Tag Archives: fashion

visible monday ~~ brick walls

HA!  Did you think I hit one?  Nope.  I found one to use as a backdrop for my Visible Monday photo shoot.  Something different, ya’ know?

I am learning a lot from participating in Visible Monday.  Firstly, I am so inspired by the other ladies who post their pictures every week, sharing their creative endeavors in fashion.  I have seen wonderful interpretations of ensembles that I seriously never would have thought of to try.  By extension, I think it is helping me to be more daring… or at least a little less conservative with my clothing.  Secondly, it is challenging me to work with the clothes I have.  This season (Spring/Summer), I have bought only three things (only talking clothing here, people, not accessories– in case anyone is keeping count of those items by chance–I am no saint)  to add to my wardrobe…two dresses and a shirt (also not including 3  very casual shirts for work).  This is good! because I have worked hard at keeping a minimal/capsule type wardrobe and I don’t want to veer from this no matter how inspired I get by other fashionistas.  So, the following ensemble(s) consists of pieces I have had for a few years, however I felt I could add pizzazz with newer or different accessories:

(skirt, sweater–jjill; top–macys; scarf–hermes; shoes–bass; purse–vintage; horn bracelet and mother-of-pearl scarf ring–maitai collection)

I was inspired to dress in these colors because I knew later in the day we would be  on our friends’ boat for dinner.  I simply took a pair of white cropped pants (QVC) and another pair of shoes for relaxing on the decks.  I acclimated well to my marina environment.  This is me slyly devising a plan to  take over the boat.  But it is hard to plan a mutiny without someone getting hurt…or getting authorities involved:

But I WANT to sleep here:

Wake up to this:

and eat on this deck:

Every day!  And I think Master Bliss would make a spiffy captain (just imagine him with a captain’s hat on):

IF he could pry my butt off of this “Queen of Everything” chair/throne:

I have always wanted control and I could so have it here:

I’m really good at pushing buttons.

I mean, come on!  Don’t we look like boat people?  Don’t you think marina life makes us look younger  happier?  I think so.   Look!  We are glowing.  Oh, OK.  The sun was setting but still!

 Our friends said the boat may be for sale in the future.  It got me thinking.  I did some research until I found this advertisement for a boat very similar to theirs just a little smaller.  We would definitely need to sell the house.  And then I would have to change my blog’s name to “swimming my way from bliss”.  Maybe more on those thoughts later.

Go check out Not Dead Yet Style...and have fun!

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under fashion cents, Uncategorized, visible monday

visible monday ~~ patricia smith moon bag

Happy Monday!

The weekend was a pleasant one; we had rain (!), visited with family and spent time on Lake Michigan with some friends who LIVE on a boat (more about that next week).  How cool would that be?  During the winter months they rent a place on terra firma but in the summer they stay in a marina.  I often fantasize about living either on a houseboat or in a vintage Airstream.  People, like these friends, just keep the dream alive.   Hope you had a lovely weekend too.

I wrote the other day about getting one of MaiTai’s Horn bracelets, Senegal.  So of course I have been all about wearing it.  The first night I wore it, I received two compliments on it.  It is such a great accessory.  Interestingly, the day after I got the bracelet in the mail, I also received the Patricia Smith Moon Bag I won on Ebay.  Ummm….yes.  I do remember this post  (and this one) where I “vowed” to buy no more handbags.  I don’t know what to tell you.  And I certainly don’t know what to tell Master Bliss.  Well, actually, I don’t have to say anything any more because he says it before I can, “THIS is the last handbag for…” a week?  a month? a year?  It is a big mystery around here.  Now you understand how inherently flawed I am.

Anyway.  The Patricia Smith Moon Bag is one I have lusted after and stalked on various sites for YEARS.  Typically, they sell for some big bucks ($150-$300) range.  I bid on the one I won and got it for well under $100.  I was in a state of shock–still am.  Patricia Smith Moon Bags are iconic with the 1980s.  She personally painted/designed the interchangeable flaps that make these bags so unique.  You can read more here or here about the history of her company.  Now that I have one, I hope to find more flaps to change out on this bag in the future.  But for now I am insanely happy with the one I found.  And just look how great she looks with the Senegal:

I wore the above outfit the first day I received the bag.  Sorry about the first photo.  Master Bliss and I are still working on his technique and my photogenicableness (cool new word!).  So I am blinking/squinting into the sun without realizing one step forward would have prevented this sun-blanched look.  The following day I wore this with the bracelet and bag:

(a JCPenney shot to remind you of how truly uncomfortable I am doing this.  I need to have a pow-wow with you other Visible Monday ladies to find out how you have gotten comfortable in front of the camera).

Notice I am carrying the Moon Bag as a clutch.  However, there is also a long strap I can use on my shoulder or cross-body (tucked away inside bag).  I haven’t carried a clutch in years…probably since the 1980s.  But I am finding I love it!  I truly didn’t think I would like it.  It makes me feel very 1930s/40s movie star’ish.  All I need are a stylish hat and gloves.  And 30lbs off.  And seamed hose.  And a fitted suit.  And a cigarette (eewww.).  Hmmmmm.  Well, it almost makes me feel 1930s/40s movie star’ish.

Please check out the other lovelies at Patti’s Not Dead Yet Style.  And have yourself an awesome Monday!

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under creative endeavors, fashion cents, Uncategorized, vintage finds, visible monday

visible monday ~~ bridal showers

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a restful weekend.  You will hear more about mine on a later post.

Last week I titled my Visible Monday post as “April Showers“.  This week I share an outfit I wore for another type of shower…my Belle Fille’s  bridal shower.  I was still sick with a bad cold and cough when the day of the shower arrived.  I really just wanted to stay home–my energy levels were zero.  But seriously, this was not an option…obviously.  This was to be Belle Fille’s personal shower–I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  However, finding something to wear was very challenging.  Jeans were out of the question but I didn’t want to be too dressy.  I opted for this:

(jacket, skirt–j.jill; handbag–coach; scarf–no brand/vintage)

I was comfortable and the shot of turquoise livened me up a bit.

Do you own a metallic leather (or pleather) handbag?  I recommend it…they are great neutrals and go with anything.

And my granny shoes worked too.

I wore my “pave” bow ring on my right hand.  I typically never wear rings on my right hand.  I went through a period where I kept buying the “perfect” right hand ring only to never wear it.  I’ve given up.  Once in a blue moon I’ll pull one out for a special occasion.  I am the same way about bracelets.  And yes, my skin is that dry.  Time for a mani.

The shower was beautiful and intimate with only about a dozen close friends.  She got many elegant, tasteful lingerie items.  In my card, after I said the gushy stuff, I told her to look around the room and note that  these women who are showering her with so many gorgeous gifts, all share the same secret…they all know the fluff and lace doesn’t matter because at the end of the day, he just wants you naked. I know she truly values my insight no matter how embarrassing it may be for her.  It’s my job.

The JCPenney Model has recovered from her fall…we think.  She’s a bit unpredictable.  When asked to capture a “mother of the bride” pose, she stomped her foot and declared she was too young to pose for that.  Once reminded that she is under contract and many other JCPenney models would love to be working right now, we got:

Nice. We weren’t overjoyed with this shot or her interpretation of the “mother-of-the-bride”, so we asked that she try it again.  Much to our dismay:

We decided it wise to give it a rest and encouraged her to get some rest.  Perhaps it was a little too soon  for her to work since the “accident”.

Now it time for you to go check out the other ladies at Not Dead Yet Style.  Have a great Monday!

What is your “go to” outfit when you aren’t feeling well but are forced to be somewhere?

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under beauty notes, creative endeavors, Uncategorized

visible monday ~~ april showers

When I was a kid we use to say “If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?”  You remember the answer, right?  Pilgrims.  Oh…hahahaha.  We thought we were so funny and clever every time we shared this profoundness.  This year the flowers have already bloomed in April but I still need to be prepared for the showers nonetheless.  Last week I promised you some “blah” and “blah” is what I will deliver.

I love the ubiquitous trench coat.  I have a long one and a mid-length one that I wear often–mostly when I am more dressy.  But I didn’t have a lighter weight,  shorter length for casual wear.  Last year while thrifting with a girlfriend, I found the perfect one.

(coat: London Fog; scarf: Hermes; jeans: Chicos)

I love the length and that it is single-breasted which tends to work better with my curvy shape.  However, the color is a death sentence for my skin tone.  To combat that I like to wear a scarf (if it is pouring I wouldn’t let this hang out like it is shown) or some piece of colorful jewelry around my face.  Another reason I bought this was for its detachable hood feature.  Curly hair gals love hoods to protect from the frizzies.  But just because we love them doesn’t necessarily mean we should wear them:

EEEEEEGADS!  Not cute but when the torrential deluge is raging outside this is obviously the better choice.

And now let’s turn our attention to our JCPenney Model pose:

MODEL DOWN!  MODEL DOWN!  Evidently it was a little too wet in our “April Showers” bathroom studio for her to handle in her stilettos (I smell lawsuit).  Umm, hopefully she hasn’t hit her head on the bathtub too hard and will back with us in the future.   So sad.  And just when she had discovered her love of reading.

Remember, Visible Monday means I have linked up with Not Dead Yet Style so please go check out the other great outfits for this week.

Do you like trench coats?  How do you wear yours?  Also, I would love any suggestions on how to iron silk scarves.  I recently washed all of mine and they are looking a little limp.

Enjoy your Monday!

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under fashion cents, visible monday

visible monday ~~ pink and grey

Am I over doing the pink a bit?   Next week I promise some blah.  This time I decided to look “smart” by wearing some argyle.  Argyle always makes me think of the 80s…very preppy, collegiate looking.  I found this sweater in a thrift store over the winter.  I knew the grey would match a couple of skirts I had and the plum in it also matched a shirt.  Plus I knew it would look cute with jeans and layered over white.

(sweater: Old Navy~top: Kikapaprika~skirt: Talbots)

(vintage Coach Ergo handbag–love!)

(the silver beads were inspired by the tiffany beads i once saw a friend wearing.  i found these at overstock.com years ago.  i wear them often.  the diamond studs are worn with my fave “jackets”)

 (shoes: Clarks…have had them for years.  get compliments all the time)

Fun little outfit.  Now, dear reader, you must go check out all the other fun outfits at Patti’s Not Dead Yet Style blog for Visible Monday!

And I leave with you with:

The JCPenney Model Reads Series (or “how wearing collegiate attire makes one smarter”):


Photo 1:  Our model is initially shocked to find words in the what she thought was a picture book.

Photo 2:  She struggles a bit with the prose.

Photo 3:  Suddenly starts to realize how words can add so much more meaning to a story.

Photo 4:  Elation and “model smugness” over how brilliant she really is.

(OK, now imagine me laughing at myself hysterically between shots because it is SO silly that I even do this).

Happy Monday!

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under creative endeavors, fashion cents, visible monday

visible monday ~~ black and pink equal casual theater wear

Happy Visible Monday!

When we went to see a Broadway show last Wednesday, I was torn between wearing a dress or slacks.  Master Bliss suggested slacks or a more casual look for the evening.  If we had been going to a Friday or Saturday evening performance, with a fancy dinner ahead of time, I would’ve glammed it up a bit more.  Due to the early arrival of Spring, I have been in a clothing quandry…it is hot but too early to drag all the late Spring/Summer clothes out yet.  So I got creative with what was hanging in the closet and came up with this:

JJill Wearever vest, pants; Talbots top; Talbots scarf with MaiTai MoP scarf ring, vintage Koret quilted handbag.

Pink pearl studs with earring jackets.

Basic slide knot with reversed MoP Grande scarf ring from MaiTai’s Collection.*

I took all these pictures after our evening show event.  I was soooooo tired.  I almost forgot to do the JCPenney model shot for you.  I think this one sums up how I was feeling:

The “I was up too late partying and forgot to take my uppers” pose.

Don’t forget to check out all the other fashionable ladies on Not Dead Yet Style.  Get ready to be inspired.

~~Mistress Bliss~~

*speaking of MaiTai–she did a wonderful “collage” post the other day.  She features different ladies who have bought her products and are having fun wearing them.  I was among the ladies featured this time.  Go check us all out.  Wow.  I am just sending you everywhere today.


Filed under beauty notes, Uncategorized, visible monday

visible monday ~~ the kikapaprika jacket

Happy (Visible) Monday!   Last week was my first time participating in Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday forum.  I will have to admit…it was fun.  I have “met” a few new bloggers as a result and picked up some great style tips along the way.  This week I am featuring my favorite “go to” jacket that I got last year when I hosted a Kikapaprika party (to learn more about Kikapaprika, click here).

I LOVE this jacket.  It is definitely a three season piece for me which is great as I work with my minimalist wardrobe.  I bought it in the “mineral wash” and have found it to be incredibly versatile–wearing it with many different color combinations, with dressier clothes and with jeans.  I even wore it for our family portrait last Fall.  And here is how I wore it yesterday:

This is paired with a black tank (Talbots), a black Wearever skirt (JJill) that has the cutest little ruffle hem (not seen) and my black peep toe pumps (Clarks) that I can not wear out–thank goodness because I love them (in fact they deserve their own post) and can’t imagine my life without them–seriously.  With all the black and grey on such a warm day, I thought it best to wear a little color by adding the turquoise beads (thrifted for $5.00 after I saw this post by Adrienne and decided I needed turquoise beads too).

These are the same earrings I wore last week but without the jackets.

Since my handbag (vintage Coach Willis) was black too, I smartly tied a colorful scarf to it for more color.  I will bet you have never seen a Coach Willis with a chain handle.  I used to sell MicheBags and this is a strap they  sell…I like the length of it better than the long shoulder strap that comes with the Willis (one of these days I plan to have that one shortened).

You didn’t think for one moment I would end this post without a JCPenney pose, did you?  As if!

This is the rarely seen and hard to master, “oh no you didn’t!” pose.   Thanks.  I know.

OK…now go check out the other lovelies!!

~~Mistress Bliss~~

P.S.  I am currently interviewing for a new photographer.  The bathroom shots are getting both old and tedious…I can’t tell you how many tries it takes to get one that isn’t too blurry or has too much toilet in it.  Frustrating.  Master Bliss is hesitant to take the job (he’s the only coerced applicant thus far) because he knows all the criteria that must be met (ie: must make me look younger; must make me look thinner; must make me look smarter; etc).  I don’t think he’s up to the task and inevitable “model” tantrums.


Filed under beauty notes, creative endeavors, Uncategorized, visible monday

visible monday ~~ the polka dot dress

I mentioned the other day that I wanted to start doing my Weekly Photo Challenge posts on Fridays to which my friend, Adrienne, suggested I use Mondays for Visible Monday.  She has participated for a while now and I always enjoy her posts.  But when I visited Not Dead Yet Style’s blog, the master-mind behind the idea, I was intrigued.  What a great way to promote a positive self-image for all women out there no matter age, size, status, etc.  We are bombarded daily with the ‘unrealistic’ images of Hollywood Stars, models and wannabes why not counteract those onslaughts with images of real women, real bodies all trying to put their best foot forward in their appearance and grooming? Also,  I thought this would be a great way to  demonstrate  how I work with my minimalist wardrobe AND I could utilize more of those JCPenney modeling skills.   First up, my polka dot dress.

I haven’t worn this dress in almost 2 years.  It was a pleasant surprise to find that it actually fits looser than it did the last time I had it on.  I was scared to wear it again after my last experience in it.  I had worn it to a wedding (I think with the same scarf you see in these pictures).  While in the bathroom at the sink, I decided to strike up a friendly conversation  with a woman I didn’t know–find out who she is, friend of the bride or groom, that kind of thing.  I think I started it with some comment about how pretty the wedding was.  Yes, she agreed and then said, “My husband likes your polka dots.”

Remember, I don’t know these people.  And here are my thoughts before answering:

Why would a man like polka dots?

What kind of man tells his wife he likes my polka dots?

And what the hell kind of polka dots are we talking about???

I manage to finally stop staring blankly,  murmur a weak “thank you’ and high tail it out of the bathroom…avoiding direct eye contact with any man I didn’t personally know the rest of the night.


Sunday was a gorgeous, Spring-like day, so I pulled the dress out of the back of my closet, picked out a springy scarf, lovely vintage bag and ended up with this ensemble:

(this is the “yes, i think i was a cheerleader but then there was this pyramid accident” pose)

(maitai’s MoP scarf ring, white side used with the “basic slide”.  she suggested i use this on my lighter weight scarves…she would know.  it worked beautifully. )

(i LOVE this meyer bag.  if monsieur hermes and mademoiselle chanel had gotten together, this would’ve been their baby)

(blue sparkly studs to pull out the blue from the scarf)

(a little more blue gemstone bling to wear with my watch…see the little dog staring at me?  i have to ignore him during photo sessions and he doesn’t much care for it).

Do you like wearing polka dots?

Remember to link over to Not Dead Yet Style to see other Visible Monday offerings.  If you would like to join the fun, please do!

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under creative endeavors, french twist, minimizing

the happy dance

A few days before the Historic Home Tour I finally received all pieces from my Target/Missoni order.  I have never had a package come from Target before so imagine my glee when they provided this on the back of the packing slip:



Did I do it?  Of course.  Then I gathered all my new Missoni pieces and fashioned this little ensemble:

A little much?  Now imagine me dressed like this doing the “Happy Dance” in my kitchen.  Good times, good times. 

As far as my new items go, here are my verdicts:

Missoni for Target® V-Neck Knit Cardigan - Multicolor Zigzag Print

I love the colors of this cardigan and it will really go with many things in my wardrobe.  I like that it is light-weight, so great for layering.  The quality is OK–not the best.  The fabric tends to stretch out easily and I really wonder how it will hold up in washings. 

Missoni for Target® Women's Ruana - Colore

The ruana I really love.   I have worn it a few different times and find that it is great for the brisk Fall weather.  What is really cool is that I have a brooch that looks beautiful on this and I have used it to keep the cape closed…like this:

I am looking forward to using this on our upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic.  It will be great on the plane and to use for cooler nights–especially during our second week there while staying in the mountains.

I am undecided about the scarf.  I may like it more when it gets colder.  It’s pretty heavy AND it is not the scarf I thought I ordered.  I thought I bought this:

Missoni for Target® Women's Long Skinny Scarf - Passione


But I actually bought  the one you see pictured above (on my person)…it is an infinity scarf.  Ah, c’est la vie!  

Hope you are having a great weekend!




Filed under beauty notes

shopping the “look book” circa 1957-58 (my turn!)

After the Target/Missoni affair, I had to work my nerve up to go shopping again.  And again, I made a mental check list of things I would truly use and wear before I opened the pages to my vintage “look book”.  Here is what was decided on:

This outfit is almost “too” sophisticated for me but I couldn’t help myself.

This next one’s color captivated me.  The style is similar to the cream sweater dress/outfit I picked out for Fiona.

I am not sure if this next one is in my size.  There were many black and white photos in the section for “half sizes”.  It was confusing because all the models look just as skinny as the other featured ones.  The only difference was that the “half sized” people were not given any color pages (until a few pages later for their cotton dresses–so that’s something).  Hmmm.  Then I wasn’t sure what “half-size” meant back then until I found something that described it as being for the “shorter mature” figure (more on sizing in a minute).  I really do love this though.

This next dress looked very versatile…I could dress it up or down.

Of course having a couple new sweaters for the season is a must:


I seriously want this next item of clothing…it would be worn all. the. time.  Why can’t I find robes like this any more (the blue one)?  I could receive guests in this thing.

oh my! the smiths will be here any moment…where did i put my tiara?

Accessories!  Shoes first.  I loved that they offer many of their shoes in two different heel heights–brilliant!

Brown alligators are a must have (medium heel, please):

For practicality…

There were pages of the following style of shoe.  These made me think of Aesthetic Alteration’s brogue shoes.  I kind of like them.  I would also buy the handbag.

And these handbags as well:

The following is just a side point.  I use to work in the medical field.  I worked in one office for years that required our uniforms to be white (jacket and pants–of course I would often wear cashmere sweaters and silk scarves with my uniform to jazz it up–c’est moi!).  I had so many patients comment on how much they liked the look–so clean and professional in contrast to what you see in so many doctors offices today…something akin to Walt Disney throwing up.  When I saw these, I felt a little nostalgic for my old job:

Here is the sizing information.  Back on those “half-sized” pages, I thought it was nice that they offered  beautiful dresses in the same “slimming” lines that the skinny chicks could buy.  No hiding one’s form under sheets of sweatshirt material.  Dressing according to shape was encouraged.

OK, I am finished.  I am very happy with my new “wardrobe” and think I will be looking quite smashing this Fall.

My next installment will feature items that I am quite happy aren’t in style any more.  Trust me on this.


Filed under beauty notes, vintage finds