I’ve had to cut back on the “You Choose the Shoes” series now that hubby is no longer my photographer. I’m letting him get more rest in the morning, so it’s just me and the camera and sometimes using the timer takes longer than changing the shoes. But never fear, it’s not a done deal my dears we will one day resume. So in the mean time and in between time let’s try, “You Pick the Purse!”
I am not even going to get into how many purses that I actually have, but I will admit that I recently got mad at myself when I found a whole container of them under the bed! I am however, trying to declutter and have sold several and my recent Yard Sales so eventually, I’d like to get it down to about 2 dozen! Shoot, I still remember back in the 80’s when I ‘had’ to have a purse to match every pair of shoes to match every outfit – crazy right?
What is your accessory obsession or do you even have one?
If you remember this dress, it was for a sponsored post for Midnight Velvetand I love their Google+ page. They are always having contests and giveaways, so check them out when you get a chance.
I am glad that I chose this dress to feature because not only are Polka Dots prints my favorite but also because it can be worn all four seasons. I’ve worn it with a cardigan sweater in Autumn and with a blazer in the Winter.
Also, it has side pockets, not that I use them to store anything, but I do like that it’s not just an “A line” dress, like the other sheath dresses that I have.
I found this clutch in the back of my closet and remember that it was thrifted from Goodwill last year. I thought it might pair well if I were going out to dinner or to church, but the red tote is much more practical for wearing to work.
The neckline on this dress is very flattering and I don’t usually like skinny belts but I do like how this one fits on me!
This red tote was purchased from Walmart but I have a few others in similar styles from Avon. Love love love these Jessica Simpson sandals!!
Okay, so which purse would you pick to wear with this dress?
10 Simple Ways to Clean Up Your Home’s Exterior This Summer
Author: Alyssa Craig
With the warm weather and the extra daylight, summer is a great time of year to focus on your home’s exterior. Since you spend most of the year inside your home, you may not have noticed the spots that need extra attention outside. So take a walk around the outside of your home and take inventory of what needs to be done. The list below will help you evaluate your home’s exterior. Once you’ve determined what needs to be done, it’s time to prepare for your tasks.
In preparation for your outside cleaning extravaganza, be sure to select a warm day with little wind, as this could otherwise end up working against you. Cover small plants, shrubs, and other landscape with a plastic sheet. Move lawn furniture and decor out of the way. Cover all vents, electrical outlets, and outside light fixtures. Finally, be sure to wear protective clothing and eye protection.
Alright, you are now ready to get cleaning! Here are a few suggestions for where and how you should be cleaning the outside of your house.
1. Pressure Wash Siding: Make sure all windows and doors are tightly closed before you begin. Using the correct hose, spray at a downward angle, testing a small section for damage before continuing. Keep moving in a side-to-side sweeping motion as you continue to wash the side of the house. But be careful! You can cause serious damage (even shattered glass) with a pressure washer.
Thai man do a pressure washing on timber
2. Hand Wash Brick, Stucco, or Delicate Wood Shingles: These materials will not hold up well against a pressure wash. Instead, hand wash with a regular garden hose. There are attachments you can get at home improvement stores to help you out. Pretreat soiled areas with cleanser before spraying with a hose.
3. Paint: A new coat of paint can do great things for making a house look like new. Before you get started wash down the area to be painted and remove any dirt or paint residue. Next, scrape and sand away old paint. Use this as an opportunity to patch and fill areas that are cracking or otherwise damaged. Finally, prime and paint!
4. Remove Mildew and Mold: Unfortunately, mildew and mold will not come off with a powerwash. To remove, scrub it off with a bleach solution (one part bleach, four parts water). Wear gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals.
Painter painting the windows of a house
5. Repair Driveway: If you have cracks in your driveway, now is a great time to repair it. Remove grass or weeds growing in the cracks. Next, pressure wash the whole driveway. Patch cracks and holes with concrete resurfacer. Finish with a fresh coat of latex asphalt sealer to make it look like new.
6. Clean Your Deck: Your deck is bound to be used a lot this summer for BBQs and enjoying summer evenings. Apply a special deck cleaner and follow the directions on the bottle and allow it to sit for its designated amount of time. Either pressure wash or clean with a long handle scrub brush. Rinse and allow to dry completely. Refinish and apply a sealer or stain if necessary.
7. Repair Roof: Now is a much easier time to fix roofing problems than in the winter when snow and ice might be your enemy. Look for torn or missing shingles to replace or repair. Seal any gaps in the roofing cement. Cover exposed nailheads with roofing cement. Clean up any debris or frisbees that have made their way to the roof.
8. Clean Windows: If possible, clean in the shade to keep the cleaner from drying too quickly and ruining your work. Consider using a 50/50 vinegar and water mixture and newspapers (rather than paper towels) for a more environmentally friendly project. You can also try washing it with a squeegee. It’s faster and more likely to produce a streak free surface.
9. Clean Window Screens: Window screens often get neglected, so as you clean your windows, give these some love too. Remove and soak in a kiddie pool filled with soapy water. Use a soft scrub brush to gently remove dirt. Rinse with a garden hose and allow to dry.
Leaves in a rain gutter during autumn
10. Clean Gutters: Use an extended ladder to put yourself at a good vantage point to the gutter. Use a gutter scoop to get out the debris that has built up. Put the debris into a bucket or dump on a tarp below, as this will make cleanup easier for you. After the large debris has been removed, hose down the gutter, starting opposite of the downspout to remove anything else that may still be there.
As mentioned here, having a clean, put together exterior to your home adds to your home’s curb appeal whether you plan to sell your home in the near future or not. These jobs can quickly add up, but with some elbow grease, a great day off, and determination, these projects can be completed and your home will shine for another year.
Today I had my youngest son take his father for his bi-weekly chemo treatment at the Helen Graham Cancer Center. Why? Because he’s selfish…no not my husband…my son. It’s all about him…me…me…me and at the age of 19 he needs to understand that life is more about others and less about him.
Next week he will be leaving to start his Sophomore year at Bowie State University where I hope he decides to really buckle down and take his education seriously, unlike his first semester as a Freshman.
Who do I blame for his selfishness…my husband and I. He wasn’t born selfish but because of or in spite of the fact that our oldest, his brother is intellectually disabled perhaps we were too lenient…yes, we were too lenient in allowing him to “get away” with way too much as a child.
Unfortunately, there is no “How To Be A Great Parent” manual, otherwise it would be on the New York Times Best Seller list. And there definitely isn’t a manual on “How to raise two sons when the first born is disabled and you are the caregiver to an elderly grandparent, and oh by the way, your sister gets killed in a car accident and you’ve been married for less than 5 years”
The title to that manual would be, “For Better of Worser” which you could find an excerpt of it here.
So how did my son do? I don’t know…let me go ask him…be right back.
Okay, this is what he said, “I was a little nervous, but it was alright”. I guess having that iPhone growing out of his hand gave him a sense of security…whatever works.
I do hope that as the days and weeks go by, he will not only think of and care about his father’s health, but also that of others especially of those whose lives have been drastically changed by this selfish and uncaring disease! #ihatcancer
If you thought dressing through a flash was bad, wait until you see what the Delaware humidity did to my hair! These past few days have been filled with lots of rain, heat and the dreaded humidity. If you are an allergy sufferer, stop reading now because between the flora and the wild child hair you are going to be sneezing your head off!
If you are following me on Instagram (hint hint) – www.instagram.com/ablake48 then you would have seen this lovely floral arrangement that hubby gave me for our anniversary. Not only are they gorgeous in color but they are also very fragrant so much so that when I wake up I feel refreshed with a heightened sense of smell. At first I thought I was smelling an incense stick burning, but as the day wore on the fragrance became less powerful and much more soothing.
Wednesday morning was another uncomfortable day of dressing but it wasn’t that bad at least not until I stepped out of the door and “poof” my hair went into overdrive. It was definitely too hot to keep the curling iron on for more than a few minutes, so what you see is how I wore my hair to work!
I am wearing a thrifted “pool blue” tank and you just don’t know how much strength it took me to not call in to work and stay home pool side. Unfortunately, I am using my days off for more important matters so that wasn’t an option. That is the number one perk that I miss now that I have a position that doesn’t allow “work from home” days, so if you are fortunate enough to have them…take full advantage because you will miss them if/when they are gone.
This too shall pass…mark my words!
The tank was perfect for the busy skirt from CitiTrends and the two-tone sandals also complemented the outfit – what do you think?
The purse is Mark from Avon, and if you haven’t checked out the latest catalog please click this link. Once there, check out some of the clothing and accessories including those statement necklaces that were featured in last week’s giveaway.
By the way, thank you all for entering the Rafflecopter for a chance to win, and I’d like to once again say, “congratulations”to Whitney Nic James, winner of the Avon Statement Necklace Giveaway. Stay tuned for a “Fall Fragrance” Giveawaycoming in September!
Speaking of statement necklaces, this particular oneis from Walmart #yesWalmart and the stackable rings are also an Avon item – check them out here.
My hair is wild, but the flora was sweet and that made for a very good day (in my Ice Cube voice) – speaking of which, are you going to check out the movie Straight outta Compton – I know it’s going to be a mega hit!
Are you the ‘bee’s knees?” If you’ve never heard that phrase before then I already know your answer to this question – how short is too short?
Remember when we discussed the sleeveless after fifty topic, (click here) now let’s talk about “how short is too short”
My husband is sort of a prude when it comes to women and short dresses, he says, “if a woman has to pull it down when she sits down then it’s too short” and sometimes, I have to agree, not always but sometimes…it all depends
Before retiring he was a Student Advisor in a middle school and would often come home complaining about how some of ‘the young ladies’ wore clothing that was either too short, too low cut, or simply too revealing for school. Between the ages of 13-15, most young men are “coming into their own” and oftentimes enticements such as these may be a bit too much for them to handle in an appropriate mature manner.
However, we are not talking about prepubescent teens, we are talking about grown women over the age of 50. In school they used the “tip of the finger rule”; the dress, skirt or shorts should not be higher than where the tip of the finger landed on the leg.
Should the fingertip rule apply to women over the age of 50?
Personally I do because when I’m wearing a dress, I want to feel comfortable in all situations. I don’t want to feel as though I need to pull down it down everytime I sit down; while getting in and out of a car or having to bend down to pick up something, however, you may have a different opinion…
What’s your take?
A sleeveless sheath is my favorite go-to dress and most of them are above the knee but are not too short above the knee. I think the length is just right and looks good on any body shape and size.
Wearing a pair of heels with a sheath dress not only elongates the legs but it makes you feel super sexy – and that is not a bad thing especially after the age of 50!
When you walk down that aisle, eyes wide, full of love, happiness and hope; looking forward to many years of wedded bliss. It never enters your mind as you recite those vows that one day it might actually become “for better or worse” and in some cases “worser”.
Death of loved ones, premature birth of your first born, hospitalizations, debt, more deaths, accidents, job loss now cancer!
None of these disasters were part of the “will you marry me” proposal.
Life has a way of sucking away success and happiness, however, it’s how you deal with it determines if the pressure bends or breaks you.
Do you stay or do you leave…do you deal or do you just give in?
So as hubby and I celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary, we both know that no matter which way the winds blow, we will always bend together, staying strong in love and faith…holding on to that happiness for another 25 years!
Can you believe the summer is quickly coming to a close, sooner rather than later it will be Labor Day. At the end of last month the weather finally heated up with temps in the 90s so dressing through a flash became a bit more difficult. As you can see I am still sleeveless in the summer…it’s hot…remember this post?
These sleeveless sheaths are my favorite go-to dresses when I have to change more than once in the morning. This particular one was purchased from Burlington Coat Factory and the busy pattern is very flattering to all shapes. These two-tone shoes are from The Shoe Department andI had almost forgotten that I had them…too many shoes!
Hubby is getting through chemo but not without the side effects so you may notice a difference in my OOTD pictures as I am doing them myself with a timer. I ask that you continue keeping him in your prayers as he pushes through his cancer treatments. I really miss having him behind the camera, but believe that we will both come out stronger on the other side!
I hope you are all staying cool and will continue to have a beautifully blessed day!
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The Rent-a-Cop who Ruined My Day…and the men who didn’t defend me!
Last week after work but before heading home I had to make a stop at what once was my favorite shopping center in Delaware, Beaver Brook Plaza. This shopping center is on my route when I take 13S, and it had been the perfect one-stop shop for me to get everything that I needed without having to go out of my way.
Over the years, I had spent a lot of money at these three stores, Dollar Tree, supplies for my blog; Beaver Brook Liquors, you know I like my wine, and at Food Lion because they have great grocery store prices. The employees in each of these establishments were always courteous, pleasant and I’m usually greeted with a smile, which is why I hated to…but had to sever ties with them on Friday, the last day of July 2015!
Let me tell you what happened….
I was preparing for a busy weekend, with a Yard Sale scheduled for early Saturday morning and then with friends coming down from New York. My besties were coming for their annual summer weekend visit so I needed to pick up a few things first.
I decided to stop at Beaver Brook Plaza before heading home and my first stop was at Dollar Tree so that I could buy a balloon. It was going to be tied to the mailbox so that Yard Sale seekers would know which street to turn on and stop. #Toni’sTip
As I was standing in line, I was startled by a booming voice yelling at the top of his lungs “HEY, HEY YOU – ARE YOU OVER 18!!”
I and several other customers quickly turned to see what the commotion was all about and we saw a short, elderly security guard following and yelling at a 6’2” teenager; questioning whether or not he should be in the store without an adult accompanying him which is what a paper sign taped to the entrance read.
It not only frightened me but it was also upsetting because I began to think about my own sons and how they would react if somebody yelled at them like that. The “mommy bear” in me got even more upset when he proceeded to follow him out of the store, who at this point was embarrassed, and continued yelling not only at him but at his buddies as they rode their bikes on the sidewalk to get away from this high strung “rent a cop”.
I put the balloon in my car and walked back to the liquor store, a little shaken and as I explained the situation to the owners, another woman inside also said, she too was upset and wanted to pretend to be his mother so that this young man could make his $1.00 purchase. BTW, she was white and the teenagers were black…
Not only didn’t management from the Dollar Tree come out from behind those glass windows to check on the commotion, the owner of the liquor store defended the security guard saying, “they know that they have to be 18 to enter”…remember this “kid” was over 6 feet tall and I’m pretty sure he didn’t need to hold the hand of his mother to purchase a soda and a bag of chips!
I was in the liquor store to buy a case of beer and a case of wine coolers, both in boxes which I couldn’t carry out myself so I asked if they would put them in my trunk if I pulled up front. I also said, “I hope that security guard doesn’t yell at me!” I was assured that it wouldn’t be a problem….but you do know what happened next right?
After paying, I walked to my car, still shaking my head at the “rent a cop” and pulled up in front of the liquor store…and as soon as I stepped out of my vehicle, this man was in my face yelling, “HEY, HEY, YOU CAN’T PARK HERE…THIS IS A FIRE ZONE!!” Now you kinda sorta know me…so you know that I am as peaceful and calm as they come but this man ticked me off!
He was so close in my face that I could feel his breathe and had we been in Florida and I had a gun, it could have been a ‘stand your ground, I feel threatened‘ incident..nevermind that’s a different story for a different day.
HOW DARE HE YELL AT ME!
Not only was he yelling at me about parking in the fire zone, which by the way I wasn’t parked, he had the nerve to pull out a piece of paper and shove it in my face showing me that it was against the law. I yelled back at him that I was a customer of the store and was waiting for my items to be loaded into my car…then he yelled back, that I wasn’t his customer and this went back and forth for a few seconds. In the meantime, the owner and another employee of the liquor store came out with my two boxes and loaded them into the trunk and neither one of them said a word!! not one single solitary word…they just loaded my trunk, turned and walked back into their store…AND there were also other men standing around just watching this yelling match.
He finally walked away, but my peace was broken so I went back over to him and asked for his name and telephone number because I was going to report him. I tried to take a picture but my dumb Smartphone’s battery was low and I was shaking like a leaf so I didn’t take note of the company’s name on his uniform, only his name tag, CR Lantz.
I ended up calling him an “asshole” and his response was…”well, I guess there has to be one!” Man oh Manishewitz …I was so mad when I posted this on my Swarm account. I was definitely upset not just because he broke my peace but also because I had to disrespect this elderly man.
I drove out of the fire lane and down to Food Lion where I spent almost an hour shopping and trying to calm my nerves before heading home for a glass of wine!
Finally somewhat calm, cool and collected I went to the register to pay for more than $150 worth of groceries and when the young cashier asked, “how I was doing today”, I told him a bit of what had transpired and his response was, “oh yeah, I know him, he is always harassing people, you’re lucky he didn’t put a big green sticker on your windshield because they are hard to get off!
Then I got mad again…why…because it was obvious that this security guard is well known by these merchants who help pay his salary and they don’t seem to mind that he harasses their customers…which I once was….but will never be again!!!
I guarantee Dollar Tree, Beaver Brook Liquors and Food Lion will never get another penny of my money and I will shop elsewhere even if it means going out of my way, because that “rent a cop” ruined my day and is definitely in the wrong service industry. Mark my words, sooner or later something bad is going to happen to either him or someone else!
What about you, have you ever had someone break your peace and ruin your day?
Can you believe that it’s August and it’s almost time for “Back to School” Back to College”? I have two sons returning to college, one will be at home and the other one away, but it still seems like the summer flew by.
I just found more summer totes and purses under my bed! I have so many more pairs of summer shoes to wear – where did the time go – I am not ready for the warm weather to end!
I am not going to fret, but I may have to double up on the “You Choose the Shoes” episodes!
Malik has bought most of his “wants”, so we just have to hit the store for a few of his needs, ie. laundry detergent and sheets but not too much since he has most of what he needs from last year.
I will however, be hitting up Family Dollar for his health and toiletry products because they have a large assortment of name brand items for low prices. Check out next week’s post to see what I purchased.
This week’s contenders are both cutout wedges – yellow verses white. If you remember, I also have the first pair in Pink, and I will try to wear them before the end of the month in an OOTD.
I love wearing wedge heels as opposed to kitten or high heels because they give more support and makes walking a little easier.
What is your favorite style of shoe?
If you didn’t realized it by now, this just happens to be one of my favorite thrifted dresses not only because of how it fits but because of all the great colors!
So which one will it be – the white wedges….or
the yellow wedges?
Thank you all for your votes in Week 12, the winner was the solid red pair.