Sunday, January 29, 2017

Blanket Scarf Style and Skecher Booties

Loving My Blanket Scarf



I'm fairly late coming to this party....that would be the blanket scarf party, you know. Although I have a large collection of scarves and wear one fairly often, I had not yet purchased this particular style of scarf. 


Luckily, Santa Claus, aka my oldest sister, was kind enough to gift me with the funds for not one but two blanket scarves for Christmas. Yeah!! I'm sharing the first one with you today.



Quite frankly, I had wondered if I would be comfortable wearing all of the bulky material that comes with a blanket scarf. Some of my bulkier scarves, that I have worn previously, can be fairly heavy around my neck and actually give me pain. Literally, they are a pain in the neck!


But, I needn't have worried. This material is so soft, fluffy and lightweight that as soon as I put it on, I felt very comfortable and warm and had no neck pain at all. If you're wondering why I removed my glasses it's because I got tired of seeing the "glare" of my lens reflecting the light in the picture. No matter how I positioned the camera, the glare was still there. I actually can't see well without my glasses, so this isn't a look you will see often! I have never worn contacts and have had to wear glasses since the third grade. But, I digress.....There are so many ways to wear a blanket scarf. This is what I call the "traditional" blanket scarf style. You simply fold the scarf into a triangle, hold both ends of the triangle in front of you with the triangle point pointing down and put the ends behind your neck crossing one end over the other and then pulling the ends around to the front tying the ends together under the part of the scarf that hangs down your front. Then you just arrange and fluff the scarf the way you want it to hang. Easy peasy. 


And I wanted you to see my Skechers Go Walk booties in black that are a recent addition to my closet. I have absolutely loved my Go Walk booties in the gray color and have worn them and worn them. They are so very comfortable and warm that I decided having a black pair would give me more versatility for wearing with other outfits. The way I have my jeans tucked in on the one leg looks a little funny in the picture. I had on white socks (gasp!!) and I didn't want them to show. 


There are so many different ways to style blanket scarves besides the "traditional" way I just showed you. So these last pictures are examples of other possibilities. I don't believe that I would choose to wear all of these styles with my jeans and sweater. But, I didn't feel like changing into a bunch of other outfits. I know, I'm a lazy blogger! Anyway, this is the scarf worn "shawl" style with one end "tossed" over a shoulder.


And here we see the scarf folded into a rectangle with both ends brought around the neck to hang down in front and then one end "tossed" over the shoulder snowman style.


And, finally, the belted look. You simply wear the scarf like a shawl with the ends hanging loose and belt the front while the scarf triangle hangs loose in the back. 

If you are like me and are late coming to the blanket scarf party don't worry....there are plenty of choices and colors available. I purchased mine at A.C. Moore for a great price! Whether you want fringe or no fringe, plaids or solids, there is a blanket scarf for you! 

So let me know, do you wear blanket scarves? If so, which style do you prefer when wearing your scarf? If these questions don't appeal, just talk to me....I so enjoy hearing your thoughts!

Until Next Time
Debbie

*All images photographed by Debbie Ross and are property of debbiethisandthat.com 
No compensation of any kind has been received for brand names of products/stores mentioned in this post. All writing and opinions are my own. 

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saturday Scriptures #3-What's In Your Faith Wardrobe?


What's In Your Faith Wardrobe?



Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message)
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. 

We all have staple items in our wardrobes that we pull out of the closet time and time again. It may be that basic pair of black slacks or that favorite white blouse or perhaps that all too raggedy and yet uber comfortable sweater. Whatever your staple clothing item may be, you know that it will fit you perfectly and give you the comfort, warmth, softness and wearability you want and need as you dress for the day. You would never think of parting with that particular item of clothing if you cleaned out your closet. There are most likely other favorite items in your closet that over time you have learned pair perfectly with that favorite pair of slacks or blouse or sweater.  You have paired these items into an ensemble so often that you don't even give it a second thought as you pull these items out of the closet. Your choice for this ensemble has become a habit over time. You know it will work. It's your style. It's you.

Today's scripture from Colossians talks about a whole different type of wardrobe. It is a wardrobe chosen for us by God.  We know that people sometimes have others who serve as their "stylists" assisting in choosing just the right clothing, shoes, accessories, makeup and hairstyles that will portray the person in a certain light. Well, today's scripture points out that God is our "stylist" when it comes to faith. And there are particular items of clothing that He wants us to have in our wardrobes. And, He doesn't just want us to have these items in our wardrobes to look at or take out on occasion. He actually wants us to WEAR these items  ALL the time. 

I don't know about you, but I know I have certain articles in my closet which are oh so pretty. I bought them thinking that I would look lovely wearing that color or design. I looked forward so much to pairing that article of clothing with other items I own-a pair of shoes or a particular belt or necklace. But, somehow when I dressed in the clothes and looked in the mirror it just wasn't me. The clothing was too tight, the color wasn't right, the material was scratchy, it made me look frumpy. What was I thinking when I purchased it? Why did I ever think this garment would work for me? And yet, do I get rid of it? No. I put it right back in my closet. I bought it after all. Maybe "someday" it will work. Somehow, even though I should know by now what is "right" for me in terms of clothing, I still make style mistakes. And some of those mistakes are hard for me to part with.

With God as my stylist, there are no mistakes. He knows me inside and out and knows exactly what articles of clothing I need to have in my faith closet. If I allow God to determine what I wear I know it will fit perfectly and when I look in the mirror my reflection won't matter so much because the reflection I see will be God's reflection and not my own. 

But, wait you say?  Some of those articles of clothing may not be comfortable?  They may not be a perfect fit?  I understand all too well.  I know that often when I check into my faith closet, some of these items are missing. I mean....content to be second place? I have played second fiddle both literally and figuratively many times in my life. And I didn't always like it! After all, being second isn't "as good" as being first in our world, right? Number 1 rules and all that!  And who can be disciplined all the time or even tempered? I have been known to throw a few fits from time to time. And, let's talk forgiveness, shall we?  It's all too easy to say "forgive and forget" but doing it....truly offering forgiveness is something else entirely isn't it? This idea of God being our "stylist" can get a little touchy, yes? Maybe I just want to be my own stylist and, even though the items I pick out to wear are scratchy or too tight or just aren't me I'll hang onto them anyway putting them back in my closet for "someday."

Thankfully, God understands each of us better than we understand ourselves. Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.." Our difficulties with faith are known to God and He is not surprised by them. As our "faith stylist" God is there to assist us with finding the right article of clothing that we need at the time whether it be compassion or humility or even "playing second fiddle." And here is the best part....if a particular item of clothing we need is missing from our closet of faith, God will supply it! 

Dear readers, I don't mean to minimize how difficult some of these articles of faith clothing can be to wear. When we have been hurt or misused or worn down, forgiveness and compassion and quiet strength and humility can all be difficult to wear. I struggle, just like each of you, to choose the right articles of clothing from my closet. I sometimes take them off and thrown them down and cry and say, "But, Lord, why me? Why do I have to be the one to forgive? Why do I have to be humble? Why do I have to play second fiddle? Why? Why? Why?"

And that is when the Lord goes to my closet and pulls out that one article of clothing that never fails. It is that staple item that always fits, never scratches or makes me look frumpy. It is warm and soft and wraps my body in comfort never binding or uncomfortable. It is the sweater of God's love. It is our "basic all purpose garment and we should never be without it." 

If those other garments are missing from your faith closet right now.....just reach in and pull out your Love sweater. It will always fit. It is your style. It is God's style.  Amen.


"We love because He first loved us." 
1John 4:19



Until Next Time,
Debbie


Comments are always welcome and are blessings to my day!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Valentine Foyer Decor...and Other Simple Pleasures

Finding Joy in Simple Pleasures


Happy Monday, friends! I hope your week is off to a good start. Today on the blog, I'm talking about simple pleasures. You know what I'm talking about, right? Those small things that we do or see or enjoy that bring us happiness. None of the things I'm sharing with you today are huge events or elaborate decorations. But, that's the point. Sometimes there is great enjoyment and fulfillment to be found in simplicity. First off on my simplicity tour is the infamous foyer table.


Last year, I was much more into the bright reds for Valentines decorating. This year, I decided to keep it a little simpler with a couple of cute and colorful gardening snowmen (or snow-women, actually) a red flower and this cute wooden plaque that says "with all my heart." I found the plaque at A.C. Moore for half price and fell in love with its simple message and muted colors. It's the type of decoration that works well for Valentines but also other months of the year as well. I like how the decor has pink, red and muted pink undertones throughout.


This primrose flower adds the expected Valentine red to the look along with the lovely green leaves and the unexpected pop of yellow with the container. 


In keeping with my simplicity theme, I chose to not put a table cover on the foyer table, but enjoy the beauty of the wood color. To me, the foyer table is simple and tasteful looking. A look that gives me joy.


And now, let's move to the dining table for another look at simplicity. You know that recently I have enjoyed more elaborate arrangements on the dining table such as here and here. But, when the flowers in my last arrangement finally had to be tossed, I contemplated what was left from the arrangement that I could still use for winter. And that's when I spied the pine cones. What could be more simple, and beautiful, than a simple arrangement of pinecones? I chose an antique milk bottle I found on an antique hunt in my hometown in WV to use as a vase. Remember when milk used to be delivered to your door in glass bottles? Talk about simplicity!! With this type of simple arrangement, the eyes are able to focus on just one item of beauty, rather than on multiple items as is usually found in a flower arrangement. 


This arrangement is reminiscent of Ikebana style. I am able to focus on the beauty of the pinecone scales against the clear glass of the milk bottle. Simple beauty indeed. 


And now, let's talk about the simplicity and joy that comes from baking your own loaf of hot, crusty bread!


I remember so well coming home from school, as a child, and seeing loaves of bread on our kitchen counter left there to cool by my mother. The house smelled heavenly and biting into a warm slice slathered with butter was delight indeed! That memory has stuck with me over the years and I vowed that, in retirement, I would take the time to fashion my own loaves. Using one of my mother's original loaf pans adds to the joy of baking my own bread. 


There is something quite therapeutic that comes with the mixing and the kneading of bread. The aroma of wheat and yeast combines into a delicious aroma that arouses my poetic senses. 


To quote Miguel De Cervantes, "All sorrows are less with bread."  Poetry indeed!


And finally, one more simple pleasure. The joy of watching wildlife and nature from my back door. Whether it is a gray squirrel looking for seeds...


Or the bear family having a party in my backyard.....


Or a fiery sunset on a winter's evening. Nature out my backdoor is beauty and simplicity at its very best. 

And now, it's your turn. What are your simple pleasures? I do hope you will take a moment to share. Your comments are blessings-and simple pleasures-in my day!

Until Next Time,
Debbie

*All images photographed by Debbie Ross and are property of debbiethisandthat.com

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Marilyn's Treats Wonderful Wednesday

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saturday Scriptures #2 Clay Pots

What Fills Your Clay Pot?



II Corinthians 4: 7-8
If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives.  (The Message)

Clay pots aren't very fancy, are they?  But, they get the job done. They hold the plants in the soil, hold the water and nutrients the plant needs to live and basically shelter the roots of the plant from the elements. You could say that, in the world of plant containers, clay pots are at the bottom of the rung of choices for beauty and elegance on our patio or porch.  Therefore, most people would not choose to simply put a clay pot on their front porches for everyone to look at without putting anything in it. No, that would not add brightness at all. They might, however, choose to fill the clay pot with beautiful flowers, brimming with blooms of colorful petals and greenery. Not that would change that ordinary clay pot into something to behold, wouldn't it? That would definitely merit a second glance.

In today's scripture, Paul refers to our lives as "unadorned clay pots" in which we carry around the message of Christ. In other words, our ordinary, day to day, go to work, clean the dishes, do the laundry, be a friend existence can turn our clay pot life into something quite extraordinary......depending on what plant we choose to put into our clay pot of life. There have been times when I haven't done a good job with choosing plants for my clay pot. Sometimes, I have chosen the "envy plant" when I have felt that others had something that I wanted. And, I am ashamed to say that at other times I have chosen the "frustration plant" when I have lost patience with others or the "anger plant" when I feel I have been wronged or even the "holier than thou" plant when I have felt superior to others. None of these plants caused my clay pot to be attractive. None of these plants would have caused others to look at the clay pot and think to themselves, "Wow, I want what that clay pot has growing in it!"

Thankfully, I am not the only one in control of what goes into my clay pot of life. Christ has utimate control over my clay pot and, even though I may make wrong choices about certain plants, Jesus is there to weed out the bad plants and refill my clay pot with blooms that are beautiful, strong and long lasting plants. And He nurtures these plants to continue growing by shining His light directly on them. And it is this brightness that others can see and want for themselves. God's light brings forth aspects of our lives that promote forgiveness, kind words, truthfulness, gratefulness and love. These are the blooms that I want to cultivate in my clay pot.

There is a scripture from Romans 12: 1-2 that I framed and keep in my bathroom. I glance at it throughout the day and it always serves to remind me that it is in my ordinary day to day life that I show others that Christ is in my life. My clay pot life may not be fancy, but it is filled with the blooms of God's love.

"Take your everyday, ordinary life-your sleeping, eating, going to work and walking around life-and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him."  (Romans 12:1-2 The Message)

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Quilts, Blogging and Friendship

Handmade With Heart


Hello Everyone!  Today, I am excited to showcase the quilting talents of my friend, Sharon.  You have heard me speak of her on the blog before when I wrote my post about the gingerbread houses at the Grove Park Inn and when I shared my retirement party. I am blessed to be friends with this wonderful and talented woman and I'm doubly excited to also share that you can learn more about her on her very own blog stitchingstoriesbysharon.blogspot.com. I hope that you will hurry on over to her blog and read all about her quilting and the stories that go with her quilts. But, don't leave quite yet, because I want to show you the beautiful mini-quilts she gifted me with as a retirement present. I am beyond thrilled with this touching gift of four handmade decorative quilts. Each quilt represents a season. Let's look at each quilt more closely. You will be amazed, as I am, with the beauty and quality of her work.



This is "Winterscape."  I love the shades of blue on this quilt and the wonderful snowflake buttons.


This is "Spring Tranquility."  The pinks and greens are such gentle Spring colors. And look at the butterfly buttons.....my favorite!


The bold colors of summer are showcased in "Summer Blooms." This quilt speaks to my appreciation of flowers. 


"Autumn Days" is reminiscent of the Fall harvest. I so enjoy looking at the combination of colors on this quilt that hint at the changing leaves of the season. 



Although these mini-quilts are designed for individual display, I felt that they are too lovely to show just one at a time. So, I asked Mr.thisandthat if he could build a rack for all of the quilts. You can see the resulting rack and quilts displayed proudly in our foyer. I especially like how he built the rack so each quilt has its own "section." He's kind of a handy guy to have around! I must say that these quilts have added not only beauty but also warmth to our home. These quilts are truly a gift that is "handmade with heart."

How about you?  Do you like quilts?  Are you a quilter?  I hope that you will leave a comment, I so enjoy hearing from you.  And, please be sure to visit Sharon's blog.  Let her know Debbie sent you!

Until Next Time,
Debbie


Sharon and Debbie

*All images property of debbiethisandthat.com

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Tunic, Leggings and Boots...The Cover Story

Tunic and Leggings Got You Covered?

(No payment or compensation of any kind has been received for stores or brand names mentioned in this post. All writing/opinions are my own.)

I haven't worn a tunic and leggings on the blog in quite awhile. My last post with tunic and leggings was here and that's quite awhile ago.  To be honest, I'm always a bit worried when I wear this look that it is age appropriate and that I'm "covered" in all the right places. 


This tunic is just a hair shorter than the tunic in my earlier post. I am also wearing leggings that are a bit thinner although they are fleece lined for warmth. 


I'm not a fan of showing "back views" but, as you can see, the bum is covered. I have always read that it is important that ladies of a "certain" age make sure the derriere is covered when wearing tunics and leggings. Oh my goodness, let's get to another image quickly!


Part of my hesitation with wearing leggings with a tunic comes from the "dress code" teachers have at school. We were asked at one school not to wear leggings except under a skirt.  So, I have typically worn this tunic with slacks. I  do love the color combination, though, of the purple/mauve tunic with the color of the leggings. I'm not sure what color to name the leggings. What do you think? There are lots of flecks of "sparkly" colors on the tunic ruffle around the neckline and hints of grey and rose throughout this tunic. So, I could wear many different colors of leggings with this top. The tunic was purchased on sale at Cracker Barrel, as was the tunic in the earlier post. I love waiting for their 40%+ off sales and shopping for clothes then at Cracker Barrel. There are great bargains to be found there!


I want you to see a better close-up of the buckle on these knee high slouch boots purchased at Stein Mart. They are quite comfy with the flat sole. I have worn these all day on several occasions and done just fine.  I'll share the brands below for you to browse if you like. 


Because the tunic ruffle was already pretty "blingy" I didn't want to overdo with jewelry. So, I chose a pair of Paparazzi earrings to complete the look. Now that I'm retired, I don't have to worry about "dress codes" so I may be sporting this look a bit more often. These particular leggings are very comfortable. They were purchased at Walgreens. I will say that I purchased another pair that day in black that had raised designs down the leg. When I wore them I was driven crazy pulling them up all the time! Very uncomfortable!! These particular leggings are not like that all. They stay at the waist where they are supposed to stay. Don't know why there was such a difference. As I recall, there were two different brands that I purchased. I do know that you can't always go by the size information on the package. I tend to go up a size to make sure the fit is comfortable. 

So, do you enjoy wearing tunics and/or leggings? Do you prefer another look? I can't wait to hear your thoughts, so I do hope you will take a moment to leave a comment. If the questions don't appeal....just talk to me!  Your comments make my day! 

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Shop a similar look:
Tunic:  I cut tag out so brand name unknown: Many pretty choices here at Cracker Barrel.
Leggings:  I bought at Walgreens, brand unknown. Search Walgreens sight for choices available. 
Boots: I purchased Baretraps style at Stein Mart: Similar here at DSW.

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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Saturday Scriptures And A Video

A Video Preview of A New Feature on the Blog

debbiethisandthat.com


II Corinthians 4: 5-6 (The Message)
Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we're proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.

Have you ever had someone say to you, "This is not about you?"  Typically this happens when someone is feeling unheard or uncared about and they believe that you are making a "situation" relate more to yourself than to them. I've actually said this to myself a few times, when I was tempted to pull my own feelings and emotions into an event that really didn't concern me personally...but concerned someone else. It's hard not to want to put ourselves into the equation and to put our own thoughts and viewpoints into someone else's concerns. Most of this blog is spent talking about and looking at pictures of "me." When you read what I've written here, you learn a lot about who Debbiethisandthat really is. But, today's scripture points out that when we share the message of God's love through Jesus Christ, we need to proclaim Christ....and not ourselves. So, that is my hope for the Saturday Scriptures feature of my blog. I want to proclaim Jesus Christ and not debbiethisandthat. 

I mentioned in the video that my focus in choosing scriptures will be about my "one perfect word"for 2017-which is Light.  Today's scripture speaks to how God fills our lives with light as we  see and understand God in Christ Jesus. When we look to Christ....even though darkness may be around us.....what we see in the face of Jesus is bright and beautiful. As I write this, I am reminded of many times in my life when the darkness seemed to surround me. Times when my mother was ill and dying, when my husband suffered illness, when work worries and family concerns filled my nights with sleepless hours of worry. This is the human condition, isn't it? Who among us can say that their entire life has only been filled with "good things?" Troubles come....and when they do....it can be challenging....and some may say impossible....to dig ourselves out of the darkness. But thanks be to God that it is at these dark times when the face of Christ can shine the brightest in our lives and we can find that we don't have to dig ourselves out of the darkness. Because we are not alone in our suffering. This same Jesus who suffered, died and was resurrected for us also promises to be with us always (Matthew 28:20). We do not need to suffer alone. We are never alone. God's love and light is always with us, demonstrated by the love of Jesus. My prayer is that whether your life is running smoothly or you are feeling the darkest of despair, you will know that you are not alone and feel God's light and love today. 

Until Next Time,
Debbie

Having trouble viewing the video? Go to here.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Casual Lavender Fleece Top With Jeans

Lavender Fleece Top and Casual Jeans


Let's see....I love lavender, I love casual and I love jeans!  So, this is what I call the perfect post...and look.....a wonderful combination of all the things I love in fashion. 


This pretty fleece top was a Christmas gift from one of my sisters and I really like it!  Lavender is one of my fave colors as you learned on my earlier Loving Lavender post. So, you know this gift is a winner!


The material is soft and cozy and super warm, especially paired with a favorite purple plaid flannel shirt. I also added some extra color with the woven purple/pink fabric necklace. The brand for the fleece top is "Made for Life" and is 100% polyester. Here is a similar Made for Life top available through J.C. Penney. There seems to be an entire of Made for Life line of clothing.


Stretchy bracelets add a touch of bling to the casual look.



It's been super cold and snowy in my part of the world, and this casual lavender fleece top gives me all the comfort and warmth I need to stay cozy. This is a gift that truly keeps on giving!

How about you? What favorite gifts are you continuing to enjoy? Is it cold and snowy where you live or is it warm and sunny?
What's happening in your day?  Hope you will help me to meet my blogging goal of growing readership and comments by leaving your thoughts. They make my day! And sharing and likes are always welcome! Thanks so much for sharing your time with me!

Until Next Time,
Debbie  (Who loves lavender!)

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