Sunday, September 29, 2019

Red River Hiking Paths

We have lived here in Northwest Louisiana since 2002 and had no idea this little nature refuge existed until last Saturday.

We made a real estate road trip and returning into town, noticed the sign to the Red River Nature Reserve.  Being that we enjoy hiking, we drove inside and couldn't believe what we found.  

This large building houses classrooms, offices, a small museum and a gift shop.

We didn't have time to do any exploring but knew we would return.

So, Sunday afternoon while Dick had a choir rehearsal, I took advantage of the alone time for some walking time.

The reserve is a few miles from our home and right on the Red River, which runs north to south and eventually deposits into the Mississippi River down south of us.

I hope you enjoy taking this 3.5 mile hike with me.

It was a beautiful late afternoon on the water, which is still a little bit high after all the flooding a few months ago.

Even these lazy turtles were enjoying the sunshine and slight breeze.


This section of the walking path is shady and very well marked.

There are occasional glimpses of the river through the trees.

One of the signs tells you what things in nature the walker needs to be aware of.  These include poison ivy, uneven paths and critters such as alligators, water moccasin and cotton-mouth snakes.  That last part was a bit sobering.  My imagination concocted all sorts of critters in this over-grown section of moss covered trees and vine covered bushes.

Unbeknownst to me, there is a lake hidden in this part of the river bed.  It is called Lake Caroline.  This was as close as I could get to it but the next trip will give us a much better view.

A portion of the path is along the river levee and a pecan orchard.

How intriguing is this path ahead!  This dark wooded section brought no snakes but a couple large deer ran across the path ahead of me.  That was exciting.

The River Path takes you downward toward the water and the path is more open and the soil is sandy.

The vegetation changes completely, and I was really surprised to find cactus growing here.  It is not typical.

Needless to say, I didn't quite reach the speed limit.

The grounds of the reserve are lovely and inviting to families to spend time outdoors together.

I will go back and yes, I plan to take my man with me for protection.

Who knows what fascinating places might await you just around the corner.  You just need to get out and explore.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Adding Some Cheetah

 This cheetah print classic shirt came from Chico's and can be found at this 

There is so much to like about this shirt from its indiscreet sheen, to its comfort and the fact that it is no-iron. 

I personally like the collar which can be given a sassy turn-up.

Here I am using it as a shirt with a pair of black knit pants.  But, I also like it worn as a jacket.

As another option, I added a black shell and light grey pants.  The sleeve cuff could be rolled up for an even more casual look.

I feel sure this top will find itself being layered with other shells and jackets throughout the fall and even into our mild Louisiana winter.

The shoes are Steven Madden and one of my most go-to's when wearing anything black and/or white/grey.

There may be another animal print item added this Fall, but these will remain my basic safari into the animal kingdom for 2019.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Living with Leopard

This weekend I had a chance to walk through the Dillards Department Store in a neighboring town.  I felt like I was embarking on a safari.  In every direction there were leopard, zebra, tiger, or snake – prints.

There were options from tops, jackets, cardigans, skirts, dresses and even evening gowns.  And, this doesn't include the shoes.

Do any of these strike your fancy?

Animal prints don't have to be the typical black/brown/white colors either.

NIC+ZOE Animal Print Jacket, Main, color, MULTI

This deep purple conservative animal print jacket is a good choice.

STAND STUDIO Fanny Gradient Leopard Print Faux Fur Coat, Main, color, GREEN

Then again, you may prefer to really venture out with something really colorful.

This weekend, I saw a good friend who is one of the most striking women and classic dressers I know, wearing the most tasteful animal print outfit I've seen.  I wish I could show it to you, but a funeral is not the best place to say, "Would you stand there a minute while I get your picture?"

Instead, I will show you one of my new pieces that is simple and fits into my relaxed style.

This cute animal print layer top came from our local Chicos and can be found at this link.  

The sandals are Vaneli and were purchased at Marmi's in Dallas to wear with a gown for my granddaughter's wedding four years ago.  They are a versatile shoe that can dress up or down.

This top is of soft knit and maxes out the word comfort.

Here I paired it with light tan stretch pants and a very simple beaded necklace.  Imagine this cute top with jeans and a vest for a more casual look.

Now, to take it up a notch.

This soft flowing jacket dresses up this otherwise casual top.

Add some gold jewelry and you are ready for a special day or evening occasion.

Tomorrow, I will show you one more top that I feel sure will be another fall staple in my closet.

If you missed yesterday's post, click HERE!

Monday, September 23, 2019

How to Live with Animal Prints

Animal prints are everywhere this fall.  You can't open a catalog or enter a shop without being bombarded with them in all shapes, colors and sizes.

I think we are either turned on or off by them.

Are you one who has resisted getting too involved with animal prints?

Or, are have you openly embraced this fashion and filled your closet with leopard, zebra and spots?

I resisted just about all forms until last year when I found a pair of stretch jeans I didn't think I could do without.

Kinda to my surprise, I have enjoyed them and even carried them over into this fall with a different option.

When I introduced them to you last fall in a series on seasonal transition outfits, I primarily teamed them with this wonderful long white shirt and Croc flip flops.  I have also worn a brown tunic and a black tee with these pants.  Sorry no pics of those.

While shopping in a Chico's Outlet store in Illinois last spring, I found a top I thought would give a totally different look.

The touch of red glitter at the top is fun and on this day, I added a red beaded necklace and earrings.  I think it's cute.

Per my philosophy to not buy any clothing item that can't be worn at least three different ways, this top has been worn with black, tan and red jeans.

This fall, I have added a couple more pieces of animal prints to my wardrobe and I will be showing them to you in the next day or so.

So how do you wear your spots?

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Saturday 9: Candy Man

It is good to be back with the faithful Saturday 9 bloggers today.

Sam asks the questions based on a popular song and we go from there.

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

1) This song is from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder. The movie was remade as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. Which Wonka did you prefer? 

I have only seen the Gene Wilder version so have no comparison.  Since I am not a Johnny Depp fan, I'm pretty sure my opinion wouldn't change.

My granddaughter will be playing the part of Charlie's mother in the play this fall with the North Dallas Performing Arts Theater.  She will be singing the solo, "Cheer up Charlie" and I can't wait to see her perform.

2) In the movie, this song is sung by Bill, the candy store shopkeeper. Think about the last counter person you dealt with. We know that he or she likely didn't break into song, but did you two engage in conversation?

Yes, the last counter person was a sales lady at Chico's this week.  She was very friendly and we did have a nice visit.  No songs - just a spoken conversation

3) The lyrics tell us that The Candy Man can make the world taste good. What's the last thing you ate? Was it delicious, or just OK?

The last thing I ate was the last of the Pumpkin Bread, an early fall gift from a visiting niece.  Out of this world delicious!

4) The most popular recording of this song was by Sammy Davis,  Jr. Sammy was in a horrific car accident when he was 29 years old. His cheek and nose were broken and he lost an eye. That he survived at all left him reflective and after his hospitalization, he converted to Judaism. Do you still worship in the faith you were raised in? 

Yes, my maternal grandfather and my dad were Baptist preachers.  I married a Baptist minister-of-music and we remain faithful and active in a local Baptist Church.

5) Sammy was proud of the honorary college degrees he received because he never formally attended school. As a child, he performed on the road with his father and uncle. In addition to depriving him of an education, that lifestyle kept him from kids his own age. He would later describe his childhood as, "in a word, 'lonely.'" Give us a one-word description of your childhood.

6) Because he spent so much of his youth on the road, living on buses, trains and hotel rooms, he loved eventually having his own kitchen and being able to cook his own meals. This weekend, will you spend much time in the kitchen?

I don't ever spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  I don't mind cooking but it's just not my favorite thing to do.  Our meals are good and balanced but don't require a lot of prep/cooking time.

7) Sammy enjoyed experimenting with clothes and jewelry. What about you? Do you consider yourself conservative in dress or are you fashion forward?

I am conservative although I love pretty clothes and try to stay current on fashion but not trends.  I have a pretty good idea of what looks best on me and I don't branch too far away from that.

8) When he died, Sammy was in debt to the IRS. Do you handle your own taxes, or do you use the services of an accountant?

We use the services of a CPA although I keep excellent records that make her job much easier.
9) Random question: If you had to tell nothing but the truth (not even the tiniest white lie) for 24 hours, do you think you'd get yourself in trouble?

I would be okay unless someone asked me what I thought about something and I had to balance being honest or saving their feelings.

I might end up in a bit of trouble either way.

Happy to be joining Samantha for this week's Saturday 9

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Writing Autumn In My House

"Autumn writes her own poetry, we are merely observers."
Terri Guillemets

As we were expecting several out-of-town guests last week, I put out a few fall items to hopefully take our attention away from the 100 degree temperatures.

The two small pillows were Tuesday Morning finds a couple years ago.  The one in the middle came from At Home and I like the way it ties in the fall colors without being an overload.

My large square copper tray holds an assortment of glittered fruit and pumpkins.

Again, it says "Autumn" without being too much in the orange family and ties in with the other colors throughout my house.

The mantle is a simple composition of color.

I used decorative pics in an existing green arrangement and topped it off with a couple glamorous velvet pumpkins.

My sweet husband brought in a fresh bouquet of golden alstroemeria and it just seemed perfect in this beautiful vase. 

Because I am such a stickler for a continuity of color, I love the way this little antique vase repeats all the colors in the room.

And these candles and candle stands carry out the color scheme as well and balance the flowers on the opposite end.

This side table is the perfect place to show off my small amber glass pumpkins.

The candles inside this metal mesh pumpkin are on a timer and add such a nice glow in the evenings.

The foyer adds a bright spot to entering guests as it is bedecked with an assortment of white fruit items.

The carrot-munching bunny adds a touch of whimsy from his decorative perch.

This beautiful little plate completes the fruit and pumpkin theme in the rest of the house.  It makes me happy!

The side entry also contains touches of fall to welcome our guests.

The front porch wasn't forgotten either.  

Have you already brought touches of Autumn to your home?