Working It, Holiday Style

Hello and Happy Holidays!
I apologize for not blogging lately, but last week was CRAZY busy! The Hubby finished a class, my vocal students gave a terrific vocal recital, we started sorting out items for moving, AND we went to the Hubby’s Christmas party! Lots of activity going on, to say the least!
Let me tell you about this Christmas party. The invite said “business casual,” but as you can see, people turned it out! Even the guys were weeerking it!
One of my favorite looks of the evening was this Jackie O inspired dress and hat! LOVE IT!
Jackie O

I say these two fine gentlemen make the “Man of Style” section! Check out the kilts!

Man of Style 1Man of style 2

Of course, I can’t leave out my own Man of Style. The Hubby looks sharp in his black Express shirt and hot red tie! I kept it more simple in my INC sweater tunic and H&M faux leather skirt. I got to debut my new rhinestone earrings by Bijou Brigitte (a bargain buy at 4 euro!).

Xmas Party

Xmas selfie

arrow earring

Are you done with your holiday preparations? Ha, I am so not! Still  tree to put up (yep, a slacker) and a few gifts to buy.

However, I hope not to be slacking on future posts! I’ve got a number of new beauty products to try out and review this week, so stay tuned!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

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Forever 21 Jumpsuit – Italian Style

Ready to take Rome at night!

Ready to take Rome at night!

Hello all! Happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans, and a belated Happy Canada Day! Hope you all are enjoying the summer!

Who is loving jumpsuits this season?!! Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I would look good in one of those, but Forever 21 Plus makes great jumpsuits! So comfortable and very affordable (this one was $21.99!). They are perfect for day or night, and I can dress them up or down.

Flower jumpsuit 2

For sightseeing in Venice during the day, I paired the jumpsuit with this flowy JollyChic top.

wht top jumpsuit1

Love the lacy detail in this top!

Love the lacy detail in this top!

Wht jumpsuit 3

While in Italy, I saw quite a few women of all shapes rockin’ the jumpsuit. Floral and tribal prints seem to be the most popular.

Have you rocked a jumpsuit this summer? Show me pics or send me a link in the comments!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Lido sunset

 

 

 

Creating New Traditions

One of the main challenges of being a military family (especially overseas) is finding new ways to celebrate holidays, which normally includes family gatherings. Being in Europe has definitely given us fantastic opportunities to experience Christmas in different cultures (we spent last year’s Christmas in Paris!), though the Hubby and myself can’t help but feel a bit lost without our normal family traditions.

Before we moved to Germany, we’d spent the last Saturday before Christmas at an annual family gathering on Hubby’s mom’s side of the family. This is a BIG family; so large in fact that every year the party is held in a high school gym and recreational center! Lots of food, white elephant gift exchanges, book trading, and time with Santa would fill the day. Then on Christmas Eve, we’d celebrate with the father in law’s family; not nearly as many people, but still boisterous and fun. Many times, Hubby and I would then spend late Christmas Eve with my parents and open gifts with them the next day. My dad, who is a wonderful pianist and organist, would ask me to sing for the morning service at church, and I would usually sing either “O Holy Night” or “Ave Maria” as a tribute to my late mother who always sang those classics.

The Hubby and I haven’t quite created our own traditions yet. We’re still in the first few years of married life together, so every year since we moved has been a bit different in what we do. One thing that we do is make calls home to family, to wish them well and see if they like their gifts. Though hearing their voices is wonderful, there is nothing like seeing faces light up in surprise, or feeling the warm embrace of a “thank you.” It is a bit bittersweet.

With every passing year, I find that Time is the best gift anyone could have or receive. It is fleeting, hard to get, and priceless. Some people may find family gatherings cumbersome or obligatory, which is understandable. However, once that chance to gather is gone, it cannot come back or be replaced.

I hope in the next couple of years, the Hubby and I will be able go home during the holidays and revisit those traditions. I miss my father’s playing of classic carols on the piano, the mounds of paper to clean up after gifts, the silliness of our niece and nephew, the excited chatter of family.

Here’s to a wonderful holiday to all – be it Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa.

Swarovski Christmas Tree

Swarovski Christmas Tree

 

Leggings -Forever 21 Plus, sweaterdress -H&M, wrap -Charlotte Russe.

Leggings -Forever 21 Plus, sweaterdress -H&M, wrap -Charlotte Russe.