Sunday, May 15, 2011

April Showers Bring May Flowers

What an appropriate title this is. I believe it rained here in southwest Ohio twenty days in the month of April and we broke the record for rainfall. I am so sick of mud I can't stand it. We've continued to have quite a bit of rain in May but I'm hopeful that won't continue as I love the month of May and am looking forward to getting my tomato plants and some marigolds and impatiens in the ground.

I wanted to participate in the FLORAL challenge for EBEW aka Everybody Every Wear on May 10th but stuff happened and I wasn't able to, so I decided just to take some outfit photos in what I had planned and post them to my blog anyway. I shamefully used our little dog Viggo to increase the cute factor and get more attention that way haha. What can I say wherever we take the little guy he's like a chic magnet.

I just adore the floral pattern and colors in this dress and it gave me an opportunity to wear my new Swedish Hasbeens that I got for 50% percent off at Modcoth during the secret shopper sale a few weeks ago. AND it also gave me the opportunity to show off my winter skin in a whiter shade of pale ;=P Yeah we need to get the boat put in and start enjoying the sun -- if Mother Nature makes up her mind and decides that Spring or Summer - whichever - is here to stay awhile.  Please forgive my messy bun I didn't have time to do anything exciting with my hair.

My darling photographically challenged husband, Rick, took these photos. It continues to be a bit aggravating coaching him from afar and trying to pose at same time but I do believe he's starting to understand my camera and heavy zoom lens and he's getting better at holding it steady and waiting for it to focus before he takes the shot. One of these days I'll be able to afford the $300-500 tripod I need and I'll be able to do it myself. In the meantime he's doing okay at it and I should avail myself of the help because he'll get tired and disinterested soon and then I'll be on my own.

Dress - ModCloth
Swedish Hasbeen shoes - ModCloth (50% off)
Earrings - Kohl's
Bracelets and Necklace - Aunt Charlcia's jewelry box
Sunnies - gas station

Thanks for reading <3. I don't post daily but hopefully soon I'll be able to post more often than once every two week lol. It just is what it is .. I have a lot of responsibilities that take priority over play time ;=P

-Kelley xoxo

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Walk In The Park

I decided to knock off two tasks at once and do an outfit post at same time as a photo op with a special dog who was in visiting for a couple of weeks. The locale for our photo shoot was a gorgeous nature preserve called Charleston Falls and the star of the production was the lovely Savannah, a Belgian Shepherd Tervuren out of my dog breeding program. Savannah is loved and owned by a dear friend Tracy in Montana AND Savannah is Tracy's working partner, a certified Search and Rescue dog. Yes, she has actually been on several searches looking for lost or missing people. Savannah flew to Ohio to be bred to our handsome Czech import male Matti. Her puppies are already spoken for and will be going to working and competitive dog sports homes to do agility, herding, dockdiving and other dog sports as well as SAR work for a couple of them. Anyway, my sweet and funny young friend Claire of Like Spinning Plates has given me a hard time about not posting What I Wore photos, so here you go my dear ... me doing a mile hike with one of my Tervuren in a dress and heels lol PLUS a vigorous game of tug and fetch with Miss Savannah Banana. Amazingly my Jeffrey Campbell shoes did not disappoint as this was their maiden voyage and my feet were not sore anywhere after literally hiking up and down some steep trails. Hot damn I'm impressed. Please note I am showing off my 'Rogue' ala X-Men gray streaks in front. Look long and hard they may not be there much longer lol. My mother will be so happy it really bothers her that I don't cover up my gray ;=D Mothers, gotta love em.

Throw the stick already
The little man, Viggo
Savannah and me

Let's play
Tug or Fetch, either way she's happy

Love these JC shoes 

Savannah on a park bench with my Kaboodle tote

Dress, Tights, Jeffrey Campbell shoes, Cardigan - Modcoth
Jewelry - my mom and late Aunt Charlcia's jewerly box, gifted to me by mom
Belt - from my old clothes and accessories circa late 80s or early 90s

Hopefully it won't take me so long to do another outfit post. The hard part is working out the technical aspects as I don't have a tripod or remote shutter release and my hubbs Rick leaves a lot to be desired in the photography department lol. Getting the above photos with me trying to coach him was a wee bit stressful. Thanks to anyone out there who is reading this and following me. Even if I'm just talking out loud to myself it's okay as I'm having fun ;=P

-Kel xoxo

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Cure for the Common Cold - Part II

In my last post I featured some cute new items picked up at ModCloth to help build a Spring and Summer wardrobe. Of course as fate would have it I got a Modmail shortly after placing that order about a Secret Sale that lasted only a couple of days - maybe Tuesday to Thursday as I recall. They had a couple hundred or more select items at 50% off. My heart started beating really fast lol. I mean, I love ModCloth and check their site out every day. There was no way I could resist perusing the sale. Lo and behold two pairs of shoes I had been coveting and lusting for but couldn't afford (or just had higher priorities) were in the sale - at 50% off - OH MY GOD. It was my chance to get a pair of $260 Swedish Hasbeens AND some gorgeous Jeffrey Campbell sling back peep-toe kitten heels I've liked since last Fall. They had a size 6 in both. I hurriedly plopped them into my shopping cart as I can't always tell at MC what's going to sell out fast. Then quickly explained the situation to the hubbs who rolled his eyes (he wasn't buying it was a one time opportunity) and said okay. I made my purchase with the excitement and anticipation of a little girl getting her first ballet slippers or tap shoes. (Hum, to be honest I wish I had all my old tap shoes I might be inclined to wear them for entertainment on occasion lol.)

The next thing I did was send a note off to my friend Amanda on Kaboodle who has also been lusting for Hasbeens. She is of Swedish heritage so much more deserving than I am but I'll be happy to go toe to toe with her on styling them lol. I thought Amanda was going to hyperventilate over the news and off she went to check out the secret sale. Anyway it all panned out we both got our Hasbeens and some other stuff.  Here are my new drool-worthy shoes ... drool-worthy to me at least and it's my money and taste so that's what counts :=D

Yesiree I am tickled pink you could say. Hopefully I'll get over my insecurities and ineptitude and snap some photos of these shoes and my new clothes with me in them. It's just a little intimidating when the vast majority of fashion bloggers are gorgeous young women! But part of why I want to do this is I think there is a void in the fashion blogging community for more mature ladies like myself and we may be over 40 but we're not dead yet lol.  We like to be stylish too. I just don't want to be one of those middle aged women who dresses like they think they're still in their twenties. I want to be age appropriate but not dowdy. Still struggling in some ways with exactly what I want my style to be at this age. I'm retired from my career of 20 years and have been for some time, so don't need work clothes. Having focused on my family and raising my five kids for so many years I haven't even thought about style or fashion since my late thirties to early forties. I'm finding my way I suppose you could say, having to redefine myself. And I'll admit I don't like getting older lol, but things being what they are, i.e. I AM getting older. I guess I need to figure it all out. lol

Thank you so much to the few folks who check in on this blog from time to time even though I certainly am not a prolific poster. Hope you'll continue to follow along as I develop it and my own style, and hope you'll find some things of interest and enjoyment even if I'm old enough to be most of you ladies' mom :=P I'm always open to suggestions and fresh ideas!

Happy Easter or Passover whichever you celebrate. I'm boiling eggs as we speak for my dogs. Am going to set up an Easter Egg Hunt for them tomorrow should be festive. ^..^


Friday, April 22, 2011

The Cure for the Common Cold - Part I

I would really like to get my blog here going for real but am juggling a ton of things right now and I can't manage to give it attention on a daily basis. One of these days it will happen - but I do have a post for today believe it or not! I've been miserable all week with a really nasty head cold. Some retail therapy kind of did the trick of cheering me up, but alas it did not clear up my stuffy head. A girl can hope some day soon to be able to breathe through her nose again.

Anyway I had NO cute Spring/Summer shoes to speak of so earlier this week I bought two pairs of shoes - a wedge in neutral color and some adorable print booties in white and pink - and a cute little paisley sundress, and a darling pair of cream colored fishnet tights with a design down the middle of outside of leg - so cute. The booties might be a little juvenile looking for me but they are so adorable with the rose print on white background I just love them. I bought all of these items from ModCloth. I'm a very happy camper. Stay tuned to part II of my shopping adventure -- items from the ModCloth's secret sale this week :-)  The email for it went out just after the purchases you see here, but talked to hubbs and well you'll find out later. They had items I'd practically be lusting for at 50% off so what choice did I have? haha


Have a great weekend everyone.

p.s. - I keep messing around with the templates and color scheme of the blog, etc because I haven't really found anything I'm crazy about yet -- so trying things on for size (pun intended). I am totally open to suggestions but right now I don't have time to custom create a banner hence using the stock stuff provided here.

-Kel xoxo

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Getting to Know Me ...

Sometimes I'm a bit slow to follow the pack and do what is reasonably expected, but my motto is better late than never.  Here's more information than you'd want or need to know about me.  This is in response to some surveys that have been floating around encouraging more open sharing about oneself. Now, *why* do we want to share more personal information about ourselves? I can never remember the answer to that one lol. Anyway, in the interest of feeling included I'm answering the survey, doing a little interview with myself I guess you could say. Included are a few photos of some of the people and/or activities in life that mean a lot to me.  Above right is a photo of me taken in our front yard .. you'll see more of this in a 'what I wore' post later.

The next photo up is my darling husband Rick (bearded, which I don't like, so he only gets to be bearded on occasion). He's pictured with our granddaughter Ellie when at a year old (she is now 2 yrs).
Rick and Ellie

You'll see 'what she wore' photos of Ellie from time to time as her mom is turning her into quite the fashionista at not yet 3 yrs of age. She has a wardrobe any girl would envy and she's pretty darned cute to boot!

Next up is a photo of my three daughters, the youngest Hannah and her sisters Whitney and Jess. (Ha yes I was spoofing Woody's movie title). I also have two sons who'll get mentioned from time to time.
Jess, Whit, Hannah

Later in the post you'll see one of my favorite nature/bird photos I've taken of a mama Canada goose and her gosling. It reminds me of Spring as there are TONS of these little pests running around watering holes of all sizes in the Spring but they are SO cute. Finally the last photo is a Belgian Tervuren dog I am the breeder of named Major who lives up North in Michigan as the scenery reflects (his owners live on a lake year around.) Can't wait to get photos of Major in the same venue but this Spring and Summer.

I have owned and raised Belgian Tervuren Shepherd dogs for 18 yrs. Our dogs compete in agility, herding, obedience, etc., and we raise the occasional specialized litter of them to place in working and performance homes (in addition to activities I mentioned their owners do work like Search and Rescue with them.)

This is Not On the Survey ..
Warning, I'm not an absolute, black-and-white answer sort of person. I make a slow decision maker and a lousy judge.  In other words I can't answer one favorite of most things it will involve a list of items lol. I'm fond of many thing. Variety is the spice of life, it really is.

What song always makes you happy when you hear it?
Love Shack (B-52s), Teach Your Children (CSN), Good Day Sunshine (Beatles), Stay Up Late (Talking Heads), Come See About Me & Can't Hurry Love (Supremes), Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes & Pump It Up (Elvis Costello), Red Neck Friend (Jackson Browne).  I would probably give a diff list on any given day, or hour lol.

What was your favorite sitcom growing up?
All In The Family, Family Ties, Flying Nun, Gilligan's Island, Brady Bunch, Leave It To Beaver, Family Affair .. in retrospect if I picked one favorite it would be All In the Family as it was an amazing show for it's time in every way.

What favorite food puts you in a great mood?
A melange of fresh fruit: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, banana, kiwi, grapes, maybe a couple other surprise fruits depending on what looks good at the market -- with cream cheese fruit dip -- lots of cream cheese fruit dip. Yum Yum.

Who's the funniest person you know?
My husband Richard aka Rick. He's never serious, ever. It's like he was born the class clown and he just never stopped being the class clown.  It drives me insane, or already drove me insane but most of the time it highly amuses me -- necessarily as It's much better or me to remain highly amused than worry and fret too much:P

What was the best vacation you ever had?
Two come to mind and I haven't had all that many, well maybe two and a recurring come to mind - most recently husband and I did France for 12 days for a dog show and associated activities plus face to face meetings and socializing with some folks we previously knew only from Internet, that was in 1998; as a teenage child went to Florida every Spring break for a week to ten days and I do miss those days in the sun and on the sand, it's been too long; and as a young child remember going somewhere in the Smokey Mountains where you rode a chairlift to the top of a mountain where there was a staged ghost town and Tony Dowel from Leave It To Beaver (Wally) was there, dressed up in western gear, giving out autographs at the ghost town. lol  I am pretty sure this happened and I didn't dream it:)

Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
Rick, almost always. We are both retired from the rate race, yet we talk to each other on our cells gazillions of times a day lol. I guess he gets lonely, maybe I'm the only one who laughs at his jokes lol. Nah, kids do too, lots of peeps do. I argue with Rick about using cell phone in the house to communicate. I think walking to the next room is perfectly acceptable to communicate with someone.

What is the first thing you notice in the opposite sex?Well, if he is tall, dark, and handsome, that's the first thing I notice. If he has curly or wavy hair and a nice smile, all the better. If he's not tall, dark, and handsome it would be the other traits mentioned I'd notice first, oh and broad shoulders I really like broad shoulders on a guy. Have you seen my husband? Tall, dark, handsome, curly to wavy hair, broad shoulders. lol

Whats your middle name?
That be Lynn. Both my parents are from Eastern Kentucky in the foot hills of the Appalachians. We visited down home almost every weekend when I was young, and there ya'll got two names - first and middle whether in trouble or not. I was Kelley Lynn pronounced: 'kay-lee' 'lee-yun'

What music are you listening to right now?
Not listening to music at the moment. I am watching the movie Stigmata for the millionth time, gotta get my Gabriel Byrne fix since HBO is not currently airing old episodes of In Treatment, then I'm going to watch In the Name of the Father for only the 3rd time, great movie, great cast, great story loosely based on the false imprisonment of the Guildford Four (accused of an IRA bombing in 1974)- great soundtrack for what that's worth. Later tonight when Rick falls asleep might put my headphones on and listen to who knows what. My tastes in music runs the gamut, but I mostly like alternative or classic rock from the Beatles era thru the late 90s. I'm not really up to date on anything more recent unless my kids have exposed me to it, I need to work on that.

What was the last thing you ate?
Sirloin burger, no bun, A-1, American cheese

Who was the last person you hugged?
Husband Rick

How is the weather right now?
Can't remember it keeps changing from lovely, balmy Spring to wintry ick, could be snowing in 24 hours but I think it's in the 50s right now.

Sign of Spring
photo by Kelley Hoffman

3 things you cannot live without?
Aside from the obvious food, oxygen, family, friends and so on .. sunshine, a computer, a TV but maybe I could go without a TV and take a car instead lol.

Favorite song?
Again I have many subject to change on a whim. Right now with Valentine's Day around the corner the following for lovers come to mind: Allison: My Aim Is True (Elvis Costello) , Wild Horses (Stones and I like most covers of it), True Colors (Cyndi Lauper), Old Man (Neal Young), Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (CSN), Wish You Were Here (David Gilmore/Pink Floyd), Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac) , Hurt (love Johnny Cash cover or original Nine Inch Nails), Mr. Jones (Counting Crows), Round Here (Counting Crows), Rain King (Counting Crows), For Everyman & Doctor My Eyes (Jackson Browne), Blackbird, Eleanor Rigby (Beatles), Ruby Tuesday, Sympathy for the Devil, Jumpin Jack Flash (Stones), Roxanne & Every Breath You Take (Police), Sweet Jane, Walk On The Wild Side, I Love Ya Suzanne (Lou Reed).

What are you afraid of?
Death, rejection, public humiliation

Are you a giver or a taker?
Oh I'm about 68% giver and 32% taker lol

What are your nicknames?
Kel, Kels, Kel Bell, Babe, Baby, Mama, Mother, Mimi, Meems

Whats your favorite color?
I don't think I have just one favorite as I love all color in all forms bright, saturated, desaturated, pastel, etc. and I also love neutrals especially all shades of brown from dark to ecru and ivory and off white. I am okay with black, don't have a lot of black.  If I favor colors it's relative to things, i.e. in home decorating I favor blues, browns, whites and creams, yellows, teals, grays. I it's automobiles I favor red and white and blue. If it's clothing I favor jewel tones browns and creams in winters and pastels and white or black or tans in spring or summer. If it's food I like bright colors, orange, green, red, purple.

What are the things you always take with you?
Drivers License, means of paying, cell phone unless I forget.

What did you wanna be when you were a kid?
First a dancer, next a gymnast, then an orthodontist, then a doctor, then a lawyer, then an actress, then a teacher, then stumbled upon a career in computer software development, design, training in the health care industry, now retired.

Are you very sarcastic?
Oh, I'm afraid I'd have to say yes much of the time lol

Do you still have your tonsils?
Yeppers, still get tonsillitis on rare occasions.

What's your latest must have?
Shoes, lately I want many different pairs of Jeffrey Campbell shoes, amongst others, or if I should be aiming higher a tummy tuck rofl. Ain't happenin' unless Rick gets a 'Vette which ain't happenin'

Hottest actor
Recently and currently it has been Clive Owens, but others starting to catch my eye include Sam Worthington, maybe James McAvoy, maybe a couple more who just aren't coming to mind at the moment. I've also always loved Hugh Jackman and Leo DiCaprio as far as hot looks, but one of the best actors has got to be Daniel Day Lewis.

BasqueLaine "Major" - Belgian Tervuren

Best Movie
There are way too many exceptional movies over a long period of time to select just one!  A few of my faves off top of my head and in no particular order are Gangs of New York, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Little Miss Sunshine, V for Vendetta, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Fargo, Burn After Reading, Step-Brothers, Sophie's Choice, Schindler's List, The Big Chill, Best In Show, The Others, Far and Away, Australia, Moulin Rouge, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Mississippi Burning, Babel, A Beautiful Mind, The Quick and the Dead, Gladiator, Lost In Translation, The Godfather, The Godfather II, Children Of Men, The Village, Splice, The Pianist, Tootsie, The Big Chill, Of Mice and Men (Malkovich and Sinise version), To Kill A Mockingbird, Philadelphia, Castaway, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford ,  ... I just need to stop or I'll list great movies forever as I haven't even really touched the whole core of my favorites list  lol.

Show that better never get canceled?
I know they all DO get cancelled as most don't have the longevity shows used to have years ago (like MASH and All In the Family and Seinfeld) but I just found HBO's In Treatment this year on season three and am hoping it comes back next year I enjoy it and am all caught up now. The only other shoes I really watch regularly are American Idol once they get to Hollywood (hate the audition shows) and Dancing With the Stars. Oh, and I like Pawn Stars and American Pickers and Gold Rush or my stupid reality work shows lol.  Season finale of Alaska Gold Rush is tonight so I'll be tuning in to see if they hit a motherlode to recoup their investment of I'm thinking 275K plus make some or if they have just loss their asses in Alaska lol.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Jeffrey Campbell Lita Shag Style Challenge

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! I suppose today is as good a day as any for me to make an attempt at my first blogspot post. Today's topic is shoes! I came across these Jeffrey Campbell Lita Shags while I was busy building lists and adding new products for Spring to my Kaboodle account.  

I thought they were especially interesting, so I threw down the gauntlet and offered a "style challenge" to my friends over at Kaboodle to see what they could come up with as workable fashion solutions for the Lita Shag for late Winter or early Sprning or eve Summer. Here is my original Blogazine post over at Kaboodle Who Can Make It Work? Seriously!?.  While the design is distinctly in the Lita family the furry nature of these JC beauties is a bit unique from the typical Jeffrey Campbell fare this late Winter to early Spring.  Anyway, we had fun and below are the results.   

FYI The Lita Shag is available for purchase at Solestruck and Karmaloop for those who might be interested.  It comes in four colors, a creamy white, a tan, a taupe with black, and Limited Edition Black version. The Shag is basically a Lita form with a cute lace up top (upper).  Love it or hate it, the fun lovers who pick up a pair will be sure to get some second looks and some comments, for better or for worse.  So what do you say, would you wear Lita Shag?  I'd like to see them live and in person on someone's feet but I'll be they could be really cute.

This is what they have to say about the Shags over at Solestruck
"Yep we went there. We took the LITA and made it shagtastic!! Crazy, furry, and completely wild, the LITA SHAG is a statement making shoe that only the most ballsy of fashion-fiends will be rocking (and rocking hard we might add)! Love that vintage fur coat? Get some shoes to match!! We could all use a little more SHAG in our lives. Available in three fabulously furry incarnations. 5" synthetic heel with 2" sole."
The Lita Shag sells for $164.95 for any of the White/Beige, Tan, and Taupe Black. Karmaloop has three three colors plus the Limited Edition Black for $172.00. I guess we'll see within a week or two who really does have the "balls" to take there fur babies out for a ride. So without further ado, since I put forth the challenge to my friends to style some outfits with the Lita Shag I got to be judge. I thought we had some really workable and cute solutions, several as a matter of fact, but I could only choose three and these were my winners (no prizes just recognition and pats on the back). These three were chosen from a larger group, so I gave the rest honorable mention. The entire pool of entries I had to choose from is shown below the winning entries and the award of merit, and the honorable mentions ..

1st Place "Only Fur U" by Chicmom

Only FUR u.
Only FUR u. by chicmom

2nd Place "Beautiful" by Ajohns

Beautiful... by ajohns

3rd Place "Live Laugh Love" by Sweetkristen 

Live Laugh Love
Live Laugh Love by sweeetkristen