Versatile Style by Tracey

Archive for October 2013

I began the Happiness Tools posts to inspire others, but the more I write the more i recognize how much of these are part of my life and may be why I can still report happiness when life gets difficult.  Some of these were conscious choices as I know they bring me joy and others were just happy accidents! 

Linking up today with Pinned it and Did It


Loving this Navy Chevron dress I picked up from No More Rack

Leggings from F21

Today’s first happiness tool is Helping Others,  Studies show 100 hours a year is ideal. While I have never thought about how many hours a year i find this tool helpful to my goal to have a balance in Mind, Body and Spirit,  I know it is a major one for me.    Just yesterday, at my WW meeting a young mom found out I had a blog and asked me for help in finding a style for herself, after years of wering a military unifrom she felt lost.   I loved that conversation and steering her in the right direction and look forward to helping her even more.  It doesn’t have to be about spending money, it just has to be giving of yourself and your time.  There are givers in this world and takers and I for one am a Giver and I get so much more than I give. Try just complimenting someone today1  If you are the boss , trying compimenting your employees for a week and see how it goes!

The stripes are here to stay! Cute, cute, cute.

I added a sweater for warmth to the original inspiration, which is from

Sweet Laundry. 

Giving in terms of money and things is also a part of my everyday life.  I had so much time over the summer thrifitng for my niece.   I also help a single mother friend by thrifting for her and her daughter.  I buy things all year to make their Christmas special as well.   Each purchase throughout the year makes my heart sing as I know the joy it will bring.  I will never forget the year we gave friends $500 at Christmas when they were struggling to pay their water bill.  I even liked on our St. Maarten trip that we delivered coupons to our group that were from the owner of the company to enjoy one actvity on him.  Just going from hotel room to hotel room sliding those under each door made us both giddy and the best thing was that it was the last thing we did on our Anniversary night before calling it a night!  

A lot of us Give during the holidays, but I challenge you to find ways to Help Others through out the rest of the year and see how much joy it brings you! 


Dear Readers, Today’s second Happiness Tool is to Practice Smiling. Research showed that customer service workers  who fake smiled actually worsened their moods , while those who visualized a happy place to smile increased their mood. I recommend if you are a mangager to try smiling at your team as they are working and see what happens.  I believe so much in this tool and want to share a dream I had a few years ago.  I found Laughter Yoga and wanted to become a laughter Yogo Instructor and go around to businesses and start their day off with a session, I know it would be of value and increase productivity. I did this with my two youngest before they went off to school each morning and they loved it!  

A Full Belly Laugh each day is good for the Soul!



I am grateful to my daughter for coming and apologizing to me today, something that is very hard for her to do!!! 

I am grateful that my husband had a break in his work day and  grabbed the three youngest for hair cuts , leaving me home alone to write this post!

I am grateful that as I typed this my intense sinus pressure headache went away! 

I am grateful for this report card of how I am doing to create happiness in my life that is coming out of sharing these posts this week.  

I am grateful that the Spelling program for Connor is really what’s been missing and that he is embracing it fully! 


After a week of Rainy days , I felt inspired to write Tools for Happiness series because

I realize that winter is coming and the lack of sunlight and cold in certain regions can lead to depression.  

The first two posts can be found Here and Here


After 6 weeks of skipping my Weight Watcher meetings due to migraines, sinus headachses and starteing up homeschooling again, I went back today and lost 3lbs.

Social time is definitely an important tool for happiness.  I’ve always said that balance is important and taught my children to work hard and play hard.  I worry that my daughter worked so hard in college, but didn’t balance the social time.  I think this tool alone is among the most importantof them all. Stay at home parents and those who work from home or elderly who are homebound need this more than others , yet are at most risk of not getting enough of it.   Social time makes us better people and is better for marriages and work productivity. It doesn’t have to be expensive, my husband and I have more fun going to a friend’s house and sitting around their fire pit chatting late into the night.

So, Call up a friend you haven’t seen in awhle and make a lunch date or take an elderly parent or friend to a movie. It’s Football Season,  so invite  friends and family to watch a game together or anything else you love to do! 


This corduroy jacket is one I’ve had forever and really love, It has a good amount of stretch in it and is so comfortable!   The dress is by Max Studio and the empire seaming and A-line shape are perfect.  Dooney and Bourke purse was a gift from a dear friend!

The next Tool for Happiness is for you to Go Outside!  Twenty minutes a day in the outdoors is the recommended amount.  I say if you work where smoker’s get breaks, go outside away from them and  breathe in some fresh air.  I read awhile ago that standing barefoot in grass for 10 to 15 minutes a day helps boost your mood, so if your game go ahead and try that!!!  I vividly remember the winter we lived in MA when I came home for Christmas and threw off my coat and went for an hour walk to just soak up some sun. If you are living where winters are tough taking extra care to add in happiness is key. Going outdoors in freezing temps is not the tool for you, but one o fthose special lights to mimic the sun could be very effective replacement. I love that I live so close to some stores and it’s nothing for me to make an excuse to take a short walk for something at the grocery store and it really does feel good.  As a homeschooling mohter, some days this is our salvation!  We like each other better and work more effectively if things weren’t working out. 


Dear Readers , so far we’ve talked about, Gratitude,  Plannning a Vacation, exercise, meditation, sleep, social time and going outside as tools to increase happiness.  Out of those choices how many do you find yourself incorporating in your life.  Or is there one you would like to make a better effort and incorporating.  I must say that out of those I am in pretty good shape since the meditation helped my sleeping.

 Dear Readers, blow up my comments for the day with any suggestions you have for Social Time so others can read and benefit from all the ideas I know you have! 

Tomorrow is Pinterest Inspiration Day and more Happiness Tools so don’t forget to stop by! 


I am grateful that I committed to making it to my WW meeting today.

I am grateful to the boost my WW meeeting gives me- (social time) 

I am grateful for time with my friend after the meeting for thrifitng and a trip to TJ  Maxx.

I am grateful that my son had enough Papa John’s points for a free pizza, so no cooking tonight! 

I am grateful that I am writing these tools for happiness as it is thought provoking to take care of myself! 

Increasing our own happiness really can be done if we take control and make it a priority! 

Yesterday,  i  mentioned Gratitude and Planning a Vacation as the first tools. 


A crsip Cool Day calls for a comfy , cozy sweater bought from Ebay.

We’ve all heard by now that exercize increases happiness and can stave off depression, but the article I found mentioned  that just 7 minutes a day can give the desired results.  I know this is true because on busy days when all I find time for is resistance bands and squats or other days when it’s just  a few Yoga poses and stretches, I do get great benefits. I must say I see  a significant difference than on days when I opt out all together. 


For Petite women, please note with a long sweater I opted for the lower cowboy boots

rather than knee high riding boots.

Another great tool is meditation which reportedly rewires the brain for happiness..,. It just so happens that I started a guided meditaion ( the only kind I can do for my ADD brain), two weeks ago and have had remarkable results.  The one I found was geared to weight loss, as I have yet to kick myself into gear to stop gaining and losing the same 3 pounds and move onto my final 10 goal.   Just ten minutes a day is what I am doing at night , right before going to bed. 


This was the perfect at home look for homeschooling and an afternoon of grocery shopping…

Dear Readers, Today’s third suggestion of a tool for happingess is Sleep,  Something I value immensley and have in fact disagreed with my husband for 20  years on the value of a good night’s rest.  My meditation has resulted in an amazing phenomenon regarding sleep… When my husband’s morning alarm goes off, I’m awake and there is no going back to sleep for this ADD brain, once it fires up it’s working very hard….I’ve had several days  recently where I heard the alarm and then have passed back out so soundly that I don’t feel my husband get out of the bed or hear him getting ready to leave.  I am a light sleeper and would wake up to the slightest movement or noise!  Instead, I have passed out literally waking up three to four hours later…..

Sleep has been studied extensively and 6.5 to 7.5 hours are what is needed. Getting enough sleep supposedly allows us to be less sensitive to negative emotions .  It’s also been proven that managers who regulary get enough sleep usually get more production from their employees. 

More Tools for Happiness tomorow,! 


I am grateful for a good night’s sleep!

I am grateful for a stoppage in the endless days of rain! 

I am grateful for a wonderful conversation with my oldest son!

I  am grateful for Pinterest and finding the blog on Sequential Spelling which is the final thing I needed to undo the damgage due to the school’s lack of teaching phonetic based reading and sequential based spelling!

I am futher grateful for discovering that I can complete four years of the program in just one year and will be done wtih the entire program in two!!!!

I am also grateful that my wonderful son embraced the first lessons today and went above and beyone the expectations, which I love about this child as he never chooses the easy way out! 

With Days and Days of Rain and cloudy, grey skies,  people have a tendency to fight the blues….

As someone who has made a conscious effort to choose happiness, I rely heavily on tools like

the Gratiude Journal I share daily on my blog. 

I researched other ways and one really struck me….

It suggested planning a vacation or trip even if it’s just a small one has a tremendous boost for happiness levels.  

I guess that means I’ll continue to be on Cloud 9 for the entire year between now and the lifetime dream of going to Ireland!  

Linking up today withDC Style 


Dinner out with Friends…. 

I love the beginning of season and weather changing that allows for me to debut new items that I’ve has since July and August…


Debuting the grey faux leather I picked up at the Wislon Outlet store  and the new scarf from ebay. 

I started this outfit with the grey and black , knowing I would pop a color with it and chose the green .

I could do this same outfit changing out the accessories for cobalt, oraange, red, yellow, pink or purple… 


I hope you don’t get sick of my anticpation of the Ireland trip

and how my thinking is revolving around it so much these days….

I mention this because thinking of all the color ways I could mix this outfit up is preplanning

for how to pack for that two week trip. 

Dear Readers, I really like this tool for happiness and know the power of it as I’ve taken several trips in recent years and even one a short drive away to the North Carolina created  months of joyful anticipation for all of us. I’ve seen it in my  two oldest children .My son  recently took a trip to California and my daughter took a small trip to her alma matter.  Just wondering if you my dear readers recognize how this has done the same for you?   If  you have no vacation planned or limited funds, I think the anticipation of even a one day drive to an interesting location in your neck of the woods could have the same results. In fact research showed that planning and not going still had great results. I disagree with that idea as  last months fiasco with my husband’s job meant a huge dent in the possibility of us going on our first ever cruise and that felt terrble and sent me into a real funk!  Ireland trumps the cruise any day, but vacations with my husband’s coworkers are always delightful….

I’ll be including other tools for happiness this next week so stay tuned! 


I am grateful for a weekend of time with friends!  I had two girls days and then a couple night out and it was wonderful!

I am grateful for couple friends where we genuinely love both parts of the couple as in times past we have tolerated one partner but not truly loved them both…LIfe in your 40’s is Amazing!!!

I am grateful that I scored the best hiking boots while thrifting for my Ireland trip- pictures will be posted on Friday! 

I am grateful that my husband is eating healhier and we are both caring about our health and getting our bodies in shape, he’s lost two inches this year and is maintaining it! 

I am gratefuol for Pinterest and homeschooling bloggers who provided exciting new information and helpful insights! 

Pantone may be calling Emerald the color of the season, but

seems like Cobalt is more popular right now!


Spent the day at the mall with a friend and her daughter! 

All the pics for today are by 7 1/2 year old “niece” .  


In front of the Target Red Wall before I took off my Trench coat…

I bought nothing today, can you imagine????


I really love these brown jeans by Diane Gilman with the zippered sides….bought last year and worn a lot!

I also think I forget how versatilve my snakeskin purse can be….

I feel gulilty sometimes that I can’t lead you to my purchases, but as a bargain shopper, most are found on clearance and gone before I can do so…  I hope that my style is inspiring in colors, cuts and combinations that transfer to others. 


Orange Halloween Wall!  

Love that I can take a sheer top and layer it with a jacket to make it more versatile and work for more than one season! 

Dear Readers, i love spending the day with my best friend and her daughter and due to chaos in her life and my homeschooling schedule we’ve gona a month without seeing each other.  I hate that and apparently so did her daughter who privately chastised me and told me I was her mother’s best friend…. Hope things calm down and we can do better going forward as I know that it’s not just about my freindship, I am Auntie Tracey to this little girls as well. 


Okay, obviously the first one has to be spending the day with my friend and her spunky daughter!

I am grateful that the rain died down and I was able to walk across from the Mall to take the little one to a movie while her mother was taking a test for a job.  

I am grateful that my DD cleaned the kitchen for me today since I was goine unitl 8 pm!

I am grateful that my youngest did the homeschooling assignments I left for him.

I am grateful that tomorrow is Friday and the weekend is almost here! 

I am grateful that “my niece” trusts me and told me something she needed to get out and asked me to share it with her mother!  

I did a search on Pinterest for ways to wear Houndstooth after finding these Joe Fresh  skinny cords on clearance

I have to say this print is very versatile and can be worn with any color as an accent! 

I hope my regular readers don’t get sick of me seeing how versatile these are…..

Linking Up with Pinned it and Did it! 


Like my pose in the rain that my youngest took while safely standing on the porch? 

Nature is a beautiful thing!  If it works for a bumble bee, why not for Me?

Feeling particularly silly,  and spunky today, hence the ryhming….

My Pinterest search turned up a lot of skirts, but hey, I am just looking for Inspiration!

Original Photo hails from Aimee at My Pink Life


Just for fun positing my reaction when I first got out there to pose and the wind and rain were hitting my face! 


The flash didn’t go off here and I had every intention of getting a better inside shot, but the day got away from me.

I wish I had taken photos of when I switched out my booties and worke my duck boots for a just for fun jaunt in the rain with my youngest.    We were quite the pair, but it was fun!

Dear Readers, Rain is exptected to last through the entire weekend. My seventeen old keeps hoping the rain will cause flooding and result in school stating late.  It’s happened druing hurricanes before.  I just have plans the next two days to be out and about in this but at least I’ll be styling Fall looks at last!  


I am grateful for the conversation my son had about a paper he needed to write defining one word that had value to him without sounding like a dictionary… He chose Generosity! 

I am grateful that I felt so much better today and actually had a decent amount of sleep

I am grateful that my husband’s early alarm (he’s going to the Y for daily workouts)  didn’t wake me up , as I was already awake…. (not the case on Monday, when I was bolted awake and declared my frustration!) 

I am grateful that despite the strong desire to go back to bed and nap this rainy day away, that my youngest managed to stick with it and homeschool.

I am beyond grateful that my TJMaxx boots were an unsatisfactory color becasue my oldest and I went to the store to return them and then went to JCP for sweaters for him.  It resulted in amazing discussions on fashion, freindships, future planning and just so many topics.  He is so busy with school and work that this is rare and precious!!! 

A huge shout out to Tropical Storm Karen that brought heavy rains yesterday

and left us with temps in the 60’s today!  

A twenty degree drop from sleeveless dress and bare-legs to jacket and boots!


Why not welcome in Fall temps with Teal Skinnnies and New Black Boots….

These pants were clearance buy from JCP online and I love them, the slanted front pockets are perfect for hanging my thumb in….


I really love the addition of this striped ponte knit jacket as it is a great way to add pattern into an outfit. 

In this case I think it helps to lighten up the bright and dark tones of the teal and black.


Feels really great to wear these boots for the first time.  I haven’t taken them off since I put this outfit on today! 

At home, I usually kick off the boots,but loving this moment and making it last! 

Dear Readers. at least I can spare you my singing declaration that Fall is Here, every time I come back in from being outside today!  My kids are use to my nutty behavior and just laugh , not sure if it’s with me or at me, but don’t care either way.  I love being silly and playful and can’t imagine myself any other way… Of course, this is a side to me only my family sees!  I think that the shock has worn off and it has really set in that next year around this time, my boots will be in Ireland!  I have been in a daze since Saturday over this….  Have you ever had a twenty year dream within your grasp and been stunned that it is really happening?

I witnessed a dream in the making like this a few years ago when the owner of my husband’s company gave away a total of one million dollars to his employees that had been there for at least five years.   It was an incredible experience to be a part of a long dream of his .  There is such power in dreams coming true that have been with us for a long while. 

My Mother’s was to take a trip to Scotland, she was so weak and exercized every day to make herself strong enough and made that trip with my younger brother who she named Scott for her heritage. I am always inspired by the memory of  seeing her work so hard to make that happen,  and hearing my brother’s account of how much his legs hurt from all the hills and walking, yet my mother never once complained!  

Some dreams are worth holding onto, so don’t let them go!  


I am so grateful for this blog, as I had no idea when I sat down to write this that talking about dreams would come up! 

I am so grateful for all the blessings and wonderful people in my life.

I am grateful for a wonderful conversation with my daughter today.

I am grateful that during that chat, I took my jewelry all out and reorganized it. 

I am grateful to my mother for her example of unwavering faith and the strength she had because of that faith.

I am grateful that during my trip to Ireland , that I know I will carry my mother with me and be able to imagine more closely what her Scotland trip meant to her. 

I am grateful that we have an entire year to plan for this trip!

Another Day of Temps in the 80’s! 

I decided that I am going to take advantage of this heat wave and take

every opportunity to wear my dresses with bare legs before boot season arrives!


This dress is one from Ann Taylor Loft that I found on Ebay.

This brand is always consistent and I feel confident in purchasing it without having to try things on. 

The Vest is one I just I recently found at Cato and love to pair with dresses  or tank tops.


I am wearing a darker brown lipstick here and rather like it!

This combination of the dress with a denim vest really makes dresses more casual and perfect for a Mom on the Go


The background color in this dress is dark brown, hence the touches of brown in my necklace, belt, shoes and purse. 

Shoes are my Aerosoles mules, such a classic and I love them, easy to walk in…

Dear Readers, I love easy dresses for busy days, just one piece, a topper and accessories makes for a quick outfit. 

When I searched this dress out on ebay, i thought it would layer nicely for winter with my creme moto, brown jacket and a jean jacket.  I could also opt for a long chunky sweater for a less structured cozy look.  

I ordered just such a sweater in the Stone color  from Ebay,  and it’s perfect!  This sweater is very versatile and you may get sick of seeing me in this coming season as I love it so much!  Highly recommend a chunky boyfriend sweater for Fall/Winter.


I am grateful that I didn’t have to take migraine medicine today!!!! 

I am grateful to my youngest who touched my shoulders and saw how tense I was and massaged me!

I am grateful to my daughter for giving the dog a bath.  

I am grateful that I managed to get in a quick walk to the store before the heavy downpour began! 

I am grateful for an amazing opportunity to take a lifetime dream trip next October to Ireland! 

Tags: ,

We are having and Indian Summer

After typing that I wonder is that a politcally correct statement to make these days?  

Linking Up With Visbile Monday!


Layering my Dolman-sleeve sweater over my white dress.

street style                        This is just one of the pins I’ve seen recently with a white dress and black tights. 

I definitely plan on trying this look when our weather cooperates.

What do you think?

IMG_1974I love this necklace I  purchased from Steinmart a few years ago,

My pink sweater was purchased from Metrostyle about the same time frame as the necklace.

I am so glad I went with my gut and ordered thsi swearter in an XS.  

While this is a v-neck and no longer available, Metrostyle does have a newer version, Here.


I have several other dresses that I plan to make multi-seasonal as well and am 

anxiously waiting for the weather to cooperate!  

Dear Readers, I am so ready for this weather to knock it off and get on with Fall.  Can you believe it got to 86 last week? If, I am putting in my complaints,,, I’d like to add the high pollen count that is continuing to make my mornings miserable. I am literally living off migraine meds and two sinus medications these days!  


I am grateful that I have access to medicines that are helping me make it through each day!

I am grateful that my son who always gets sick has managed to steer clear of this round of sinus issues!

I am grateful that my son took his SAT’s this weekend and can now move onto college applications.

I am grateful that my daughter is still not home from her alma matter visit this weekend and is kicking up her heels (she is super goal oreinted and needs to work on balancing play) 

I am grateful for a sense of humor and for that of my children who make me laugh daily! 

October Instyle Magazine showed some new ideas for Mixing and Included in that was Pastels with Zebra Print.

This Amimal Print lover couldn’t resist and ran to my closet immediately to seek out options!


So, starting with Lavender and Zebra.

 What a great way to winterize my lavendar skirt, I could add a jacket , tights and booties .


I’ve done this jacket with a more vibrant yellow, but love it with the softer color here.


When considering pastels. blue can’t be forgotten!


Mint is a very populare pastel this season and works great with zebra!


Can’t imagine doing a pastel this season without including pink!!!! 


I’ve got to say that I never would have thought of pairing these two ,but love the fresh new take on Zebra.

 i will be wearing these looks later in the season .

Dear Readers, I hope you found this as inspiring as i did.  Are you thinking of trying this pastel with Zebra Print?  If so which Pastel color would you choose?    What if you are not an aminal print lover or don’t have zebra print anything?

  Consider another black and white print mixed with a pastel?  


I am grateful for my son’s birthday and the chance to celebrate him and share memories! \

I am grateful to my other children for being so eager to celebrate him.

I am grateful for the nap I took today!

I am grateful for the meditation program I started yesterday.

I am grateful that my migraine situation is getting better, (now to fix the sinus issues and lack of sleeping.. taking caffeine for the migraine messes me up! ) 

I am grateful that I had put these looks together prior to Monday when the migraine stuff began!

I am grateful that my daughter is going back to her college for Fall Festival,this weekend,  a great way to celebrate

retaking her GRE, yesterday!

 (Her scores are high enough to get her into Standford’s PHD program, so keeping my fingers crossed that the schools she applies to choose her! ) 

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