Versatile Style by Tracey

Archive for December 2014

It took me quite awhile to finally find the cognac jacket of my dreams,

which I eventually found at Burlington last season.

I had searched long and hard for the right shade and due to that, will never take this jacket for granted…


I love the greys and orange tones together…


I can’t help, but point out a good hair day…

Such a treat after my day began with terrible sinus pressure..

A nap, hot shower, and meds turned the day around, though!  

Tomorrow I think these days of clouds and rain are going to be behind us…


I might have pulled this top up a few inches for a longer leg line, 

but once again this is something that shows up on the camera and not so much on my mirror….

Is that a halo of light around my head… LOL…


Any day I wear cognac is a good day…

Don’t know that I can ever tire of it and am keeping my fingers crossed

this color way stays on trend next Fall as well..

Dear Readers, this past days of rain and grey skies have been really hard, I am so looking forward to a day when the sun peeks out… Tomorrow we are headed to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. My body aches were much better today, so hopping that means I’ll be up for all the walking…. Last time we went they had a show of Irish step dancers and keeping my fingers crossed they do again…


I am grateful that my sinus pressure went away….

I am grateful for a fun lazy day with my children…

I am grateful that tomorrow the clouds are parting and a sunny day is scheduled!  

                                                           I am grateful that my husband who normally takes this week off work,                                                              is having a successful sales week, (enough to pay off our son’s tuition for next semester!)


Today I went to the mall with my son, to use gift cards 

to complete a few more clothing items to his evolving style.


With it being a colder rainy day, I opted for my new red Poncho, a Christmas present.

I love this deep red color, a color I use to think didn’t work well for me…

I like the addition of the print top underneath, although a plain black top would look great too..
I really like adding either a scarf or long necklace with ponchos to create a vertical line, a trick for us petites…

I had to stand by my favorite tree without touching it due to the wet days we’ve been having..


I would normally have thought of my petite height and

  opted for a pair of heeled black booties , rather than riding boots..

I, however, knew with the body aches

I’d been experiencing.  that I wanted flats today..


I am also wearing my new Cloche Hat, found at Amazon Here..

My favorite stylist extraordinaire, Angie from You Look Fab, 

recently recommended I add a cloche style hat to my style..

Dear Readers, I had a fun day with my son… anytime I get with just one child individually is special. When my son saw me in my new hat, he called me Mary Poppins.. I had to laugh when seeing the photos with the addition of the umbrella..

My body aches came back late in the day,

but not nearly as bad as they’ve been,

so guess I need to just take it easy…

Dear Readers, Have any of you had the bad luck of catching the virus or full on flu going on now? 

Did you get any great fashion items for Christmas?  

Would love to hear from you , please leave a comment…


I am grateful that my son and I had a great day together and that he found 3 great new pieces to add to his style.

I am grateful that my body aches are getting better and are definitely not flu related…

I am grateful that my oldest is definitely feeling much better and is on the upswing from his bout with the flu. 

I am grateful for phone call from my sister in law today, love her so much..

I am grateful that everyone pitched in and helped clean up my kitchen today.

Since I’ve been under the weather, (not the flu, yeah!), 

Here’s 2014 in Review

Linking up with Visible Monday!  


I loved this outfit and it remains my number one look

that bring people from Pinterest to my blog


I had looked for a long time for a cognac jacket and 

was thrilled with the houndstooth pants and cognac.


This was my experimenting with layering 3 pieces and something that I now embrace…

well at least when it is cold enough…

A striped t shirt and lavender checked top added subtle pattern mixing


Evergreen jeans and a dolman sleeved top, what’s not to love?


I love the hoodie look with a blazer…

a fantastic way for this mom on the go to incorporate

 her love of blazers into her casual lifestyle


This striped, thrifted sweater is a strong statement against the neutrals,

I can’t get enough of this sweater and wear it often..


My attempt at boyfriend jeans didn’t go over well, but this is 

my substitute, with jeans two sizes bigger than my size worn

with a very dressy navy hounds-tooth blazer and accents of hot pink.  


I’ve definitely embraced more neutrals this year, but

My heart sings when a bright is present… 


This beaded bottom pleated maxi is a piece I absolutely love and need to wear more,

since it garners such wonderful feelings…

I see this as a sophisticated boho look, which feels right for me..


Another boho look, in which I feel hit the vibe I want for those type looks


Sporty luxe really resonated with me in Spring. 

Floral ked tennis shoes and cargo pants along with a shell top and

quilted sweater hit a good balance of sporty and luxe.

Adding the fedora took it to a boho level too, fun!


A good example of my move towards more neutral looks. 

My second color of the cargo pants..


This embroidered aztec print skirt literally has been in my dreams these past few weeks,

as I think of ways to style it for winter… Of course we’ve had rain so waiting for dry weather..

This was scored from my one and only Golden Tote purchase this year! 


This top was something I added to my style as part of

Get Your Pretty On’s Style Challenge…

I grew to love it and don’t get me started on the Birkenstock trend…

I can tell this was a bowling day, as that tote holds my shoes…LOL…


Another look inspired by the Style Challenge and the new metallic sandals 

I added and grew to see as very versatile for Summer…


This demonstrates 3 new loves,

the peplum top, soft pants and wonderful flat sandals. 


Another look that falls into the Sporty Luxe look,

I fully embraced.

These soft pants received compliments from strangers ever t


This thrifted navy sweater and my cargo pants really got a lot of use in Spring

and every outfit with them became a favorite…


I had resisted the faux tuck , but finally gave it a shot…

I think if I lose the 8 pounds I gained and have held onto,

I might be more apt to do this more often…


The sweatshirt dress and peep toe booties are again

the Sport Luxe trend…

The new purse from Just Fab, has become a favorite.  


Lace and stripes, what’s not to love??


Channeling my inner Punky Brewster…

Styling my new black booties from Ireland


Adding this chunky white sweater and the black hobo purse

really upped my winter style…

Another look that demonstrates my move to more neutrals. 


Winterizing a summer boho kimono

I wasn’t sure about volume over volume, but

Pinterest interest suggests it was a success


I am thrilled to have added a ruana to my style.

I am loving all the ponchos and ruanas on trend now.


The greens and browns always meet my approval.

The mix of texture with velvet, corduroy, ruffles and leather make this even better..

My reaction to Joan Rivers passing was to go on Ebay and replace a velvet blazer I’d had before my weight loss.  

Dear readers, I’ve been having body aches for a few days and feared the onset of the flu from my oldest…I think I can rule that out for now since the aches get worse as the day goes on with movement… that doesn’t coincide with my experience of the flu and body aches… I am just assuming it’s the wet weather on top of all my hard work for the holiday…

I hope you are all well, as there really are a lot of viruses and that darn flu going around!  


I am grateful that I stayed up and watched the last game of regular season, and the Steelers win the AFC North!  ( I was tired and really wanted to go to bed..)

I am grateful that my son’s plans to go to DC fell through as, something wasn’t sitting right with my instincts on this trip. 

I am grateful that my three youngest went ice skating down at the beach, had a wonderful time and made memories.(my daughter loves ice skating the two boys had never been before)

I am grateful for leftovers and a break from cooking!  

I am grateful that my sister loved my frittatas and was heading to the store to get ingredients to make them.

We had a wonderful albeit different Christmas…

With my oldest getting over the flu and pink eye and my brother too sick to come over,

Our Christmas definitely was void of some normalcy..

I was off my game, I didn’t take any pictures of opening presents..


Twas the Night Before Christmas… Presents tucked under the tree and stockings stuffed..


Wearing my traditional Santa Apron… 

Gotta love the orange fuzzy socks and blue slippers..

It was just 8 am at this point…


My allergies were acting up and I can see evidence of some swelling in this photo..

Medicine kicked in and I was free of any symptoms for the day..


My youngest in his new pj’s bottoms and slippers..

I think I didn’t get photos as much as usual today, as my kids all spent the entire day in pj’s..

My oldest came late opened gifts, then slept for a few hours in the living room, woke up gave me a present then left, not sure whether he would be up for coming back for dinner… I set a place and the table, but alas he didn’t come back..

I wasn’t surprised as he really is sick and needed to rest up..


Breakfast Buffet before everyone dug in…I love the flowers my husband brought home , who knew you could get sunflowers in winter..Not that we had winter temps as it was in the high 60’s..

My sister took a plate to my older brother who was too sick to  join us..

She also took him dinner on her way home, so at least I know my sick brother was well fed for the day…

IMG_20141225_111101347 (1)

My husband did take one photo when the guys went out to try Connor’s new compound bow…

IMG_20141225_111101347 (1)

Check out that Bullseye!  


I changed for dinner… 

I even added red lipstick, lol..

This is my new apron!  I love it!  

It’s from Expressions found here…


Yep, I love my new apron!  

My family laughed at my wardrobe change for dinner, but I had fun with it!  

Dear Readers, I hope you all had a wonderful day!  We ended our night, with a 14 slice sampler of cheesecake with each being a different flavor… We huddled around the island trying bites… We each had a bite of 5 kinds before we decided we’d had enough and put it away to finish another night or two… It really was a lot of fun, I missed my older brother in that moment as I know he would have loved it.. 


I am grateful that my oldest felt well enough to at least come by for a few hours and that I surprised him with a sweater he wanted but thought was too expensive and a wonderful fair isle scarf..

I am grateful for a chance to be with my siblings and talk about memories of our parents.

I am grateful that my youngest had some success when trying his compound bow for the first time, 

I am grateful for the weird not traditional Christmas where we were all off our game, with few pictures ,but great conversation and connection. 

I am grateful that I budgeted successfully and my husband will be going car shopping tomorrow to get a vehicle with better gas mileage and one that won’t hurt his hip when getting in and out of it.. 

I am grateful for my husband getting Salesman of the Year and the consistent sales with this new company that has alleviated the feast or famine where I use to fill my freezers and pantry in preparation for the slump the was always around the corner.  He’s been challenged to sell a million dollars for 2015, and the funny part is, it’s very doable based on his track record with this industry.  

I am grateful that I successfully managed my time and had the amazing break on Christmas Eve to recharge my batteries. 

I am grateful for laughter, love and any excuse to spend time all together!  

I am grateful for faith and the reason for the season!  

Merry Christmas!

Dear Readers, I’ve been busy getting things ready for Christmas and forgetting to take blog photos before dark..

I woke up this morning feeling inspired to write a post on Gratitude…

The best benefit to me in starting this blog has been holding myself accountable and publicizing my daily gratitude!

It truly is a gift you give yourself! 

I must also say Merry Christmas , Happy Holidays , Happy Hanukkah! 

I hope you are all filling your souls with family, friendship and the love of the Season!  

Click the quote to see a beautiful Thanksgiving video you can share with your family!

You see I awoke this morning at 5am with about 5 hours of sleep and severe sinus pressure, but my positive personality kicked into gear and I imagined myself as The Little Engine That Could, a book my grandmother bought me and dear mother read to me many times. It  was a lesson I needed and my wise mother was well aware of that need. That thought sparked my initiating the Gratitude post you are reading because I am missing my mother like crazy and am so grateful for the incredible legacy she left behind that guides me in so many ways..

The Best Books Age by Age: Big Kids: The Little Engine That Could (via

Today,  I am cooking up 3 flavors of Frittatas..

.Yes, accommodating ten people means choices.

.In case you are curious my 3 options are 1. spinach, artichoke, mushroom, onion and feta,  2. red & green peppers onions and feta and 3. bacon, onions and sharp cheddar…  Yep, onions in all 3!  

And guess what I forgot to buy… ONIONS… Heading to the store after breakfast and a cup of tea!  

Feta & Vegetable Mini Frittatas.  Only 2 WW Pts+ per frittata.  A great Healthy Choice for breakfast on the go.

I’ve mentioned on Facebook, but now will share with you, that my goal this year is to have all my cooking done early as I usually do it on Christmas Eve and am frazzled by Christmas morning.. This year I set the goal to have a peaceful, relaxing, recharging day for Christmas Eve and I am on target, as long as I muscle through this headache today.. 

What 3 things are you grateful for today?

If you haven’t already embraced daily gratitude’s as a key to happiness ,

this might help.. get you started..

21 Days of Gratitude Printable Prompts #MobilePrint #sponsored

I will probably not do another post until after Christmas, so would love if any of my dear readers would bless me with a comment of something they are Grateful for this season!

Merry Christmas!

And Now for a few Gratitudes from the last few days…

I am grateful for my Nicholas( 19) for being a light in my world and changing out the lightbulbs in my kitchen!  

I am grateful to my daughter for bathing and grooming the dog and to my youngest for helping her…

I am grateful to my two boys for accompanying me on the several grocery trips over the last few days. My youngest even indulged me in a walk in the rain last night when the urge hit me..

I am grateful for the love of dear friends and my blogging community who keep me going with their kindness and wisdom. 

I am grateful that my husband’s hard work was recognized when he was awarded Salesman of the Year!  He totally kicked butt, especially considering that he was in management up until mid August and took 3 weeks off in October!  

I am grateful for wonderful holiday memories and conversations with my children. 

I am grateful for the outpouring of outrage for the loss of two NY officers.  

I am grateful to my youngest who is the first one up, just  came up to me with a big hug and “Morning Mom!”  


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!   

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