Friday Favorites-Holiday Activities

We made it to another Friday! Every year the holiday season seems to pass so quickly. I like to try and slow down a bit and enjoy a few holiday events along the way. I’m sharing some of my favorites; you should be able to find similar events and activities in your community if you are looking for some Christmas cheer!

Downtown Greensboro Festival of Lights-we attended this in 2016 but were unable to go last year, so we are really looking forward to it. Greensboro has a vibrant downtown, which we enjoy visiting year round, but it is really special at Christmas time. They erect a huge tree in one of the parks, and folks gather to sing carols for 20 minutes or so, and then they light the tree. The main drag through downtown is closed to traffic, and there are carolers, hand warming stations, marshmallow roasting, children’s activities, and so much more. The atmosphere is so festive, and everyone is cheerful. Many of the local shops stay open late so you can just browse or do some holiday gift shopping. There are several restaurants and pubs along the way, so we’ll likely stop off for some dinner as well.

Tree shopping-another of our holiday traditions is shopping for the perfect Christmas 🎄. North Carolina has a huge Christmas tree industry, with many tree farms in the mountains, so we like to support an in-state farmer and buy a tree grown right here at home. We have tree shopped in all kinds of weather, from wearing t-shirts to last year when it was sleeting and we had to wear parkas! It is always a fun time though, and really starts to feel like Christmas when we cut the baling and see the tree in all its glory in our living room!

Christmas parties-we are usually fortunate enough to attend a couple of Christmas parties throughout the season. We might be invited to a neighbor’s home, have a work function, or something else. Last year we attended the Christmas party at our pool/tennis club, and really enjoyed it. (That’s the pics below) I am watching for an email with this year’s date, hoping they throw this bash again. We will be attending a work holiday function this weekend at a local country club; really looking forward to kicking back and relaxing a bit in an elegant setting.

And finally, who can resist a few quiet evenings sitting by the fire with hot cider or cocoa, relaxing, enjoying the tree and other decorations, and each other’s company. It’s important to slow down a little and enjoy the season. We rush around so much, shopping, cooking, attending events, wrapping, filling out cards, etc., so we really enjoy these quieter times. It helps for reflection as well, thinking back over the year, looking forward to whatever comes our way in the new year, and remembering the reason for the season, the birth of our Savior.

There are so many more events, activities, and things to do in our community, and yours, that I could go on all day! Even if you already have traditions you enjoy during the season, take a moment to look for something new. Maybe there’s a light display you haven’t been to, or a holiday themed 5k you’ve been wanting to sign up for. Whatever your preference, enjoy what your community has to offer, and enjoy the season!

Thanks for visiting, have a great weekend everyone!

-Beth

Flowing Dress

Happy Wednesday! Hope y’all are having a good week. We are gearing up for several holiday events this weekend, plus the Buckeyes in the Big Ten Championship game. It will be a busy, but fun, weekend.

I wanted to share this loose, flowing dress. I bought it last year from Loft, so the exact one isn’t available, but here and here are a couple of similar styles. I love the bell sleeves and because this dress is loose, it will hide anything you might not want to show.

The dress is a dark (but not navy) blue, and has almost an eyelet-type detailing around the neckline. It is so comfortable, but so stylish at the same time.

I laughed at this picture, because I was trying to showcase how loose the dress is, but instead it ended up looking like I am wearing a tent! I’ve just got to get better at this photography thing. It’s harder at this time of year because it is dark all the time, so I can’t do photos outside and the lighting inside is so awful.

I paired it with these over-the-knee boots by Marc Fisher, in a taupe color. It took me awhile to warm up to this style, but once I finally bought them, I really liked them. It is hard to wear them with jeans because they just pull on with a small zipper on the side, so the hem wants to ride up inside the boots while pulling them on. But with dresses they are perfect.

I also had a helper with this picture! He didn’t understand why I wasn’t taking him for a walk, not that he is spoiled or anything!

This outfit is simple, but still fashionable, and appropriate for a variety of situations. I love dresses, even in the winter (with tights), because they are so simple to style and look put together. I used to hate them, and would only wear a dress to occasions that absolutely called for one. Now I can’t get enough of them and wear them every chance I get. So if you are anti-dress as I was, give them another chance and look around for a style that suits you. I’ll be showing some more of my favorites as the season goes on.

Enjoy your day and thanks for visiting!

-Beth

Friday Favorites-Giving Thanks

Hello, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. For today’s Friday Favorites post, no clothes, accessories, scenery, or other pics. I just want to share a few things I am thankful for.

1)Good health. After watching several loved ones’ health decline, I am that much more grateful for the gift of being healthy. Sure, once you start to get older there are aches and pains here and there, but I am able-bodied, take no medication, and rarely have to see a doctor outside of checkups. I can walk, run, hike, and do all the things I enjoy, which is truly a gift from God. I am thankful for the continued good health of other loved ones as well, and don’t take it for granted.

2)Family. I don’t live near my family, so I don’t see them very often, but I know they are there if I need them and will always have my back.

3)My wonderful husband. He takes such good care of me and has helped us build a solid, happy life together. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

4)My dog. All our dogs have been gifts from God and their unconditional love is something you can’t get anywhere else. Our current dog, Harrison, showed up in our life right when we needed him the most, and he is an amazing source of comfort when times are tough.

5)The comforts of life. I don’t mean this in a materialistic way. But I am so thankful to have a sturdy roof over my head, plenty of food to eat, electricity, running water, heat and A/C, and clothes to keep me warm or cool. So many people don’t have these things, and they are the things I find myself taking for granted the most.

This post could have been pages and pages long, as I am so fortunate and blessed. Our God is so good, to bless someone like me in so many ways. I try everyday to consciously be more thankful, but I get caught up in my own thoughts and sometimes forget to have a grateful attitude.

I hope you take a few minutes over this Thanksgiving weekend to think about what you are thankful for. Enjoy your weekend, and thanks for visiting!

-Beth

Friday Favorites – Turkey Day Fashion!

Happy Friday!  Or should I say, Happy Six Days Until Thanksgiving!  This week’s Friday Favorites is a little hastily written, as somehow the week got away from me and I didn’t have a lot of time to plan it out.  I want to show a few of my favorite styles for Thanksgiving.  Every family or group of friends does Thanksgiving a little differently – some are formal, some are sweatpants-casual, and some are in between.  I have a few ideas below for some great Turkey Day outfits in a range of styles.

This outfit leans more towards the casual side, but is still very stylish AND comfortable, which for a lot of us, is very important on a day with lots of food!  The camo leggings are a few years old, but still very popular and easy to find.  The field jacket is from Old Navy, I featured it in this earlier post.  Throw on a plain t-shirt in a neutral color, or even a cute graphic tee, and you are fashionable, comfortable, and prepared for cooler weather or potentially being too warm and losing the jacket.  I would either wear this with some neutral booties, or for even more comfort, some stylish sneakers, like Converse or Adidas.

I love this cozy vest from Bearpaw.  It looks great with jeans, a skirt, or even over a dress.  The color is so neutral it can go with almost anything.  Some cute booties or even over the knee boots will give this vest a lot of style.  If your weather will be chillier for the holiday, this would be a great choice.

This flannel plaid dress is so stylish and on trend.  Plaid is so big this fall, and I love wearing this with some thick tights or leggings, and riding boots.  You could also do a bootie or even a cute winter boot if it is cold and/or snowy where you live.  The belt also keeps it from looking too oversized and gives it shape.  This is from Eddie Bauer, and the flannel is extra thick and therefore very warm.  I got this last year but they have some similar ones here.  This would “dress” up your look a bit for the holiday. (See what I did there)

This picture didn’t come out great, because I couldn’t find a good dark background.  This is a cream colored sweater I bought last spring on clearance from Loft.  It is a crossover or wrap style, and is so soft and luxurious feeling.  This looks great with some black dress or ponte pants, and black booties, if your Thanksgiving gathering is more dressy.

And just for fun, if your gathering is super casual, here is where you can find some great comfy cozy lounge clothes!

Everyone have a Happy Thanksgiving, wherever it may take you!

Friday Favorites-Blowing Rock

Happy Friday! I hope everyone has had a good week and is ready for the weekend. We have a couple activities planned; we’ll be spending Saturday morning buzzing around Winston-Salem while our car gets serviced at a dealership there, then watching the Buckeyes in the afternoon, and finally wrapping up the day at the Greensboro Swarm game, our local G-League team for the Charlotte Hornets. Whew, I think we might find some time to relax and catch up on chores on Sunday.

In today’s installment of Friday Favorites, I want to share one of my favorite places in North Carolina, Blowing Rock. Blowing Rock is a little town in the mountains right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, and it is absolutely beautiful. There are so many restaurants, a local brewery, and adorable shops with some really unique items. We can be there in 2 hours from our house, so it is an easy day trip, but there are inns and B&Bs also, and we think it would be enjoyable to stay the night sometime.

We stopped first at the Cone Manor. I won’t bore you with a history lesson, but it was the mountain home of Moses Cone, a prominent figure where I live and a textile magnate in the late 1800s. If you have any interest in reading about him, here is the link. The photo below of the manor is a stock pic, but the view from the front is one I took. It is easy to see why Mr. Cone picked this spot; the view from the home is truly breathtaking.

They also offer horseback riding around the many acres of the property. Of course being animal lovers we had to stop and pet the horses and snap a few pics!

After leaving the Cone estate, we proceeded into town. Starving by this point, the first order of business was to find lunch! We have tried a different restaurant each time we have visited Blowing Rock, and this time we opted for Six Pence Pub. The atmosphere was festive and lively, with college football on the TVs and really delicious sandwiches and French fries. Highly recommend if you ever find yourself in Blowing Rock, or the other cities shown on the placemat.

After lunch we headed out to do some shopping, and of course picked up a few unique items to take home, along with a new magnet for hubby’s collection. No afternoon in Blowing Rock, not even a chilly one, would be complete without a stop at Kilwin’s! This is a chain ice cream and candy store, with many locations, but a waffle cone is a tradition for us when we visit BR.

On the way out of town on the parkway, we stopped at a couple of outlooks to snap some pictures. I can never get enough of those beautiful mountain views. The leaves were a bit past peak at this elevation, but it is still magical to look out over the vista. It was a clear day and we felt like we could see forever.

If you ever find yourself with the opportunity to visit Blowing Rock, please do so. Some sections of the parkway do shut down in the winter, so if you plan to visit at that time of year, make sure you check the weather and plan alternate routes. Once there, you will not be disappointed.

Hope your weekend brings you whatever you desire, be it adventure or relaxation. Thank you for reading, stop by next week for another episode of Friday Favorites!