Staying cool and still wearing white

Sure, it’s past Labor Day and the rules (not that I follow them) say to put away white clothing after Sept 1st.  Well, I’d maybe I would .. except it’s Hot as Hades in Southern California.

So I decide to put on a cool pair of white pants and a new top from TJ Maxx.  I really like the cut of this top – the neck line isn’t too low for an office environment and the arm holes have plenty of room.  Ever buy a sleeveless top and the bottom of the arm hole scrapes off all your deodorant? I really dislike when arm holes aren’t cut properly!

CK Top | TJ Maxx

CK Top | TJ Maxx

My pants which I’ve featured on the blog before are from Worthington curvy fit at JC Penny.  I’m still carrying a little post South of France chunk (oh, the chocolate croissants!!) and these pants are still comfortable even though I’m less than happy with my current weight.

October is a few days away and I’ve already ordered a few items for Trick or Treat from the Oriental Trading Company.  Can’t wait for Halloween !

Cheers, Monica

Link up with: Nicole (High Latitude Style), Dawn (Fashion Should be Fun)

Arles Colosseum and Amphitheatre, South of France

Two places that my husband and I + the wedding family visited was the Colosseum and Roman Theatre at Arles.  While discussing where we should go at a dinner we all decided on Arles.  I think this had to do with the many ( m a n y ) bottles of chilled Rosé and the fact that everyone was making “Arles” sound like a pirate name .. Aarrrrrlles (oh, you had to be there .. lol).

So we had a caravan of three cars and off we went!

Calosseum at Arles, South of France

Calosseum at Arles, South of France

Once we all found parking we began to walk through the town and as we rounded a corner – there it was.  Of course, the Arles Colosseum is not as majestic or as grand as the Roman Colosseum, but I was pretty impressed with how far reaching the Roman Empire was back in the day.

Description Plaque | Colosseum at Arles

Description Plaque | Colosseum at Arles

Looking up at the ceiling | Arles Colosseum

Looking up at the ceiling | Arles Colosseum

Inside the Halls | Arles Colosseum

Inside the Halls | Arles Colosseum

After the Colosseum, we walked over to the Roman Theatre and oddly enough, I didn’t get a photo of the overall theater, so I’ve borrowed this photo from the Provence and Beyond site.

Arles Theatre | Photo from Provence & Beyond

Arles Theatre | Photo from Provence & Beyond

The photo’s below are my own and detail some of the ruins. I’m always fascinated with the designs that were carved into the stone.

Arles Theatre Ruins

Arles Theatre Ruins

Arles Theatre Ruins

Arles Theatre Ruins

Arles Theatre Ruins

Arles Theatre Ruins

There was so much to see and so little time to see it.  After our touring day, the spouse and I headed back to Monaco which was anything but pleasant.  We rented a cute car called a Mokka by Opal and it had a diesel engine.  When we stopped for gas, it wasn’t apparent which pump was for diesel. The pumps were color coded with no wording.  So my husband ‘assumed’ that diesel was green.  I asked if he was sure and should we look it up, but nooooo .. diesel is green – everywhere – he said.  Ah, not so.

My husband put in half a tank and off we went only he could tell right away that the car had no power.  I did a quick internet search which revealed that GREEN is unleaded!!  Black is diesel. So we get the car off the road and call Avis and after 1 hour the tow truck came.  We went to the tow truck yard and had to wait another 1.5 hrs for a taxi to take us to Monaco.  I’ll tell you, I was exhausted after the ordeal and we simply ordered room service that night for dinner.  The cost of the mistake was $400 (we did buy insurance just not 100% coverage).  So lesson learned.

Other than that, I really loved the South of France and hope to return one day to tour at our own pace.  Maybe one day.

Cheers, Monica

More athletic wear from Lucy + Puma Vikky Suede Sneaker

Ocean Tee & Let's Jet Pants (both size medium) | Lucy

Ocean Tee & Let’s Jet Pants (both size medium) | Lucy

Yes! I was recently tempted by the 30% Flash sale from Lucy.  I purchased two tops and a second pair of the Let’s Jet Pants in Black [ see gray pair here ].  I love these relaxed fit pants. The four way stretch fabric makes getting in and out of the car a total breeze while running errands. These pants are super comfy and the perfect weekend pants.

And … 

These pants come in 1x, 2x, and 3x – so don’t be shy – go get yourself a pair !!

The top that I’m wearing is the Graphic Ocean tee and it was love at first site!  I love the serene ocean view on this tee.  I will say that this tee is fitted with not a lot of stretch, but it fits me just fine.

I also purchased the Savasana Muscle Tank in Sleet Gray/Fossil Collage print.

Savasana Muscle Tank | Lucy

Savasana Muscle Tank | Lucy

On to the shoes …

Vikky Suede Sneaker by Puma | DSW

Vikky Suede Sneaker by Puma | DSW

I’ve been looking for a comfortable pair of casual, non-athletic tennis shoes and went to DSW to try on the Kickstart Leather Sneakers by Keds.  These perforated, leather, lace-ups are sooo cute, but with every step, my heel would slip out the back, so these were a no go.

I also tried on the Converse Chuck Taylor’s and same ordeal with my heel slipping out, plus these shoes are hard as a rock and I’m a gal that needs some sort of cushioned foot bed.

Initially, I over looked the Puma’s because they were black, but decided to try them on anyway. If the sneakers fit, I could always find a pair in white.  Well, turns out they fit perfectly and have a Soft Foam comfort insert which is oh, so comfortable.  I ended up loving the black pair and find these sporty sneakers are cute with athletic wear and a casual pair of jeans.

Now for the fun part:

Since this is an athleisure post, I thought I’d do a few ‘action’ shots that well, turned out terrible, but thought I’d post them for the humor .. any tips on action shots would be greatly appreciated .. lol.

Action!

Action!

Link up with: Alice (Happiness at Mid Life), Nicole (High Latitude Style), Dawn (Fashion Should be Fun)

Cheers, Monica

Chateau des Baux

Chateau des Baux, France

Chateau des Baux, France

Greetings All !  I’m finally back from my recent trip to the South of France where the spouse and I attended a lovely wedding.  We’ve know the bride since she was a 5 year old girl and it was really wonderful to see her get married to the love of her life.  We then toured around with the brides family since we’ve all known each other for 20+ years.

Prior to the wedding, the spouse and I + a friend went to Chateau des Baux which is the remains of a castle built in the 10th century.  This visit was probably the highlight of the trip as visitors are free to climb around the ruins and really let your imagination run wild with how things might have been back in the day of the crusades.

View from the parking lot

View from the parking lot

When visiting the castle, know that you’ll be doing – a lot – of up hill walking, so comfortable shoes are a must.  Luckily, I brought a pair of athletic shoes with me and I was able to climb around easily.

Early defense shield

Early defense shield

Artist plaque of the defense shield

Artist plaque of the defense shield

Top of tower

Top of tower

My husband is standing by the flag, but the rest of the people in the photo’s are random visitors.

View from one of the towers

View from the tower

Early shop keeper

Early shop keeper

Early catapult

Early catapult

My husband in all his humor called this catapult the first pumpkin chunkin’ device.  Yup, funny guy.

I did take a ton of photo’s, but unless you were there .. it really looks like rubble although the castle is well preserved and definitely worth the visit.

Cheers,
Monica

A Pretty Print for Fall

Detail picture of the Paisley Sleeveless Top | TJ Maxx

Close up of the sleeveless top | TJ Maxx

This is the first time in my life that I’m ready to move from summer to fall.  We’ve had a very warm and humid summer due to El Nino here in Southern California and if I can’t have hot/dry weather, then I’ll at least take the cooler temperatures that fall has to offer.

Anyway, I purchased this top a month or so ago at TJ Maxx and thought it would make a nice transition top from summer to fall.  Although I’m a die hard black, white, gray gal, I do like the vibrant colors of this top.  The color combination of orange, brown and blues it just really pretty and a good color palette change for me.

Paisley Top by Artisan NY (TJ Maxx) | Capri Distressed Jeans by Jag

Paisley Top by Artisan NY (TJ Maxx) | Capri Distressed Jeans by Jag | Zipper Heels by Chinese Laundry 

I paired the top with my capri distressed Jag Jeans and zippered heels.  Some days I like to feel a bit dressed up, but still hang on to that casual SoCal vibe.

Are you ready for fall or are you trying to hang onto summer for as long as possible?

Cheers,
Monica

Link up with: Alice (Happiness at Mid Life), Nicole (High Latitude Style), Dawn (Fashion Should be Fun)

Find Similar Items Here:

5 Non Electronic Ways to Keep Yourself Entertained on a Long Flight

I am traveling soon and while I’m looking forward to arriving at my destination, I’m not so fond of the long boring flight. One of the disadvantages of traveling from the west coast to Europe is that we have to fly across the United States and then fly across the pond (aka: the Atlantic Ocean).  I’m a bit jealous of you east coasters who only have to fly across the water to your European destination.

In order to keep myself entertained, I will bring my favorite electronic gadgets + a charger, although I know that these items are only as good as their battery life.  Sure, I can re-charge during our connections, but I don’t want to be jockeying for a position at the public airport charging station.

Here’s how I plan to stay busy on a long flight ~ without relying on electronic devices:

Adult Coloring Book:

Pocket Adult Coloring Book + Colored Pencils

Pocket Adult Coloring Book + Colored Pencils

I found this cute pocket coloring book and small color pencil set at Stein Mart.  Large adult coloring books are all the rage and easy to find.  If you can’t find a pocket version, check out this one on Amazon:  Pocket Kaleidoscopes: Travel Size Mini Adult Coloring Book.


Learn something new:

I saw a segment on Dr. Oz about intermittent fasting and I’m curious to learn more about how delaying food for a certain period of time affects weight loss. Plus, I just love learning new things about health and nutrition.


Solve a few word puzzles:

Variety Puzzle Book | Barnes & Noble

Variety Puzzle Book | Barnes & Noble ( Also found on Amazon, Variety Puzzles & Games Vol 29 )

I found this fun puzzle book in the magazine section of Barnes & Noble.  I looked for a travel size, but there were only single subject books like crossword puzzles (I’m terrible at crossword puzzles) and books on sudoku (ugh, math!).  At least the light weight magazine style puzzle book has a variety of games to keep me busy.


Pick up a few magazines:

Misc Magazines

Misc Magazines

I have always loved reading magazines.  I don’t buy too many magazines anymore as I do prefer to read information on the magazine web sites, but for a trip, I picked up a few of my favorites. When I’m done with the magazines, I will leave them at the gate. I’m sure someone will be happy to flip though a magazine while waiting for their flight.


Start and finish a book series:

The Grisha Trilogy

The Grisha Trilogy

I really enjoy reading books in a series ~ especially if the story line is good.  I’m currently reading The Grisha Trilogy which is the story of a Russian kingdom that is torn by dark magic and a young girl & boy who try to bring peace to the region.  I’ve finished book, Book 1 (Shadow & Bone) and I’m currently reading Book 2 (Siege & Storm).  Book 3 (Ruin & Rising) will probably be tucked away in my luggage.

A little side note:  I’ve been reading young adult books ever since I took a college course in Children’s Literature.  At the time, I was working toward my degree in Liberal Arts to become an elementary school teacher.  It’s not the career path I ended up taking, but I still love reading kids books.


How do you occupy your time on a long flight?

Cheers, Monica


Summer to Fall California Style

Sleeveless Top (Kohl's) | Skinny Jeans (TJ Maxx)

Sleeveless Top (Kohl’s) | Skinny Jeans (TJ Maxx) | Sandals (Clarks)

As summer comes to an end, I’m starting to add richer colors to my closet and since I’m in SoCal, I still have to consider warmer temperatures.  That’s why I chose this sleeveless top from Kohl’s.  This top is a light and breezy rayon, spandex material that will definitely keep me cool while running errands during the day.

The skinny jeans that I’m wearing were a complete surprise find at TJ Maxx.  I’ve never heard of the Miss Poured in Blue brand, but I will say that these jeans are phenomenal ~ especially for this curvy gal who usually can’t get skinny jeans past my knees in the dressing room.

Miss Poured in Blue Skinny Jean (front) | TJ Maxx

Miss Poured in Blue Skinny Jean (front) | TJ Maxx

As you can see, I’m fairly curvy in the hip area, but these jeans smooth over my hips and the waist band fits perfectly ~ no gap in the back.

Miss Poured in Blue Skinny Jeans (side) | TJ Maxx

Miss Poured in Blue Skinny Jeans (side) | TJ Maxx

These jeans also offer tummy control that isn’t restrictive or binding when sitting.

Miss Poured in Blue Skinny Jeans (back) | TJ Maxx

Miss Poured in Blue Skinny Jeans (back) | TJ Maxx

Best of all, these jeans offer butt lifting!!  And who couldn’t use that 😉

I purchased these jeans, in a size 8 at TJ Max for … $19.99… Cheap !!  This was the only pair on the rack and if there were more, I would have purchased two pairs.  While not all TJ Maxx stores will stock this particular brand, you can look online.  I found three pairs on the TJ Maxx site:

And lastly, my sandals are the Florine Sashae from Clarks.  I purchased these shoes for a wedding that I’m attending in September and I’m wearing them a bit to break them in.  Not that these soft leather shoes need much stretching.  I did want to make sure there wouldn’t be any ‘pain’ points while wearing these shoes and I’m happy to report that they are perfect.

I hope you all had a wonderful summer.  I’ve been stepping away from social media to enjoy my summer, hence the lack of posts, but I’m usually more active on Instagram.

Link up with: Alice (Happiness at Mid Life), Nicole (High Latitude Style), Dawn (Fashion Should be Fun)

Cheers, Monica

Getting ready to travel

Samsonite 4 Wheel Luggage | Macys

Samsonite 4 Wheel Luggage | Macys

I haven’t traveled out of the country for business or vacation in about 2 years.  So when I went to assess my luggage for an up-coming trip, I realized that it was time to go four wheelin’.  Yes, the new Silhouette Sphere II from Samsonite has 4 glorious wheels.  And while this technology isn’t new, I’ve been carting around a two wheel suit case for a decade and it’s definitely time to upgrade.

Samsonite Luggage (interior) | Macys

Samsonite Luggage (interior) | Macys

Other than the 4 wheels, there’s nothing too special about this new Samsonite bag other than I’m so looking forward to wheeling this around the airport with ease.

In order to pack with organization, I also decided to purchase packing cubes.  I picked up the Eagle Creek Pack-it cubes from the Container Store. While these cubes were rather expensive, I’m hoping these will keep my smaller items (undies, bras, socks, t-shirts) organized into one neat and compressed block of clothing.

Packing Cubes | Container Store

Packing Cubes | Container Store

Next was a much needed makeup & toiletry bag by Eagle Creak.  I have been using an old bag from Target for years and I’ve never found the darn thing very functional so now seemed like the time to try something new.

Wallaby Toiletry Kit | Container Store

Wallaby Toiletry Kit | Container Store

Wallaby Toiletry Bag (interior) | Container Store

Wallaby Toiletry Kit (interior) | Container Store

I’m going to try to be the minimalist hair, makeup, and skin care gal traveler (ha!).  Ok, maybe not, but my goal is to pack all that I need into this toiletry bag.  I’d like to use the detachable pouch for my makeup.  The detachable bag will travel with me, not in my luggage, in case my luggage “misses its flight”.

I also purchased the Echo Backpack from the Container Store.  This backpack is replacing an old one from REI which is an outdoor adventure type store.  I purchased a backpack that was made from recycled materials, only a few years later, the material started to flake from the inside and I’d have this flaky plastic residue all over my items.  So much for being an eco-conscious buyer.

Anyway, the new backpack is a little more contemporary than sporty and I’m pretty happy with the purchase.

Echo Backpack | Container Store

Echo Backpack | Container Store

Lastly, I purchased this cute owl luggage tag.  I’m hopping this critter will help me spot my black luggage in a sea of black bags rotating on the baggage carousel.

Owl Travel Tag | Container Store

Owl Travel Tag | Container Store

Do note that this post is not sponsored by The Container Store – all items in this post were purchased by me.

Feel free to add your travel tips and tricks in the comment section below.

Cheers, Monica.

Linking up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style

Where to buy:

Small Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Purchase

Amazing Grace Firming Body Emulsion Duo | Nordstrom Sale

Amazing Grace Firming Body Emulsion Duo | Nordstrom Sale

My post today was suppose to be about the new Lucy Walkabout Pants and Graphic Abstract Bar Tee that I recently ordered.  However, those photo’s did not come out all that great and I’ll have to try again later.

So today’s post is about the small purchase that I made at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  I did go to Nordstrom and look at everything, but there really wasn’t anything that I needed so left empty handed which is never a bad thing.

I recently ran out of my Amazing Grace lotion that I purchased on QVC – literally years ago – and thought the Nordstrom sale was the perfect opportunity to re-purchase since it was on sale and Amazing Grace is my favorite Philosophy fragrance. The Amazing Grace duo was $52.00 (regular price, $78.00) and the shipping was free so thought this was a good purchase.

I won’t say that this lotion does any ‘firming’ .. but it sure does smell nice.

Cheers, Monica

Lets Jet Pant by Lucy

Lets Jet Pant (photo from Lucy.com)

Lets Jet Pant (photo from Lucy.com)

In one of my Instagram posts, someone suggested that I check out Lucy for athletic wear.  I checked out the clothing line and signed up for their promo emails.  Their clothing line is perfect for me, not too sexy, not too flashy, and just enough eye catching prints and graphic tee’s to make me go Hmmm, I need that!

So when they had a 30% off flash sale, I decided to try the Lets Jet Pants.  I’m going to be traveling soon and I’d like to wear a stylish, yet comfortable pair of pants on the long flight and I thought these might do the trick.

So let’s chat about the details:

These pants are made of a soft, quick-dry, stretch material which will be so comfortable with all the sitting I’ll be doing on long flights.  I also like the drawstring at the waist for an adjustable fit. The style is a relaxed fit, but forms close to the body.  No baggy sweatpants here.

Lets Jet Pant Hidden Zipper Detail

Lets Jet Pant Hidden Zipper Detail (Pant Color: Fossil) | Lucy

The pants have two pockets and the right pocket has a hidden zippered pocket.

Lets Jet Pant Adjustable Runching at the ankle

Lets Jet Pant Adjustable Runching at the ankle

Lucy clothing is also sold at Dick’s Sporting Goods stores.

Let's Jet Pants in Fossil (Lucy) | Merona Tank (old) (Target)

Let’s Jet Pants in Fossil (Lucy) | Merona Tank, old (Target)

The Lets Jet Pant retails for $89.00 and I got them on sale for $55.30 (Discount + 30% off).  I really want to buy these pants in dove gray, but will have to wait for another sale.  I’m still doing fairly well with my 2016 goal of not buying anything unless it’s on sale.  Well, have slipped here and there, but .. doing well overall.

If you’re in Dick’s Sporting Goods store, check out the Lucy clothing line !!

Cheers, Monica

Linking up with Patti, Not Dead Yet Style

Other cute items from Lucy: