Versatile Style by Tracey

Today our homeschooling group went to see A Christmas Carol and 

I used it as an opportunity to wear a dress, as I haven’t worn as many as I usually do lately..


I thrifted this sweater dress and love it so much…

It’s 30% wool and so warm, making no completer piece necessary…

I thrifted the belt as well… It’s adjustable in the back and very versatile…


The necklace is by Susan Graver via Qvc  that I bought back at the end of September for a statement necklace trend for the season… Of course my thrifty side bought it on clearance and it’s now sold out…

Here are her current offerings for necklaces..


I specifically choose to wear my burgundy boots with this today because

I am a conscientious mother…

My daughter had opted for a deep red sweater dress and her black boots, so I wanted a clear distinction for her sake.  

I get lots of compliments on any of my Just Fab bags, they change inventory fast, so this one is no longer available.  

Dear Readers, it was quite fun to go to downtown Norfolk and see the play today.  I really miss seeing my homeschooler on stage, as he is quite a natural talent and had a bad experience with a theater group and hasn’t wanted to try again.. I hope he changes his mind soon..

And here is my daughter’s creativity… She loves doing fun packages for her youngest brother and carried on the tradition this year in a big way… This one involved help from her middle brother and a skill saw!  


And Connor couldn’t resist mounting him… which of course ended in disaster and his sister had to put it back together…



I am grateful for the homeschooling group and the time and effort for the mother who coordinated our trip.

I am grateful that we made it on time despite us all feeling like we are not great morning people…

I am grateful that my trio of children and I enjoyed a nice lunch together after the play..

I am grateful that we had a funny moment at lunch when the two from college marveled at how they’d been home such a short time as it felt longer, with all we’ve done.  Remember I mentioned Quality Time is high on all our family love languages..

I am grateful that despite my weight gain, that I didn’t feel bad in this look…

I am grateful to supportive kind hearted readers who leave comments.

Thanks for Stopping By!  Have a wonderful Weekend!

Today we ran and finished up the” stocking stuffer shopping”…(say that 3 times fast, lol)

It was a lot of fun hanging out with my 3 youngest children…

When we came home my oldest was waiting for us and hung out until after dinner..


All I knew when I chose this outfit was that I wanted to wear the poncho…

And since the black ponte leggings were so comfortable for bowling yesterday, the grey ones came to mind..

I think this is the first time I’ve worn a patterned top under a poncho… I always do a solid..


Picture taking today was the worst.. my young photographer was distracted and I actually had to reprimand him…

Who can do that then, smile.. and then my 19 year old kicked a soccer ball into the shot… 

I gave up doing the third pose…

Dear Readers, Tomorrow (Friday)  we get up very early to go see The Christmas Carol with the homeschooling group. 

I’m excited to be sharing this fun with my 3 youngest….my oldest is feeling sick again… strep has been going around his work..

None of us are morning people these days, so should be fun getting out the door on time..


I am grateful that all my children were here today!  

I am grateful that I ordered the last online presents today!  

I am grateful that my daughter is her fun loving self and carrying on her tradition of doing a special wrapping for her youngest brother… will post pics after Christmas..

I am grateful for the fun, laughter and noise level increasing in my home ( now if only the dog wasn’t more hyper with everyone home, his noises I could do without..) 

I am grateful that my Nico(19) is still getting a kick every time I ask a question and put that tilt in the last word, ( that English sounding habit I picked up from Ireland) 

Today was the home-school bowling group’s Christmas Party

So What to wear for comfort,but festive enough…


I decided for comfort to wear my Old Navy Leggings , thrifted striped tunic and thrifted vest…

To add festive touches, I opted for a red tassel necklace (Burlington) and a Santa Hat…

Truth be told this is my 19 year old son’s hat, because mine is a Pittsburgh Steelers one…


The tote is from Just Fab and what I always carry my bowling shoes in…

The booties are last years version from Payless


I finished it all off with red lipstick… 

I don’t wear it often, but love when an opportunity arises..


I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of my 14 year old photographer and home-schooler.

He is wearing a jacket and pants from Old Navy and shirt and shoes by Vans..

Dear Readers, bowling days are always a good day for a stay at home , homeschooling parent to have adult conversations!  

This week I get to see some of them twice as, some of us are going to see The Christmas Carol on Friday morning..


I am grateful my children are  home and brightened my day.  

I am grateful that my daughter agreed to help me finish wrapping presents for the two youngest…

I am grateful for a great conversation with my supportive and compassionate sister in law.  

I am grateful to  my oldest who reached out by cell phone to my 19 year old son,  while he was tooling around Richmond after having to check out of his dorm, with hours to kill before his sister landed from Boston…( so helpful since my oldest knew I was at bowling and did this all on his own)

I am grateful that my 19 year old was so touched by his brother reaching out to keep him company via the cell.

I am grateful that my son listened to my suggestion of doing some Christmas shopping while waiting and indeed found something for all his siblings…

I am grateful for the love I see between my children ,  a mother’s dream!

The element of texture is important to outfit interest…

I may have taken it overboard in this one! 


The jacket is Joan Rivers from QVC… I actually found this one on Ebay after her passing as I’d had one prior to my weight loss and had always wanted to replace it.  

The pants are corduroy and the top has netting ruffles… I’ve had the top so long I don’t remember where I bought it….


These pants are green though look more teal in the photo..

I love the combo of brown and green together…

Most likely because they are such common in nature.  


Dear Readers, I’ve been fighting the blues and haven’t felt much like blogging or taking photos…

In fact these were taken last week…

Hoping it goes away soon, but may stick around until some shifts happen in my personal life…I also must add that this may also in large part be so strong right now to do hormone changes…

I once allowed myself to slip into a full blown depression , and have vowed to never let that happen again….It really helped me when I read that depression is “anger turned inwards”  That gave me a true sense that I can control it if self aware of it’s first presence..I’ve done so successfully for  years…

I use the happiness tools, you can find at the top of the blog, what works the best these days is journaling gratitude, music, and a therapy light, not to mention looking forward to my children coming home, which happens today!  

I share this with you in hopes that if anyone else is battling the holiday or winter blues, that they too, can take control and use tools that work for themselves..

Does anyone else suffer the winter blues and have you found tools that work to stave it off?  


I am grateful that my dear friend who has been in hell with family court for years, has finally really had her day in court with a judge who was willing to take on the case, who read the reports TWICE and who allowed her to speak all the allegations out loud for the first time!  

I am grateful the my dear friend , thanks to a sponsorship by her church is leaving today for a two week journey to Canada, which she hasn’t been to in almost 8 years.  

I am grateful that my children are both coming home today, and look forward to the noise level increasing in my home with laughter and fun in the kitchen!

I am grateful for home- school bowling today to keep my youngest and I busy having fun instead of watching the day tick by until late afternoon when the two college ones come home…

I am grateful for the sing-songing my youngest has been doing for days….”Ashley and Nicholas are coming home!”  

I love Performance Art!  

This season it looks like I am blessed to have a few events in that realm…

Much to our surprise my husband was given a package from a customer whose company sponsored 

The Virginia Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker, 

which included dinner at Ruth’s  Steakhouse and a night at The Westin.  

Linking up with Visible Monday, so stop by and see other fabulous bloggers mainly the over 40 crowd! 


I used it as an excuse to wear my new grey leather skirt from Metrostyle.

I paired it with a Chadwick’s metallic rose embroidered jacket, which I’ve had for several years , I love it and was thinking  how it’s such a classic that I can hold onto it for even longer.  The hostess at Ruth’s Chris complemented my jacket…

To finish it off I wore a black lace top and my thrifted booties.. I loved this option of bootie as it has a lower vamp, which makes it less chunky and dressier.  


For Jewelry I wore my Ying/Yang onyx and mother of pearl necklace, ( it’s still in stock at my local BJ’s) 

My Earrings are from QVC and are Joan Rivers Pave Inspired

Joan Rivers Italian Inspired Drop Earrings with Pave

My silvertone version is on waitlist..


I took a side view so you could see these great booties, still can’t believe my luck in thrifting these and the fact that I found a very similar low vamp version in grey at Goodwill as well…

Dear Readers, The Ballet was fantastic and our box seats offered an incredible view!  My husband’s fabulous customer service truly paid off and I had a wonderful time… However my migraine kicked back up right after the show… Sunday afternoon during game time for football, again the migraine surfaced…. Definitely PMS related…. Since I don’t sleep well in hotels, I am glad my husband thought to bring a sleeping pill for me and it knocked me right out despite the terrible headache and gave me a full night’s rest!  


I am grateful to the attorney who gifted my husband with his sponsor package.  

I am grateful that I saw the homeschooling mother at the ballet who first began our bowling last year, but had disappeared as she put her twins back into public school… If it wan’t for her initiating our meetup the current group would not exist! 

I am grateful that we knocked out a few Christmas shopping gifts after checking out of The Westin, since it is right across from a mall…

I am grateful that when my migraine came on Sunday, that it was early enough for me to take migraine medicine, if too late I don’t want the caffeine to interfere with my sleep.

I am grateful that the Steelers won, again!   

The last two days I didn’t get photos done despite the fact that I was dressed and went out…

The battery on my phone died and the charger wasn’t in my camera case…

It took me two days to realize it was in the carry-on from the Ireland trip- the only bag not unpacked…

pop of animal


Animal print and cognac accessories , enough said..

Black leggings, chambray shirt, leopard scarf, brown boots and gold watch with pearl earrings


Another option with similar elements.

The Classy Cubicle: Happy Houndstooth {professional, office, work, women, fashion, wear, zara, elie tahari, corso como, sweater, a-line knit skirt, blue suede pumps, heels, fall trend}


Black and white with a pop of cobalt..

Back To #Black by Vivaluxury


Or all black with a pop of cobalt..

A slimming trick! Just about every girl could use this. Wear a form fitting tank top between your sweater and button-up shirt to keep your mid section from looking frumpy. This is especially helpful if the button-up is a bit baggy, as the tank will press and flatten it against your torso, hiding bunched up fabric and the outlines of the buttons.


Have you seen this neat trick?

Wearing a tight tank over a button up blouse to slim down the look of the blouse underneath..

Color combination


Here is a quick cheat sheet on colors to pair togethers?

Dear Readers, Are than any color combos on the cheat sheet that appeal to you? 

I think I’ve done a lot of these, but love the Aqua ones as neutrals and yellow are all that come to mind for me..

Any fun plans for the Weekend? 

I have tickets to The Nutcracker for tomorrow night and I am planning extra bowling practice on Sunday!

I love your comments, so make a bloggers day!


I am grateful that my son’s bump on the head didn’t require stitches..Yes the fun of boys..

I am grateful that my oldest finished his semester this week and is getting a nice break.

I am grateful that I’ve already wrapped about half the Christmas presents, this is not a norm for me,I usually end up getting my daughter to help me as she loves wrapping…

I am grateful my husband continues to bring home consistent paychecks and is on his way to getting a new vehicle that won’t hurt his hip when getting in and out, like his van does..

I am grateful that my dearest friend is being supported by her church and going to make it home for the holidays to Canada!  

I am grateful that my friend’s 8 year old daughter wants Santa to come while they are in Canada, and that Auntie Tracey gets the privilege of creating that magic!  

Today, I went for a very casual look..

It all began with the Aeropostale aztec print sweatshirt…

I bought it on clearance so no longer available..


I simply added a white tshirt, black skinny jeans and

my chambray boots from Ireland…

I would have preferred a more tight tshirt underneath this ,but this is what I have..


This is my wonderful houndstooth coat , bought last year from Burlington.. 

Another wet cold day today… but hey three days in a row with no sunglasses is a treat..


I am going to move the Merry Chirstmas sign closer so it’s in my pics for the Season…


Our morning started off with a neighbor ringing the door knob at 8:30 am….

He had two bags of ornaments similar to the ones on our tree that he’d found in his yard that morning…

They aren’t ours.. so my husband asked around to other neighbors and no one claimed them…

Dear Readers, I ate much better today and craved no carbs or sugar!  Now if only I can keep this up..I swear I am so out of whack for a few reasons… One is just the time of year, and it’s been colder than normal.  I think another thing is missing my mother like crazy… I think the five year mark combined with the Ireland trip and seeing the huge welcoming family greatly increased my sense of loss.  If that wasn’t enough this time of life with menopause approaching wreaks havoc, I went months without a cycle that decided to come back in October while on the Ireland trip… I can make excuses or I can stand strong in my resolve to not let his current weight gain remain or get even more out of control.. So, yesterday, I ordered a Fit Bit to keep me accountable for moving more and of my sleeping patterns.. The sleeping has really been an issue lately… I sleep for 4 hours and am then wide awake… Not one to function on such little sleep, I take a few hours to go back to sleep and usually get another 3 hours.. This means waking up at around 10:30 am… I don’t like that ,but it is what it is… Perhaps exercising more and getting rid of carbs and sugar may put that back in order.. 

Are any of you, my dear readers dealing with weight gain or problems sleeping in this stage of life? Anyone dealt with this and found solutions?  Would love some words of wisdom?   


 I am grateful that my son finally finished his homeschooling after stalling all day..

I am grateful that my daughter got snow at Boston College before she comes home for the holiday. 

I am grateful for fast wonderful protein rich dishes we picked up at BJ’s…

I am grateful that I’ve managed to get a few items for each child that they don’t know about for Christmas..

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