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10 Great Maxi Coats

One of my favorite styles for a Winter coat is back in full force for this Season,
the Maxi Coat.
In fact this classic, and stylish coat made the cut for Marie Claire Magazine  as one of the best Winter coats for 2015.
Here are some of my favorite picks and why I love a Maxi Coat.


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I truly believe that the Maxi Coat is not only fabulous and flattering, they are an essential
item of clothing that every woman should have in her closet.
Even when they are not the "trend" of the season, this coat is timeless.
They can be worn with jeans or a classy dress, dress them up or down.
Wear them with boots, heels, or even keds.


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A Maxi Coat is extremely versatile, they come in such a variety of fabrics,
so they fit the bill for virtually every climate and lifestyle.





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If I could have two Maxi Coats one would definitely be in this color.
Such a soft, feminine hue and I suppose leaning toward the neutral side.




Of course, black is always a sensible choice, and always looks great on every age and shape.

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I do have a fashion crush on neutral tones, and I will be purchasing a neutral Maxi coat  for myself this season.
I don't think a woman is ever too "mature," to have a fashion crush, do you?
In fact, I hope that I have them all the way into my 90's and that I am still wearing my pink lipstick too!





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You know I am in love with grey, Ladies,  just look at this coat and oh these boots!
Such a slimming look.
Yummy...


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This coat is too young for me, with it's texture, and I also feel it needs a very slim frame to carry off the look and handle the bulk.
But just notice the mix of neutrals and all of this scrumptious layering.
Dressing ourselves is much like dressing our homes.
We are the pallet and then we choose the colors, layer the design, adding to and taking away until we achieve the desired image.



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I wanted to include accessories in this post too.  
Many of you live in very cold climates where hats, gloves and boots are more than just a
"look," they are a necessity.
I thought this was a great example on how to complement your wardrobe,
staying stylish, comfortable and warm.



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Once again thinking of you my friends who have the bitter cold weather.
You need to stay cozy.


                         
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Do you have a Fashion Crush?


I am so excited to share with you in my upcoming Monday post, a very special interview with my dear friend Anita Rivera, a long time blogger and talented artist.
You probably know her from Castles Crowns and Cottages, and now you will find her
on Instagram.
Her artistic flair has been featured in one of our favorite magazines...


Have a beautiful and safe weekend, and always be good to you!


xoxox




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Love Yourself

I just really want to reach out to all of the women today, and say I think that you are great!
You are amazing women, doing amazing things every single day of your lives.
You are the ladies that nurture the children, the husband, friends, parents and grandparents.

You are the volunteers, the worker bees,  the soldiers of society and you make the world go round.

I know that you are striving each, and every day to take care of everyone in your world.
That you are always putting someone's needs and cares above your own. 

Then you evaluate, critique and you put way too much pressure on yourself too.
So, stop and love yourself, accept yourself, forgive yourself and above all this-

BE GOOD TO YOU!



Know that you are a star in the dark sky, and that your light shines brightly for those who love you, even if they don't tell you so.

There are many times our hearts long to hear those words of affirmation from our friends and family, but they never come.



But just because these words are not spoken, does not mean that they are not felt.
Know that you and you alone make a huge difference in many lives, without even knowing. 




However, and I do have to add this-why not make a difference in the lives of the women you love and who love you.
Reach out to them today and tell them that they matter to you and that you love them.
Can you imagine the difference this would make in all of our lives if each one of us did that today...

Then after you have made that call, sent that message, or wrote a note. 
Tell yourself "I love you too and you matter."

Leave me a message and let me know how you are sending love to yourself and some other woman today.

I will be sending a personal message back to each comment you leave here today.
You all are the best ever!

xoxox

For More Posts On This Topics~

Aging With Style Part 1

Aging With Detours

Aging With Style During the Holidays


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Facebook You Came Through

Don't you just love a story with a happy ending, when everyone's wishes really do come true?
Well it happened to me, and it all took place just when I was about to step away from some
Social Media meanderings.
Just when I thought that, those happy endings only came true in Fairy Tales,
Facebook you came through.






In this day and age when we are put on hold for hours to even make a Doctor's appointment, it  is an awesome thing when Social Media comes through and actually amazes you with it's support.
I did have some trouble finding an email to contact FB for my particular issue, but when I did
they responded, then resolved.




But it was not only FB that came through it was YOU! 
My dear readers, and friends that responded when I sent my plea out for help on my 
Facebook Debacle Post.
You knew I was in a state of panic, when I sent out my 911 and you were here for me through emails, comments, and messages.

So, thank you!! 

The winner of the $25 gift card to TJ maxx is Melanie. 
Melanie please send me an email with your address and I will get the gift card in the mail.

Happy Wednesday to all.

xo


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8 Real Fall Porches

I have been traveling to see family a bunch this past month, and during my trips I have taken photos of real homes, with real Fall Porches.
Cottage homes, brick homes, estate homes, homes from different eras.
They aren't over the top, but they are very pretty, and each one of them is a Fall Porch that anyone could create.



This porch caught my eye because the owners made such a great use of a flagstone addition. 
Notice that there is not an overhang, but they have created a very inviting and welcoming space.



I will always enjoy a home with a black front door, they just look so sharp.  
Pride of ownership shines here with pumpkins in flower pots, stems tied with bows and
urns with vines.



Sometime the simplicity of decorating makes the biggest statement of all.
A bountiful arrangement of very large pumpkins will take this home all the way through Thanksgiving.
I do think two wreaths on the front doors would have added the extra punch to tie it all together.
But, of course you know me, and my love of wreaths.



This home is in my daughter's neighborhood.
I like the way the homeowner's stayed with a black, yellow and orange theme.




I spied groups of three.  
The windows, pumpkins and mums.




Neutral Stucco Home with groupings of Fall essence.



I like the mums and pumpkins alongside the driveway, rather than inside the entryway.
They really caught my eye.



Last but certainly not least, my youngest daughter's home.
Her cottage style home, combined with blue shutters, turquoise chairs and youthful whimsy make this Fall Porch colorful and fun.



Please Join Me~

Ivy and Elephants

Creative Muster

Cozy Little House

Rustic and Refind




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8 Chocolate Cakes For The Holidays

Does chocolate soothe your soul,
Quiet your mind, and give you a general sense of well being?
Did I see some smiles...

Well, with the Facebook Debacle unresolved, I was a little on the uptight side, and we were totally out of chocolate.

Seemed the next best thing to do, was to dream of chocolate.
So, I have been distancing myself from the entire FB matter. and dreaming away on Pinterest.

                                  The Best Chocolate Cake ~ My baking Addiction


I found 8 irresistible chocolate cakes for you, and I to make for the upcoming Holidays.
I have included all of the links beneath each photo so you can just click on them and presto,
you will be taken to these talented bakers websites.




                                    Playing With Flour~ A Super Moist Chocolate Cake


I found this recipe from Playing With flour it is originally from Ina Garten's Cookbook, and is a relatively easy cake to make, very pretty topped with buttercream frosting too.

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Oh goodness, I just had to share the love of The Best (Texas) Chocolate Sheet Cake.
I  made the vanilla version of this for Christmas one year and oh yes, it was a little
morsel of heaven.



                                            Best Chocolate Cake You'll Ever Have

Good Housekeeping presents one of the very best chocolate cakes ever as well,
a rich cake blended with buttermilk and butter.


                                                        Perfect Marble Cake~ I Am Baker


This cake is for the cake lover who is not totally into chocolate 100 percent, and wants just a smidgen of yellow cake mixed in with their chocolate.
Top this marble cake with chocolate buttercream frosting and bam, it's a delicious dish.

                                         Hot Chocolate Hits~ The Best Chocolate Cake

Maybe you are into a devilishly good cake, which is perfect for this time of the year, where
ghosts and witches roam the avenues.




                                       Life, Love And Sugar~ Best Chocolate Cake

This gorgeous ultra three layer chocolate cake is made with dark cocoa-so this is the ultimate in chocolate decadence.


                              The Domestic Rebel~ Damn Good Chocolate Bundt Cake


Leaving you with a real beauty of a bundt cake, totally drenched in chocolate Ganache and topped with chocolate chips.

All of this chocolate, made me feel much calmer.
One of the best parts was that I enjoyed it all, with absolutely zero guilt and no calories.

Have a lovely weekend, xoxo

Please Join Me~

Cozy Little House

Rustic & Refined

Natasha In Oz

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Woodland Wreath~ DIY

The Woodland wreath is a lovely wreath for your Fall decorating, it is also very natural and has a slight rustic and primitive feel. 
If you are searching for a craft that is hands on, and are eager to take a walk with Mother Nature this is the perfect craft for you to do this Fall.

This Woodland wreath also comes with a short Tale of a little grandson with sun kissed blonde hair, brown eyes and very busy hands.

The majority of the goodies on this wreath were collected by the grandson, and his Mimi as they spent several Fall afternoons on walk abouts in the warm afternoon sun in Sacramento. The two of them spent time outside while his Mommy, and new baby sister rested inside their home.


The little brown eyed grandson talked alot...
about fire trucks, garbage trucks, his friends and such.
He found many treasures, some of which did not end up on this wreath, but were still carefully gathered and placed in the paper bag.

After many afternoons of searching, walking, chatting and savouring these precious moments there were finally enough treasures to actually make a wreath.




A little high pitched voice rang throughout the house, proclaiming with excitement that 
all of the woodland treasures were now going to be hot glued onto the grapevine wreath.
Something the grandson had never done before.

A plan had been set in motion, and a new tool was about to be used.
If you have ever been around a young lad, you know that they enjoy gizmos, gadgets and using wires, mechanisms, pulls and gears.



Making a Woodland wreath is very messy.
Best to make them outside on a back patio, or in a garage.
The sweet grandson sat on the Mimi's lap, and together they glued their woodland finds onto grapevine the wreath.
Two Woodland Wreaths were made, one for the Mimi, and one for the boy.

This Mimi had a fantastic time with her grandson and you know, it was such a wonderful way to connect with him. 
It was the simplest of adventures, and the quality of time spent together was the main ingredient.
It really goes back to living a traditional, somewhat Old Fashioned life style, where lasting bonds, lessons learned, and meaningful relationships are built on quality time together with those you love.
It felt good to step away from the commercialism of life.

Supplies needed for Woodland Wreath~

Grapevine Wreath (any size)
Hot Glue Gun
Glue Sticks,
Twine or burlap ribbon
Pine Cones
Acorns,
Magnolia seed pods
Sweet gum seed pods
Dried Camellia blossoms
Pecans
Assorted pods


Directions For Woodland Wreath

Hot glue layers of pods, pine cones, blossoms, nuts and repeat until desired fullness.
Wrap twine or burlap around the wreath.


I wrapped my wreath in a garbage bag and squeezed it into my suitcase to bring home.
It survived, and only needed a few repairs...smile.


xoxox

Please Join Me~

An Extraordinary Day



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Our Home From Sticks-Tradtion

Once we purchased our lot in Rockwall Texas and truly committed to building our French Country home, I knew in my heart that I longed for it to be a sanctuary for our family and ourselves. 
I tend to be a joyful dreamer and I was imagining great family gatherings, picnics in the backyard and grandchildren laughing and dancing with lighting bugs and butterflies.
I just knew in my heart that only a house is made of wood, brick and stone. 
But a home is a entirely another story.

Marjorie's Apple Cake

Every Fall I faithfully sit at my white kitchen table, and slowly turn the pages of my treasured cookbooks. 
I savor these moments...
I am anxiously anticipating the Holidays ahead, and all of the wonderful baking that I will do.
I love to bake, I also love to remind myself of the stories that my treasured cookbooks will tell me about my Mother's life, Mama Chris's life and Aunt Madge's life-
without even saying a single word.
Cookbook pages that are earmarked, maybe a spot of frosting still rests beside a favorite recipe.
Even, a little handwritten note with remarks about the recipe and how adjustments were made to make the recipe their very own.


The recipe that I am sharing today is exactly one of those recipes, that was tweaked, perfected, and presented by Marjorie (my mom) to her family.

It was a sensible cake that pleased us all, Dad loved a good apple cake, with a handful of raisins thrown in. 
I love Penuche Frosting, so this cake fit the bill perfectly.
Apple cakes are sort of a no-nonsense cake, except when you dress them up, like I did this one.

I have been participating in a Blogher challenge on Instagram for several weeks now, it is being hosted by Melissa and is called #BlogHerFood15.
The challenge this week is #Ibakedit.
So, in my kitchen I chopped apples, walnuts and sifted flour and beat eggs to bake this
Apple Cake, and then I dressed the cake up in celebration of Fall and life.

Sarah Michelle Gellar will be the closing keynote speaker at the BlogHerFood15 conference in Chicago this Fall.
Unfortunately I won't be able to attend this conference because of the new house construction, but I am keeping my fingers crossed for next year.



Baking is therapeutic for me as well, it helps me to push through things when they seem to get stuck in my heart or thoughts.

Also choosing recipes from the lovely ladies who have touched my life and loved me, soothes me and makes my spirit feel lighter and my heart more grateful.

So, if you choose to give this cake a try, make it your own and pass the love on to those who mean the most to you.

In the original Post 1 cup of cooking oil was left out-please make a note of this if you printed this recipe out prior to 10-18-2015.
I truly apologize.

Marjorie's Apple Cake
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons good vanilla
  • 2 3/4 plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 medium size granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
Penuche Frosting
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream


Marjorie's Apple Cake Directions
  • Beat eggs in a electric mixer until thick, about 7-8 minutes or until a pale yellow.
  • Add one cup of a sugar at a time, beating until well blended.
  • Add cooking oil and vanilla. Beat well.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
  • Add dry ingredients slowly beating well after each addition, and scraping sides of bowl.
  • Add apple juice, chopped apples and walnuts, blend well.
  • Pour batter into a 10 inch bundt pan that has been sprayed well with Baker's Joy.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.
  • Check to see if it is done by inserting a toothpick in center.
  • Cool 5 minutes in pan, then invert on cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.
Penuche Frosting
  • In a heavy 2 quart saucepan over low heat melt butter, add brown sugar and turn heat up to medium, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
  • The frosting will be bubbly, slowly add cream to mixture and continue to stir ingredients together for 1 more minute.
Decorate
  • Decorate with edible decor glitter, add a daisy, mum or flower of choice.
  • Remove from heat and let cool, add powdered sugar, if frosting is too thick add more cream until desired consistency.

If you choose to use the edible decor glitter, please know it has a crunch to it.
This cake is a breeze to make, it will not fail it you, just inspire you and oh, I have 
been on the Apple Cake diet all week and haven't gained a pound yet...wink...

From my Mom's kitchen, to mine, and now to yours.

xoxo


Jemma

Cupcakes And Crinoline

A Stroll Thru Life

The Charm of Home





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5 Feminine Fall Vignettes

I am totally embracing the feminine side of decorating for the Fall season.
I am dressing my lifestyle with the softer side of everything.  
Incorporating soft hues, gentle lines, muted tones, a variety of textures and flowers!
Often times combining a small infusion of glorious color here and there.
Seasoning my life with quiet moments curled up with peppermint tea, a collection of poems or well written prose.
Extending this gentle, and feminine side of me, to the world around me, which includes
calming and feminine Fall vignettes.


Bohemian Feminine Fall Vignette

This feminine vignette reflects the sparkling Bohemian gal inside of me.
I placed an orange crinkled velvet pumpkin inside a 
fluted brass pot, then added merry white flowers along the sides.

This basic white cow creamer embellished with flowers was just the perfect touch to this
Bohemian Fall vignette, and you will not believe where I found this creamer-Walmart.
Did you know that Walmart is carrying the Pioneer Woman line of cookware-so neat.

Natural Feminine Fall Vignette

Oh goodness, I recall the days when brighter was better, or so it seemed then.
Perhaps it was youth, or having a house full of young children, or the style of the times.
But today, for the natural vignette, just a tad of vibrancy, goes a long way.


Natural wood candlesticks, weathered basket, raffia bows and for a smidgen of color 
orange pumpkins.


Ultra Feminine Fall Glamour Vignette 

I could not resist using my Mother's brooch to adorn this white fabric pumpkin which Linda made for me.
Feminine plus, for this glamourous vignette.


Just because I was in the mood to add an extra dose of femininity, and vintage.
I included this hand crocheted runner and crystal heart.
I placed this delicate collection on top of our antique pine night stand.
My furniture has aged right along with me, and now it is an antique...
does that mean I am an antique too...just maybe...smiles.


Tea Cup and Posies Fall Vignette

When I am not sipping peppermint tea from this delicate dainty polka dot tea cup, I am using it for pumpkins and such.
I enjoy using mirrors to frame a variety of vignettes, the mirror reflects light and captures images in an almost ethereal way. 
Just give it a try sometime, I think you will like it too.



When we move into our new home, I will show how I use mirrors throughout our home to
add light, interest and movement.


Pumpkin and Pearl Fall Vignette

I am enjoying white pumpkins, pearls, and posies on our dresser combined with a natural and minimalistic approach.
I placed the aged porcelain angel on top of a wooden jewelry box to add height to the vignette.



In keeping with the feminine theme, I tucked a crown alongside the white pumpkin in this vignette.
I really don't think that you can much more girly than pearls, flowers and crowns do you?

Once again I want to sincerely thank you, my friends, for your sweet words of genuine comfort, and sincere friendship.
I am home now, and I will be catching up with each one of you throughout the week. 
I am so looking forward to seeing what wonderful, interesting, and inspiring things that you have been doing.

To my new subscribers thank you too, I have been inspired by your kind comments and gentle thoughts.


-I have truly missed all of you!

xoxox


Please Join Me~

French Country Cottage

An Extraordinary Day

Rustic and Refined

Cozy Little House

Love Of Home

Dwellings

Natasha In Oz


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