The Soul of Your Style – Violet

Throughout this journey, I’ve been receiving comments and e-mails from many of you stating that you too have had trouble discovering the “soul of your style”.

And so in response, while not an all-encompassing concept, I’ve been working hard on identifying four distinct soul types, and will be sharing them with you over the coming weeks. Along with a text description, I’ve put together inspiration boards, showcasing some of the re-mixable wardrobe essentials each soul type might feel at home in. Once we’ve covered all four, I’ll share a quiz that you can take to match you with your primary soul. – Now of course, you’ll probably see a bit of yourself in each one; we’re all such diverse creatures. But I think it will be helpful to identify your primary soul in order for it to act as a guide as you begin to pare down and rebuild your wardrobe until your clothes reflect YOU – even if that takes years! The fun thing about style? It’s always a work in progress…

Some other advantages to knowing your soul style:

+ To help you break out of a style rut that you may feel stuck in, but does not accurately represent your personality, lifestyle, or age.
+To give you a framework to use when you go shopping for clothes (to help reduce impulse or “it’s so cheap I have to buy it” purchases).
+To help you develop a wardrobe that works more practically together (re-mixable is our goal!)

I hope you enjoy the journey! Let’s dive right in, shall we? Today, we’re going to start out with the most feminine of the souls:


Violet- Is all about vintage feminine beauty

A girly, girl through and through. Violets love pink, lace, sheer/floaty fabric, ruffles, florals, and sweet flowing dresses. She can lean towards boho/hippie styling, and adores layering for a “collected over time” look. Her colors are often soft pastels and neutrals, with a touch of timeless, sophisticated black. She prefers smaller, demure prints, and tone-on-tone texture. Her shoes of choice might be Mary Janes, bowed kitten-moderate height heels, neutral flats, old-fashioned booties, and feminine sandals. She prefers her clothing to fit her body type well, not too tight or too loose, she wants to feel beautiful but not suggestive in her blouses/jackets/dresses. Pearls, diamonds, and cameos are among of her favorite jewelry pieces, and she is most apt of all the souls to wear hair decorations. Violets wear simple, creamy make-up…more sweet than dramatic, leaning toward peaches and mauves instead of bright reds and pinks. Her nighttime attire is similarly feminine: full of lace, satin, and bows.

And now for the inspiration board: If the concept of a remixable wardrobe (one in which the items can be endlessly mixed and matched with each other) is a new one to you, I encourage you to study these boards, and find all the versatility in them. See how the pieces work together. Notice how the accessory collections strategically compliment the majority of the clothing pieces. See how many different outfits you can make!

Soul Style - Violet


Are you a primary Violet?

You can take the Soul of Your Style Quiz HERE.


Refresh Your Life – With Flowers

IMG_6518It’s a month after Christmas…the winter doldrums have set it…and you’re longing for spring…

It may be bleak and blustery outside, but one sure way of breathing the freshness of spring into your home? Flowers! In most parts of the country, your garden (like mine) is still fast asleep- so let’s turn to our local grocery store to help us get our “refresh” on! I love spray roses. You get so many flower heads out of just one bunch, and if you get them when they’re just starting to open, they last a good week or more! My favorite place to buy flowers is, hands down, The Fresh Market. In fact, all of my sister’s wedding flowers came straight off of their shelves! A dozen roses for under $10? Yes please :-). The spray roses I purchased this week were actually only $5 a bunch. So I got two.


Rather than make one large stellar display, I prefer to make up loads of mini bouquets so that every room of the house can have a fragrant touch of beauty. On the bathroom sinks, window sills, nightstands, piano…all little breaths of spring! Mini arrangements work perfectly in my home because the backdrop is  neutral, and my house is casual and small.


If your home is larger and more formally decorated, you may want to focus on larger bouquets in order to make an impact. Mini nosegays might just get lost in a spacious room with grand furnishings.

For some seasonal interest, you could add some evergreens and herbs from your yard to the bouquets:


So go add a beautiful bouquet of flowers to your grocery list this week!
It is certain to help refresh your home and your spirit!


Butternut Squash Tart with Mushrooms

 I can’t sing high enough praises for this delectable side dish (or mostly vegetarian main dish-we’ve had it both ways). It’s been a recent addition to our meal rotation, and since I’m making it again tomorrow night, I thought it was high time I shared the recipe for the amazing flavor explosion that is this tart with you. If you’re looking to add something new and out of the box to your meals to jazz them up a bit, this might be just the thing! Even though it includes making a crust from scratch (super easy, it’s a press-in-the-pan, not a rolled one) the whole dish only takes about 30 minutes start to finish. Originally from Cooking Light, I happily present to you today… my version:


Butternut Squash Tart with Mushrooms

5.6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons ice water

Cooking spray

3 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
2.5 ounces aged Gruyère cheese, shredded and divided (about 2/3 cup)
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 ounces prechopped pancetta
5 ounces presliced shiitake mushroom caps (or wild mushroom medley)
1/4 cup dry white wine


1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. To prepare crust, combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through baking powder) in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined. Combine 1/4 cup oil and 3 tablespoons ice water in a small bowl. With processor on, slowly add oil mixture through food chute, and process until dough is crumbly. Sprinkle dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Quickly press dough into an even layer in bottom and up sides of pie plate. Place crust into the preheating oven, and bake for 10 minutes.

3. To prepare filling, place squash in food processor (do not clean from dough), and process for 1 minute or until squash is finely chopped. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add squash and onion to pan; sauté for 9 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. While squash cooks, combine half of cheese (about 1/3 cup), egg whites, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl; stir in squash mixture. Remove crust from oven; spoon squash mixture over crust, and spread evenly. Return tart to 425° oven; bake 9 minutes.

5. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add pancetta; cook 1 minute or until beginning to brown. Add mushrooms; cook for 7 minutes or until browned. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates. Remove tart from oven. Arrange the mushroom mixture evenly over top of tart; sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup cheese. Return tart to 425° oven. Bake 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese melts.


*Time saving tip: If you’re short on time (or just hate chopping!), you can find both pre-chopped butternut squash, and pre-chopped onions at the grocer.


For a printable version, click HERE.

A Snowy Day

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The Mr. and I are super lucky: when it snows, both of our jobs are cancelled for the day – even though we’re not school teachers! So as you can imagine, we look forward to snow days every bit as much as your average 7 year old :-).

How do you spend your snow days?

Fashion and Fabulous Finds Friday


Fabulous Finds

This post by Becoming Minimalist is a beautiful challenge about forgiveness, and how much it can free your heart.

This week, the “made me laugh” award goes to Twiggy and her story about her sister, some luggage, an escalator, and torn leggings. Go! You won’t regret it!

Here’s a fun weekend project that will brighten up your home and add some freshness to your winter decor. Thanks for the great wheatgrass and succulent idea Sandy!


Presto Change-o

Hello dearies! Today I thought I’d pop in to share a quick little home decor idea with you:

How to change the look of your bedding seasonally without having to buy a whole new bedding set.

Whew. I almost wanted to make that the post title! #GladIWentWithPlanB – So for comparisons sake, let’s first have a look back at what our Master Bedroom bedding looked like for the spring/summer seasons, shall we?

Mmmmk. Let’s break this down: White sheets, crisp white striped euro shams, paisley comforter folded down at the bottom of the bed – standard shams to match the comforter, gray down-alternative blanket, various accent pillows.

So what I ended up doing to cozy up the place a bit, was to layer the comforter (for warmth) under my gray blanket, thus making the blanket into a coverlet. Then I found a nubbly gray plaid throw and pillows to accessorize it with at Target. Easy peasy, right?

Presto Chang-o: my winter bed


Our room contains a variety of whites and off whites, and to make the bed lean a bit more toward  the warm side, the throw/pillows I chose were gray and cream, instead of gray and white. I also purchased some tufted cream euro shams from PB on clearance to finish out the warmer look.

To me, coziness is all about layers of texture. Here’s a close up of a few of the bedding textures in the warm glow of lamplight:


Oh look! A chutie little dog came to model for us! Hello Miss Caroline 🙂


So there’s our little seasonal bed makeover. Not pictured, but essential to all wintery beds? Flannel sheets. Our favorite is micro-brushed flannel. So much softer, warmer, and pill-ball-less than conventional!

Well all this bed talk has me wanting to go snuggle back under the covers again! Ciao for now 😉

Do you change your bedding with the seasons?

Fennel Wild Rice


In need of a rice side dish, but tired of the usual? This is a delicious alternative – bursting with earthy flavor, and surprisingly versatile too! We especially love it with Maple Glazed Salmon.


Fennel Wild Rice

1 small package wild rice
1/2 cup pre-chopped pancetta
1 T evoo
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup reduced fat/sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/4 c chopped fresh fennel fronds
1 T white wine vinegar

Cook wild rice according to package directions. Drain.

Meanwhile cook pancetta in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat 7 to 8 minutes or until browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Saute fennel bulb and onion in oil until softened (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and saute for 1 minute more. Add broth and next 3 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer until tender (about 8 minutes). Stir in rice and pancetta; continue to cook and stir until heated through. Garnish with fennel fronds and sprinkle with vinegar right before serving.

For a printable version of this recipe click HERE. *Originally featured in Southern Living Magazine.