buy junky clothes. And, believe me, plenty of what I see is junky looking. I look for "quality" items both in the style and the way the clothing is made. Some days I score several quality items. Other days I leave without buying anything. I read a lot of blogs and I see many fashion bloggers talk about clothing they are wearing that is supposed to be so "economical" with the price. I click on the links and about faint at the "economical pricing." It is much more than I am willing to pay. Call me cheap if you wish, but I just don't think it is necessary to pay huge prices in order to have really nice clothing. To each their own, though, and for those readers who like to shop at high end stores....I am not judging you and I hope you don't judge me. I just have always loved a bargain....and I always will! As I learned at an early age...."necessity is the mother of invention." 

How about you? Are you a bargain shopper? Are you willing to shop at thrift stores and stores like K-Mart or Walmart or would you never shop for clothing at those stores? Hope you'll leave me a comment and share! Have you subscribed to my blog so you'll never miss a post? Just look for the subscription box on the right sidebar of my blog. And, please remember to recommend debbiethisandthat to all of your friends! I love to know when someone "finds" my blog for the first time! (But that doesn't mean I don't want to hear from my faithful long time readers, though, because I do!!) Happy shopping in whatever form you choose to do it!

Until Next Time,
Debbie


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saturday Scriptures #23 Our Crash Days

Hope For Days When You Crash

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God answer you on the day you crash,
The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm's reach,
Send reinforcements from Holy Hill,
Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,
Exclaim over your offerings,
Celebrate your sacrifices,
Give you what your heart desires,
Accomplish your plans.
Psalm 20 1-2 (The Message)

Where do we turn on days when life seems to crash around us? What do we do when things don't make sense and we feel like we are floating at sea all alone? All of us encounter times like these. The reasons may vary, but the feeling is often the same. Things aren't going well and we don't know which way to turn.

This psalm really spoke to me this week with things that have been happening in my life. The words "the day you crash," "put you out of harm's reach" and "send reinforcements from Holy Hill" especially stood out to me. When things are going wrong in life, I definitely want God to put me out of harm's reach and I definitely need His reinforcing love to help me get through it. It's also comforting to know that God is working to help me accomplish plans, although I know that God has final say in those plans. 

I really encourage you to get out your Bible and read this entire Psalm all the way through. There's a lot of "meat" to it. Later in this Psalm you will read these words:

That clinches it--help's coming,
an answer's on the way,
everything's going to work out. 

How comforting to read these words! Isn't that what we all want? To know that we aren't alone in this life? That help will come, answers will come and that everything will work out? 

As some things have gone haywire this past week, I have called on the Lord to send help. He is gracious and faithful to always be present in all things in my life....and in yours. We are never alone. Yes, I have said these words many times before in my devotionals and I will say them again. We are never alone....thanks be to God!

Blessings,
Debbie

*So sorry that I missed posting last Saturday's devotional. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Post I Don't Want To Write

I'm Sharing Sad News

Well, I've debated all day about how to share this news, whether to share it, etc. I don't want to share it at all, but since I wrote a big happy announcement 10 days ago, I felt that I should let my readers know. Our little Frisky kitten passed away today very suddenly. We are both in shock and not able to make sense of this. We had him as a family member for just 10 days. We don't know for sure what caused his death. We know that he had developed a slight cough and some slight sneezing. We took him to the vet who checked him over and told us basically that sometimes kittens pick up a virus in shelters and their body fights it off and since these viruses are viral we didn't need to start him on an antibiotic. We were to watch and wait. Well.....we watched and waited.....and Frisky died. We are heartbroken and unsure of our next steps with pets. We both are dealing with the "what ifs" in this situation. But, the bottom line is we did seek medical care for him and he still died. I read online that about 27% of kitten populations die for a variety of reasons, but one predominant reason is called, "Fading Kitten Syndrome." With this syndrome, the kitten gets sick and dies quickly which is what happened to our little guy. So, I'm wondering if Fading Kitten Syndrome is the issue. I also read that in the majority of these cases, there is little that can be done to save the kitten. This knowledge, while helpful, is of little solace to our grieving hearts. We find ourselves, yet again, in a home with no pets wondering what just happened. After losing Gracie so recently, this is a lot to go through. As a tribute to Frisky I would like to share some things about him and his short life.

  • He packed a whole lot of love into the ten days he was with us.
  • He was a true "snuggle bunny" who definitely wanted to be close to us; usually tucked under our chins!
  • He had a cute way of singing when he ate his food.
  • Although he didn't yet have a favorite toy, he loved his soft bed and gray blanket and would settle deeply into the covers.
  • We loved him (and always will)

We may only have had him in our life for ten short days, but I am so glad that we brought him home from the shelter. For those ten days he knew he was loved and there were gentle hands holding him and caring for him. He could have died in the shelter without ever knowing what "home" meant. So, I'm glad he picked us out to come home with us. Rest easy little guy. You are safe now in God's hands. And I hope you know that we did the best we could for you. 


Until Next Time,
Debbie