Versatile Style by Tracey

Archive for October 2012

 My prayers go out to all those whose lives are disrupted and in chaos from Hurricane Sandy…We were so lucky this storm was milder when it hit us…

What better to wear after a hurricane blows through, than a pink and purple flowered skirt? Well since I like versatility in my wardrobe, I must confess this is no skirt… it is actually a strapless summer dress that I just threw a chunky knit sweater over.   I am trying to channel Spring since it is the coldest day we’ve had yet. I know for other locations, 47 degrees but feels like 40(according to and gusts of 25mph winds doesn’t sound cold,  but then again… it’s been in the 70’s….

Photos taken by my 12 year old who doesn’t have a very stead hand, but best I could do… Next week’s shots will be by my husband again…

I have to say that I said I wasn’t going to go thrift shopping this week and although I had really great intentions, being cooped up in the house after several raining days changed my mind. I went thrifting after my Weight Watcher meeting yesterday.  It was much needed therapy.  I love having three sons, but don’t love being in the house non stop for days with them.  They just have a relationship that is beyond me and does not include me.  I don’t belong to the club....I love it for them, so not really complaining.  Then again a little whining now and then isn’t bad, is it?

So , what does one purchase on the first cold day of the season, when the wind is blowing and it’s sprinkling?  I don’t know what anyone else buys, but this lady went for the sweaters. I love sweaters, especially cardigans.  I also got a few cute hats.  If you want to see my haul, I post them on Friday’s so come back and visit.

Off to the mall to hangout with another homeschooling mother…

Linked up with and www.raegunswear.blogspot and  go check out what all the lovely ladies are up to…

Gratitude- I am so grateful that my area was not hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and praying for those who were. I am so grateful that I didn’t gain any weight despite my sweet tooth kicking in…I am also grateful to have spent time with a friend yesterday and being on my way to see another one today.  

Outfit Details

Sweater-Wainscott- last year

Skirt/Dress- ADressing Woman-ShopNBC –  bought on clearance 2 dresses for $18.00 (other one is solid black)

Boots- Chadwicks -last year

Purse- Nine West- recently thrifted

Bracelets- ebay from huge lot of vintage bracelets

Necklace slide- Michael’s Arts & Craft store

Coat- Centigrade-QVC purchased last year. ..

As always comments are welcome and appreciated. so please go back to the top of this post


Well, Virginia Beach schools are on a two hour delay today.  We kept thinking we would receive a phone call where they had changed that, but it is 6:30 am and that hasn’t happened.  I just peeked out the back door and it is still raining with some winds.  I guess it all depended on what the flooding situation looks like this morning.

I am not looking forward to weighing in today, as I know that with three days of being cooped up inside, I didn’t stick with my 26 points.  I ate sugar free fudge ice cream bars.  They are only 80 calories each, but when I ate 3 of them in a day, that adds up.  The next day, I ate chocolate chip cookies.  It was bad… There was only 2 left in the package and I opened up a new one to get two more. I know there are extra points built into the program for days like this, but I have never gone into those. I am really disappointed in myself because I have not eaten any sweets in a month and was loving just fruits to curb my terrible sweet tooth.  It could have been so much worse…I could have really gone totally overboard….

I guess this just proves that I do have an addiction to sweets and will have to watch over that more carefully. Food addictions are the hardest thing to beat when you have to eat several times a day.  The Great thing about the Weight Watcher program is that I will face the scale today and get back on track immediately.  I really think the Lifetime Membership where you continue to weigh in after reaching goal weight. It  is a  great resource that I intend to use….

Weigh In Results- I stayed exactly the same, no gain, no loss.  I am so happy about that, I guess my trying to compensate by eating an omelet for dinner after my snacking, did help!  

Gratitude-I am grateful that we only lost electricity for two hours last night.  I am also grateful that if my husband had to be out in the elements that he at least generated a sale out of the day and was safe. I am  grateful that although, I have lots of branches to pick up in my yard, that there was no other damage.  I am grateful today is Weigh in day and i get to get out of the house and see people….

Farewell Hurricane Sandy!  I’ve been saying prayers for those up north as it passes them….

I wrote this post Monday afternoon.  It is now 10:45 pm and our electricity which went out for two hours, just came back on, so posting this now.  Schools are suppose to open 2 hours late on Tuesday. There is flooding everywhere.  One block over from me is blocked off from traffic and road crews are out. Glad my husband got home….

As I have mentioned before, my husband is off only one day a week and is my photographer.  So how much fun is it when that one day is the day that the Tropical Storm is starting to arrive?  Well, there will be no photos in my favorite locations this week….

Outfit I put together to just hang around the house, of course the scarf is something I added to make it more blog-worthy!   I have to note, having selfish children take photos is not fun…. I am having intense sinus pressure headaches and I can see evidence of this in my photo… I really like this sweater and the color combo of pink and orange. Think I need to do to this sweater what I did to a bunch this weekend and throw it in the wash and dryer to shrink it up some.  It worked and helped me to preserve them… This  losing weight thing has all kinds of challenges…

Spent the day hunkered down with the rains pouring in and the winds whipping the trees all around my house.  Also kept waiting for the electricity to go out as it usually does during hurricane season.  Happy to say I am writing this at 4pm on Monday and still have electric, cable, phone and internet!!! I know from Facebook that some are not as lucky.  Apparently the storm is turning more inland and we have not seen the worst of it yet….  I live about 8 miles from the oceanfront, where they are experiencing heavier winds and floods.  A few roads in the city are closed off due to flooding.

Schools are all closed because of the flooding everywhere.  I am grateful for that.  My husband is out working in this.  Why not send out your home improvement sales force on a day when people are all stuck at home?   One of his biggest shows of the year, Home-a-rama shut down Friday, as the tent company came to pick up their tent.  It was the final weekend and a big loss…

Any excuse to hold my Dooney and Bourke, purse, but who am I kidding, I am  stuck inside from a Hurricane…. I also changed out the leggings to black straight leg jeans.  I prefer this look.

This is the first time wearing these Aerosoles that I picked up online on a one day sale for just $19.99.  I got four pairs that day and these are the most comfortable.

Tomorrow is weigh in day at Weight Watchers!  Hope everything is settled down as I am ready to get out of the house!   OOhh, I get to pick out an outfit!  Something to kill the boredom of being stuck inside…..Off to go play in my closet!  Wonder if I will get lost in there and forget to make dinner… It has happened before!

So what does one wear on a rainy, mildly windy day to go grocery shopping in preparation for Hurricane Sandy?  I have to apologize for my posture in these photos, I guess with an umbrella, I tend to crouch…. Posting this Sunday evening as I don’t know whether electricity will go off due to high winds expected tonight. They have already closed school for Monday. 

Don’t know what others would do, but since I love boots, it’s time for boots, leggings and a fun trench coat.  I purchased this trench coat two years ago from Sears.  I saw it in my local store and they didn’t have it in my size.  We had them call another store and they were holding it for me.  Lo and behold as we are leaving my local store, I was handed a coupon by a wandering employee.  So took that baby to the other store picked up my patterned trench and got another 20% off the sales price.  I remember feeling so lucky and loving this coat because I had never owned one that was fun.  I called it my signature coat. I am so blessed to have a patient husband who didn’t mind that we had to drive to another location and cheerfully escorted me on this adventure and shared in my delight.

I am so happy that I finally got a picture where the wind was not whipping my hair into my face and added bonus, I was only holding the umbrella one handed.  It was funny because I didn’t feel that wind kicking up as I was putting groceries in the car or bringing them in the house.  I was just more aware of it during the picture taking….Funny thing about losing weight is that this tunic that I purchased last year is much looser now.  Last year I wore it without a belt and it had a cute A-line look that worked well.  Now, it looked too big, so just added the belt and I like the effect.  I love chocolate brown and embrace it in my wardrobe.

A picture of just the boots is an absolute must.  I just bought these recently and love the dark chocolate color.  My other brown boots are such a different shade.  I have sworn off buying any more boots this year, since I bought so many these last three years.  There are just so many things I will need to replace due to the weight loss and can certainly manage with the fourteen pairs I currently own….Of course, I didn’t swear off until I had acquired these gems….

Gratitude – I am grateful that the electricity is still on and that I was able to watch my Pittsburgh Steelers win today.  I am grateful that the schools are closed Monday and i don’t have to worry about my 16 year old driving in hazardous conditions….

Outfit Details-

Trench- Studio (Sears two years ago)

Boots- White Mountain (BJ’s recent)

Blue sweater dress- Style & Co (Macy’s last year)

Brown Top-BCBG (Burlington Coat Factory last year)

Brown Leggings -Forever 21 – recent

Umbrella- Nautica (BJ’s)

Purse and Belt- Steinmart-last year

As always. comments are welcome and appreciated, just go back to the top of the post to do so…

Don’t forget Visible Monday and the lovely ladies, at

Just have to say so glad today is Friday.  This week I just have not been sleeping well and that makes  for a less focused me…I think I should have just done what my high-schooler does and nap everyday… He literally comes home gets a snack and passes out on the couch in the den.  Tv and conversations all around him don’t matter a bit. I would need to be in the dark bedroom with a fan for noise to sleep and am quite jealous that he can doze off so quickly.  Hope my sleep pattern just goes back to something better next week..

Half price days at the Salvation Army are fun…. They even opened the doors 15 minutes early for us.  Tried on a lot of clothes this time and put back most of them.  It is hard to buy clothes knowing that my weight loss will continue.  It really shouldn’t be this difficult to commit when the items are never more than $3.50.… I will have to replace an entire wardrobe by the time I get to my goal, which is hard since I had leather blazers and things I really love.  As I get close to my goal, I will not be thrifting and just making one replacement purchase per week. What I am looking forward to is after Christmas sales since I should be reaching my goal in January.  Good way to replace major things in an economical way.

I did pick up two skirts and I really like them both.  The brown plaid kilt really appeals to my Scottish heritage.  As a child my mother always made sure I had kilts and I have such fond memories of them.  Of course back then, I wore more the classic navy and green paid or green with a thin line of red and yellow… This brown one really said Fall to me and I can see fitting it into my style. I am happy to say this one is too tight and should be perfect for my goal weight!

In the past two years, I have really embraced color into my style and this yellow plaid skirt really appealed to me..I love the A-line and pleats on this one and can’t wait to wear this one, but need to loose just a tad more weight to feel comfortable in this one..

Can’t go wrong with a snakeskin print dress!  I know I’ve said this before, but I could wear dresses and skirts daily, I just love  feeling feminine, flirty and sassy.  I will probably say this again in the near future….A big thank you to my thrifting partner who discovered this dress.

I styled this dress with a black jacket and boots just for fun, but left out my face, as today I was dealing with migraines and didn’t look so great…

These two jackets were  recent eBay purchases in an effort to get shorter jackets  to work for my petite height..

I love this chocolate color and the fit is great!  It is a duplicate of a green one I wore previously.

This black one is the one pictured above with the snakeskin dress.  I love that it is casual and even has a hood. I think I spent about $15 on this with free shipping.

Last of all is these green reptile Nine West pumps.  I see these for warmer months, but when thrifting you snag the good stuff when you see it and don’t always purchase in season.

I think I will not thrift at all next week to save my budget for a faux black leather moto jacket.  it has been on my wish list and will be a lot better investment.  Of course I will have to buy it tight, in anticipation of my future weight loss. I really can’t wait to hit my goal weight and not have to worry about this anymore.. I am so going to celebrate reaching my goal!

Gratitude- I am grateful for the weekend and a break from blogging and homeschooling.  I am also grateful for the opportunity to relax and hang out with friends. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Comments are greatly appreciated and may be left by clicking on the Leave Comment at the top of this post!

When I put together outfits to photograph, I try them all on and think I am set for the week.  Then I go look at the photos and I am not always pleased with the results.  There really is something so different from the way things look in the mirror and what a camera lens reveals.  How can they be so different?  I am just grateful for this experience and what I am learning from dong this blog.   While I don’t dislike the above outfit.  It is not spectacular.  I love the dress and the jean jacket is one of my favorite pieces.  I think that the dress is in such subtle shades and the jacket helps.  Would love my dear readers to give their views here, just be gentle and kind as it is really hard to put yourself out here like this….Any suggestions to take this to a different more lovable level?

I was really fond of this outfit in the mirror, but think the sweater is one I should hold off on until I lose some more weight.  I think it doesn’t show my curves at all and over emphasizes my bust… This skirt and sweater are ones I thrifted and intended to use as my body shrinks, so will revisit this combo in the next two months….   I really think it has potential… The best part of this photo and why I didn’t just ditch this picture is my purse.  It is a Dooney and Burke, given to me by a good friend.  She asked me if this was my first Dooney and I replied that it will probably be my only one.

I just don’t spend lots of money on purses… Remember I am a stay at home mother of four.  There are a lot better ways to spend that kind of money.  For example contacts for my  16 year old, shoes for my 21 year old daughter in college, pants for my growing 12 year old or even a night out at the movies for my two youngest, my husband and I, not to mention taking my 12 year old homeschooler to the Aquarium.    All real expenses that were very recent…

The great thing is that I don’t feel at all deprived for not spending hundreds of dollars on a single purse.  I am so blessed in my life and that is just something that has never really mattered to me.  Gasp, I know what kind of fashionista am I?  A passion for clothes and a love for styling them is all it takes to be a fashionista  and I have an infectious love of both those.

Gratitude- I am grateful to all my children who are open and share themselves with me.  I am grateful for the breakdown with my son’s theater group that opened up a discussion that allowed me to heal him and bring us closer…

Comments are appreciated, my apologies that you have to return to the top of this post to do so, I would move it to the bottom, but couldn’t find out how….

Tomorrow is A Lucky Find Day with my purchases of the week,  mostly thrifted items…! 

Heading out early this morning to a half price day at Salvation Army Thrift store, hope I find some great things.

Linking up with  and  http;//  so please go see what all the lovely ladies are up to.  

I previously confessed  my love of boots and here is an introduction to my tobacco colored riding boots.  I work hard to get my fashion items as economically as possible,  I added black flat boots last year, but desperately wanted this color, but had no luck finding any at a good price.   So, I waited patiently and after the season was over these babies went on sale.  I think I waited until late May early June as they were online and I just kept checking the availability in my size.  Not only did I wait for them to go on sale, I waited for a coupon as well, which came via my e-mail for an extra $20 of a $60 purchase.  Patience really pays off, but I have to say I am not always that patient.  Just proud to say I succeeded in waiting this time….

Picture taking opportunities exist everywhere!  This was a quick stop at the entrance to a bank as we were on our way to BJ’s to get groceries.  My husband has a great eye an spotted this area… So lucky to have his support in this new venture.

In this next photo, I just buttoned up the sweater to see how it looked. It was an afterthought in the median strip right before getting back in the van… I have to say I like how these colors work together. What luck to have found this purse at Goodwill just two weeks ago!

Gratitude-  I am so grateful for wonderful sunny days, for a supportive husband to take my photos and for days spent with friends and getting a break from homeschooling. 

Outfit Details- 

Sweater- Chadwicks Online- last year

Orange Blouse- Chadwicks Online- last year

Jeggings- Diane Gillman- via ShopNBC- last year

Boots- Chadwicks Online- no longer available

Purse- thrifted Goodwill

Scarf- Catolog Favorites Online- available here

To Leave Comments please go back to top of the post, sorry there is no way I could find to move it to the bottom.  I love hearing from you!

Check out the women linking up today at http://www.realgirlglam.comI started Weight Watchers in Mid- April and when I began I made these as a concrete way to see my progress. Little did I know that my twelve year old would become involved  and want to be the person who switched the stone as I lost weight.

I realized late last week that I had been going to WW ‘s for 26 weeks and had lost 25.4lbs.  That’s almost a pound per week!

Not sure about this weigh in as whenever it is “that time” each month… I tend to not lose…I don’t expect much, so will just go to my meeting and see.

Well the result of my weight in is I actually lost a pound.  I was pleasantly surprised.  We talked about exercise and about just sneaking in 10 minutes a day.  I go on the treadmill three times a week and also keep hand-weights and resistance bands near the couch and do those whenever I watch tv.  I love doing squats during commercials.  I have to say that having this blog and publicly discussing my weight loss journey helps to keep me more accountable.

Gratitude- I am grateful for the compassion of others. 

Outfit Details

Jacket-  Corduroy jacket I’ve had for a while

Skirt- Haute Blue

Grey Top- Glitterscape via ShopNBC

Shoes- Aerosoles Online

Belt- thrifted

Necklace- via Ebay

To Make Comments button is at the top of the post, I checked and couldn’t figure out any way to move it to the bottom.  Love hearing from you, my dear readers!  

Check out Visible Monday at and Monday Mingle at and for thrifters ,


I haven’t really told much about my reason to homeschool my youngest child Connor 12, something I never saw myself doing.

Connor struggled with reading and writing and after being tested, they said he had an unspecified learning disability.  They told me it was very mild and that they would have it kicked by the time he got out of elementary school.  I was caring for my mother who was suffering from dementia during this time frame. I trusted what they said.  I regret that tremendously.

Connor made small advances in reading but his writing did not improve.  I now know that because of a lack of phonetic awareness , he couldn’t spell.  He is a perfectionist and became stubborn about writing, not wanting to make a mistake.  If I wrote what he said he used his huge vocabulary and very complex sentences.  At school he dumbed down his sentences and  wrote a bare minimum of four to five sentences.

The school suggested a Reading 180 program after school three days a week for 90 minutes.  I agreed and he did it.  It wasn’t until his second year of that program when I questioned something in a meeting that they informed me this program was for reading comprehension.  Connor was not deficient there in fact he scored advanced in that area.

Connor didn’t know that phonetics were what he was lacking , but he did know that this program was not what he needed. He became very frustrated and angry. refusing to do homework. refusing to write at school. etc.  Just becoming a child so unlike the delightful optimistic child he had always been.

We got to fifth grade and the idea of sending him to middle school made me sick to my stomach and hence the idea to homeschool was born.  I was scared to death, but knew his best shot at turning this around was with me.

We had wonderful success last year using a remedial reading program designed for 3rd graders to adults.  It is called Back on The Right Track Reading Lessons and can be found here:  It was a very tough comprehensive program that I loved because it was at his intelligence level and not dumb-ed down.  In fact it helped increase his vocabulary.  It was intensive and some days we hated it, but we pushed through.

He now reads and has confidence to tackle any word without hesitation.  His spelling has improved incredibly and his writing is no longer the stressor it had been for years.  Best of all, I gained back the Connor I knew before this all began. I feel like a huge success and want to scream from the mountain tops!  Anyone questioning homeschooling , should just do it!  Don’t know anyone who is that regrets it…. I love how close this journey has made us.

This year we will concentrate on the writing.  I can’t wait to see how this year ends up and what we accomplish.  We have not had a good start up except with math, which he loves and will do for over two hours.  We had an issue with the theater group he has been doing since January,  that greatly damaged him and has infected our homeschooling. Will detail that next week.  The good news is that fiasco  is over and he is ready to move forward with brand new focus.

Gratitude-I am grateful for supportive friends and family who guide me during stressful times and who listened when I needed an ear this past week . 

Outfit Details

Jacket- Molly & Maxx Petite- Thrifted

Top- Will Smith- T. J. Maxx several years ago

Trouser Jeans-Diane Gillman- via HSN

Leopard Slingbacks- Chadwicks online– last year

Turtle Necklace- Vintage Avon – was my mother’s

Hoop Earrings- Whispers Hypo Allergenic –from website

Anyone wishing to leave comments, for some reason mine is at the top of the post and I have researched how to move it to the bottom, with no success. Would love to hear from you and thank you for taking the time to read my homeschooling info.  Happy Monday!  

Switching my days to go thrift shopping was really fun.  I had never been on a Wednesday when they offer 50% off all clothes and they were very busy by the time we arrived shortly after 10 a.m.  There were no carts left and there was people everywhere.  What I loved was that if I was going through clothes on an aisle and caught up with someone, they always apologized and let me move past them to keep on looking.  Everyone was just so courteous.

I have to start with my two very favorites, these patterned pants that I had seen last week.  The black & white ones are 68% cotton and32% silk and just so soft!   They are both fully lined pants by Talbots and together cost me $4.50.

Couldn’t resist styling one pair right away…. Please excuse my poster here, as my son took photo quickly….

This cream sweater is my version of the chunky knit trend without adding bulk.  It is by Worthington and cost me$1.50.

I really love this blouse by Express Design Studio which also cost me a mere $1.50.

This dress has just a very easy swing to it and it is larger size than I wear,but fit me in the shoulders and bust so is loose in the hips in a good way… Such and easy piece to style with boots…

Finally, I found this purse and it just screamed FALL to me.  It is made by Relic and was a whopping $4.

And last of all I couldn’t help styling a black sweater I picked up for just $2.00 and a black polka dot skirt I found at Steinmart on clearance for $6.99.

Check back often to see how I style My Lucky Finds, just know that I am buying them tight fitting and may take a few weeks to see some as I continue losing weight…

Sunday is Football day in my home as my husband is a New England Patriots fan whose game is on at 4 while my Pittsburgh Steelers are on at 8.   Tom grew up in Boston area and came to VA with the Navy.  His big joke is the Navy brought him here and his wife kept him here.  I am a native of Virginia Beach, but both my parents were from Pennsylvania, so hence my love of the Steelers.   Have great memories watching games with my Dad as a child and learning all about the game.  Keep telling my husband he is so lucky he has a wife that loves the game…

Hope everyone has a great weekend filled with something that fills your spirit and refreshes you to prepare for the new week ahead.  

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