Tag Archives: talbots

visible monday ~~ visibly inspired

We are inspired by things we see.  I am always inspired by anything that occurs in nature–sunsets, the beach, flowers, the curious habits of little beasts (including Rockefeller), the Seasons, etc.  And once in awhile I get inspired by an outfit on someone…often pondering, why didn’t I think of that?  This happened to me the other day.  While perusing my cousin’s pins on Pinterest (my presence on Pinterest does not happen often…but I think I am on the verge of change), I saw this outfit:

Oh!  I like it!!  And it prompted me to think about a pendant I own:

I bought this on my memorable trip to Maine...the trip that brought me face to face with the lighthouse of my dreams.

The two inspirations helped me put this together:

(it looks like my eyes are closed but I was looking down below)

Master Bliss and I spent the evening visiting a local artists’ colony/commune/gallery in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  It was their 30th Anniversary and they celebrated with an open house.  It was very interesting walking through this cavernous building that is now housing so much talent.  And of course, I am always inspired by architecture and light too, so I snapped a few of my own photos.

And bought one tiny trinket:

(roman coin set in metal)

What inspires you?

Don’t forget!  I am linking with Patti for Visible Monday.

Have a great Monday.

~~Mistress Bliss~~

PS  Later this week I will have a special announcement…stay tuned.


Filed under fashion cents, Uncategorized, visible monday

visible monday ~~ shades of brown (or an ode to vintage coach willis)

Bonjour, lovely readers!  Today is Visible Monday and  I give you moi in shades of brown.  Which is truly not a summery way to dress but alas I also wanted to show off my “new to me” purse acquisition (and please no reminders of my previous pledges to not buy any more handbags for a year–that deal is so off  now)*.

Recently I started following Atlantic Pacific.  I can’t even remember how I found the blog but I love her stunning array of amazing outfits.  One accessory that she wears often–and it looks great every single time– is a vintage Coach Willis in British Tan.  This bag looks great with so many of her outfits and she wears it with colors I would never think to pair it with.  I have a vintage Willis in black and it has become one of my favorite, go-to handbags of them all.

The Willis is one of those Coach styles I admired from a far for a few years.  Loved it, thought it classy every time I saw it but wasn’t sure it was really me.  Instead I ventured into the Rambler, the Janice’s Legacy and a couple of other classic Coach styles.  Most were too small or not adequate for my needs.  And then I started carrying a Nook.  My requirements in a handbag became very specific.  I found a wonderful style in the Coach Ergo #9033.  Love the simple lines, the outside pocket (a must) and roomy interior, and the shoulder strap length is perfect for me.  Then a few months ago, I saw a great deal on a Vintage Willis (black) and thought I would give it a try.  I have always admired the flap closure with turn-key lock.  Another thing I thought I might like is the cross-body option and, of course, the rear outside pocket.  I bought it and haven’t looked back.  I use it a lot and it gets compliments…because it is a classic.

After following Atlantic Pacific I became convinced that a Coach Willis in British Tan was now part of my destiny.  And wouldn’t you know…they are super hard to find in good shape at reasonable prices.  Black ones are a dime a dozen but the British Tan?  Either they are in high demand or there just weren’t as many made in that color.   I don’t know.  But I was diligent obsessive in my searches and finally landed a good deal.  She just arrived the other day so of course I had to have her out for a spin.  I played it safe and styled her with other browns.  I am very  happy to have another Vintage Willis and I know we are going to have a long, happy union.

handbag: vintage coach willis~sweater, top: talbots~ shoes: bass~necklace: vintage; watch~seiko

Oh!  I just love that thick, glove tanned leather.

Don’t forget to stop by Patti’s for more Visibility.

What is your favorite “go to” handbag?

~~Mistress Bliss~~

*for the record, if anyone cares, i did some purging this weekend and no less than six handbags will be leaving via ebay or etsy.  striving for balance one goodwill load at a time.


Filed under fashion cents, vintage finds, visible monday

visible monday ~~ weekend capsule dressing part three

Happy Visible Monday!

Last week for Visible Monday I gave you “Part Two” of my capsule dressing for a few days away (a mini-vacation we took in July).  I didn’t want to pack a ton of stuff so I worked around one pair of shoes and one handbag.  I kept my accessories at a minimum but just enough to pull the outfits together.  As a reminder, this is what was packed:

So on the final day I wore my LBD.  I have had this dress for years.  I bought it at Talbots and loved the faux wrap style so much I bought it in red too…which you can see here.  This time the orange in my scarf was used to bring in the handbag.  The nude peeptoes were worn again after sufficiently resting my feet the day before in my Naots.  Ta da!

(dress-Talbots;  shoes-Clarks; bag-Kate Spade; scarf-Hermes; scarf ring and horn bracelet-MaiTai)

One hugely important accessory I forgot to mention was the nail polish I had on my tootsies.  I got a pedicure just a couple of days before leaving so my toes could be at their peeping best.  Or poolside best:

I know.  Cute but hard to see.  So since I don’t want you to have to go to the trouble of enlarging the photo and then trying to locate your trusty magnifier, I will just give you this:

OPI “Your web or mine” from the Spider-Man collection.  Yes, really.  They had a Spider-Man collection.  You’re welcome.

OK, now off you go to check out Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.  Enjoy the start of the week!!

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under beauty notes, fashion cents, visible monday

visible monday ~~ weekend capsule dressing part two


I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday.  As you read this, I am traipsing around Chicago visiting museums, doing a little shopping and enjoying my time with my family.  I am sure I will have more to share about that later.

Last week for Visible Monday I gave you “Part One” of my capsule dressing for a few days away.  I didn’t want to pack a ton of stuff so I worked around one pair of shoes and one handbag.  I kept my accessories at a minimum but just enough to pull the outfits together.  As a reminder, this is what was packed:

On day two this is what I wore:

This striped shirt is from Banana Republic.  I was tickled to buy it for $15-new.  I love it!  It has a very dark navy stripe which perfectly matched my new dark blue Wearever skirt from JJill…also found on sale.  The skinny orange belt (Talbots) worked as one accessory, while the pearls sans brooch, filled in the neckline without overpowering the look.  I wore the MaiTai horn bracelet every day.  You will notice that I am wearing a different shoe.  I packed the Clark nude peep-toes to wear every day, but to give my feet a break I wore these (Naots)–with the longer skirt I felt I could make them work.

Pop on over to Patti’s and see the other ladies!

~~Mistress Bliss~~

Greetings from Chicago:


Filed under fashion cents, traveling, visible monday

visible monday ~~ weekend capsule dressing part one

We recently went out-of-town for a few days.  And with that came the challenge of packing.  I am always determined to pack light although that doesn’t happen every time.  This time it did.  Part of our get away involved going to a three-day conference where I would be dressed up a bit.  I didn’t want to take hordes of shoes, purses, jewelry to make my outfits “work”.  So I picked one pair of shoes, one handbag and worked with that.  This Visible Monday, and the next two, will show you what I wore each day.  Here is a sneak preview of what was packed:

(one pair of shoes: Nude Clarks; one handbag: Kate Spade; one necklace: pearls; one brooch: coral; one belt: Talbots; one scarf: Hermes; one bracelet: MaiTai’s Senegal === easy packing)

And this is what I wore the first day:

I bought this dress with much distress from Talbots.  A few weeks ago I got an email advertising their dresses for $49.99.  I had drooled over this dress for some time but not enough to pay the full price ($150).  In my excitement I emailed Cupcake to let her know about the sale…she was already on that action.  She told me what she ordered, I told her what I had bought.  We were giddy in our savviness.  A few days later, she had hers.  I did not.  I received an email from Talbots saying that they could not fulfill the order because my size had sold out.  I called customer service.  While the lady I spoke with was nice she assured me there was no way I could get the dress unless it could be found in a store somewhere.  She checked her computer….click, click, click, click, click.  Oh yes, she had a three stores in Michigan (the closest one was three hours away) that still had the dress.  And two stores in Connecticut.  Yes!  I asked her to order me one.  “Oh, I am afraid I can’t do that.  I can give you the phone numbers and you will have to call.  Shipping will be free, of course.”  Interesting.  Customer Service could not serve the customer.  Fine, I will call.

All three stores in Michigan were a bust.  One lady said to me, “Oh yeah, we just shipped all of those to corporate yesterday.”  So that told me my dress would probably be available again online but I didn’t want to run the risk of waiting.  So I called a store in Connecticut.  To say I dealt with the least professional sounding people on the earth would be an understatement.  I thought I had called a Freshman Dorm.  The first girl could’ve been smacking on gum, blowing bubbles and on roller skates for all I knew.  She transferred me to “Bob”.  I had a hard time imagining a “Bob” working in a Talbots.  I have never seen a man working in this store before.  But whatever.  Just get me my dress “Bob” and I will crown you employee of the year.  “Bob” was nice but I wasn’t comforted by his lack of knowledge.  When describing the dress, providing the item number, he still acted like he wasn’t sure he had the right one…”Yeah, I think this is it.” was the best I could get.  He assured me it would go out “today” and they would charge my Talbots.  Great! (I think.).  I scurried off to work.  When I checked my phone later I had two voicemails from “Bob”.  They couldn’t find me in the system to charge my card.  I called back.  The convo:

Bubblehead:  “Thank you for calling Talbots.”

Me: “Hi, yes, may I speak to Bob.”

Bubblehead:  “Hold on” (clank)……”Um yeah.  Bob’s not here today.”

Me:  “I spoke with him earlier and he left me a message to call”

Bubblehead:  “Hold on” (clank)….”Oh.  I guess he went home already.”

Me:  “Could I please talk to your manager?”  (Why I waited so long for this efficient step is beyond me).

Bubblehead: “Hold on” (clank).

Through the manager, I was able to clear up why I “wasn’t in the system” (name spelled incorrectly by Bob–shocker.)  I was assured the dress was getting shipped the next day and I would have it in 5-10 business days.  Merci!!!

Five days later…no dress, no shipping information.  Seven days later…no dress.  I place the dreaded phone call.  I get “Bob”.

Me:  “Hi, yes, I called here over a week ago to order a dress (described) and I am checking on its status.”

Bob:  “Oh yeah.  I remember you.  Let me check on that. (Clank—long hold).  Yeah, we shipped that out.”

Me:  “Could I have a tracking number?”

Bob:  “Hold on” (Clank).  “Here it is.  It will be delivered through your USPS.”

Me:  “Great.  Thanks, Bob.”

The tracking number doesn’t work with USPS.  The tracking number doesn’t work with UPS either.

Two days later, still no dress.  I called again and got a manager.  She assured me the dress went out but, “you know, it can take up to ten business days.”  Yes, I am “getting” that.  On the eleventh business day (not including the two weekends that happened in between), it arrived.  I was thrilled…and relieved.  I try it on.  It fits and it is…super sheer.  Like sheer, as in,  I better avoid all back lighting and flashes while wearing.   That’s odd, I think to myself.  But no worries, I will just find a full slip to wear under it (Cupcake encouraged me in this pursuit, painting imagery in her email of how to tantalize Master Bliss by wearing the slip around the house with high heels and pouty red lips–something like that–she is a little naughty : ) ).

Sorry this is so long but it actually gets better.  I went shopping with a BFF to help her buy some new clothes (so much fun to help someone else spend money!).  The only thing on my shopping list is the black slip.  I checked three different places and could not find a black slip.  I realize I do not have time to order one online before we leave.  I am not sure what I am going to do but think maybe I can find one at a resale shop or Goodwill.  After my friend and I went our separate ways that evening, I decided to pop into  my local Talbots to see what was going on in their “Red Hanger” sale.  I  perused tops, skirts, accessories, jackets.  I found  two items that would benefit my wardrobe…and the prices were great.  For some reason (I can’t remember why because I know they weren’t busy), I had to wait a while for the sales associate to help me.  I decided to check through their clearance dresses on a whim knowing I would not be buying one because I just got mine.  I am quickly moving through the dresses on the rack when I suddenly stop and see VOILA! MY DRESS.  IN MY SIZE (what the???).  WITH A BLACK SLIP THAT COMES WITH THE DRESS.  I literally exclaim out loud:
“OH MY WORD!  Are you kidding me???!!!”

A shocked sales associate asks me what is wrong.  I explain my long, sordid story… to her dismay (not because of what her company put me through but because it is a long story–as you know).  So, she knows I have the dress (because who could make all this stuff up?).  And it gets better.  They won’t just let me take the slip off the dress they have.  I ask them to pull up my charge to verify my purchase.  Nope.  I have to BUY the dress again and come all the way back (25+ miles) to return the other one.  Oh, for real.  And the only thing good that came from that is I was able to get the dress for $8.00 less than before AND this same sized dress actually fit me better…was less baggy through the middle (a lesson to remember to try various sizes–even the same size– when shopping).

And THAT is my story of how I was able to get this leopard print dress to share with you on Visible Monday.  Don’t forget to visit Patti’s.

Do you have a horror shopping story to share?

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under fashion cents, traveling, Uncategorized, visible monday

visible monday ~~ new repeats

Is it just me or does Monday come around awfully fast?  I swear I feel like I just did a Visible Monday post yesterday.  Scary fast is time.

And how is your week shaping up so far?  Mine is going to be a fabulous one.  Today I am spending the day with one of my dearest friends (and her husband–who is also a friend : ) ).   While the guys are off golfing we girls will shop, antique and look for places to sit and gab (I know, so cliché but we don’t care).  We will meet up with the men for dinner and then we’ll probably end up back at chez Bliss for a vicious rematch of euchre.  Every year we get together we have to play–men vs. women.  It has been a little frustrating because the men always seem to win.  It is doubly frustrating because we taught “husband friend” HOW to play.  Grrrr.  I don’t know.  I have a good feeling that tonight will be LADIES’ NIGHT!

Tomorrow is grooming day for Rockefeller and me.  I am in desperate need of a hair shape up and pedicure.  He is in desperate need of an overhaul.  Do I lie?

(ssshh…he’s sleeping)

I have been seriously considering going shorter….like pixie cut (thanks to Tamera).  But it may be just  a daydream for now.  That is a big step…not sure I can take it yet.  Actually the haircut I have wanted for almost 20 years is the “Sabrina” haircut in the Julia Ormond version of the movie.   See?

Julia Ormond to Star in The El Escorial Conspiracy


Some day.

The rest of the week will find us out-of-town for a couple of  fun/special events including our 18th Anniversary.   That being announced, I might add that I am not sure how often I will be in blogland.  I am going to try to have a couple of posts scheduled but I know visiting and commenting  on other blogs may be a challenge.  So I am sort of, kind of, going to be taking a blogging  break.  But you never know when/where I will pop up.

This week I brought out items I have worn before just not together.  The skirt was first seen here, the shirt here.  I wasn’t sure about putting these together but I just acquired an orange  belt from Talbots and I think it helps pull it together:

(skirt: talbots; top: jjill; handbag: kate spade; shoes: clarks; necklace: lia sophia)

It wasn’t until I saw these pictures that I decided I really liked this ensemble.   I will have a couple of new things to show you in coming weeks but  you will probably be seeing more and more repeats  worn in different ways.  Visible Monday is helping me to get more creative.  It is all about accessories.  I just love them.  Really love them.

Now it is time for you to go get inspired.  Check out the other ladies at Not Dead Yet Style.

Have a great week!  And be good…only when necessary.

~~Mistress Bliss~~


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

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 ~~ white before memorial day

Greetings, blog-reading earthlings!

I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.  Our weather is gorgeous–making this weekend feel like a true kick-off for summer.  Yay!!

On Sunday I decided to wear white, quite rebelliously, before Memorial Day.  I know. I know.  The white “not before Memorial Day or after Labor Day” rule no longer applies but it is funny how ingrained certain “rules” can be.  I think living in a Northern climate made that rule more applicable for some reason.  I paired my linen white skirt with a light blue argyle sweater with some pops of orange.  For the record, I was freshly pressed (but NEVER by WordPress, oh no, everybody else gets pressed, mais pas moi, blogging almost 2 years and nothing–sorry. Rant.) before leaving earlier in the morning–alas, linen.

This photo session was taken outside.  I was really excited to learn more about my camera.  For example, the above picture was taken by moi (Master Bliss did most of the rest) because I finally figured out how to use my timer.  Then I found the “drive” mode which allows pictures in quick succession.  Do you know how many times through the years this would’ve been convenient?  Nevermind.  Perhaps it is time to read the manual?

(sweater, tank, skirt: Talbots; shoes: Clarks; handbag: Kate Spade; watch: Seiko via Ebay; pearls: from Grandma; brooch: vintage via Etsy)

You will be proud of me.  I wore my shoe sans nylons.  I am finally boldly going where every other woman has already ventured before me. : )  Bonjour toes!

Last year I read the book, “Parisian Chic” by Ines de la Fressange.  Since she is French, I took many (not all) of her suggestions under careful advisement.  As a result, I bought a (vintage) straw handbag (page 47) on Ebay to use for summer–of course forgetting I already had one that was my Grandmother’s.  I resold the one from Ebay on Etsy and have decided to use Grandma’s instead (not sure for how long as the straps are weak).  I pictured it here to see how it looks with a summery outfit.

The quick succession mode could capture everything…even rogue bug attacks:

Don’t forget to visit “Not Dead Yet Style”.  Have a fun Monday!

Yay or nay on straw handbags?  Which fashion rule(s) do you love to defy?

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under fashion cents, french twist, Uncategorized, vintage finds, visible monday

visible monday ~~ it’s a wrap


Oh my goodness.  Happy Monday everyone.  This is going to be short and sweet.  We were gone all day yesterday for a couple of events, including a wedding.  The wedding was gorgeous.  I am very, very happy for my two friends who have found true love a second time around.  And thanks to the bride’s creative genius, I was able to steal this idea for Belle Fille’s wedding next Saturday:

Isn’t that just super cool?  The whole reception was cool because it was held in a gorgeously renovated barn.  Rustic elegance.  I like it.

I only have one picture of what I wore.  OK, well there are a couple of group shots but this is the only one of just moi.  Master Bliss caught me just as I was going into a blink but otherwise it’s all right.  Frankly, it will have to do because I am too tired…and already in my PJS…to go upstairs for a “bathroom photo shoot”.  Let me just say, I was in this outfit from 8:30 AM until about 10:45 PM.  The shoes, my friends, were AMAZINGLY comfortable.  They have now been thoroughly tested for the wedding day and my feet are so happy.

This dress I have had for a number of years…I own it in red and black.   I paired it with my “new to me” scarf which I love–and which is an early anniversary gift from Master Bliss…the best hubby ever!  Merci, Aesthetic Alterations for making it possible.  I must have worn the scarf 4 different ways through out the day.  At first it was in a cross-tie, then it was worn as a shawl, followed by knotted around my neck (until I thought my head was going to blow at the very warm wedding ceremony–someone finally put on the air before the wedding started–MERCI.), and then knotted loosely in a low hang (does that make sense?).  And how in the world did I forget to wear my handbag in this shot?? In case you are wondering, I wore the “Hermes/Chanel Love Child” vintage green bag.   So here’s the knotted at neck/going to a wedding look:

(dress~~Talbots; scarf~~Hermes; shoes~~Clarks)

I am off to bed as soon as I hit publish.  Please check out the other ladies today on Visible Monday.  You never know the inspiration you will find at Not Dead Yet Style.

Good night.

~~Mistress Bliss~~

P.S.  I can’t wait for our wedding to be over just to get something done with this hair.  What, I do not know but something WILL be done.


Filed under fashion cents, weekly photo challenge

visible monday ~~ may flowers

Through all these Visible Monday posts there is one thing you may have noticed about me…I am a solids kind of gal.  I don’t wear prints too often unless it is in the form of a scarf.  I just find solids easier to work with, less fussy and I feel comfortable in them.  So when I step out of my comfort zone, it is hard for me to “enjoy” it.  However, this knowledge did not stop me from falling in love with this skirt when I saw it on Ebay last year.  When I got it I was disappointed to find it was too snug so I never wore it…until a couple of weeks ago.  Yay!  It fits.  And I do love that I have found a way to wear orange without it taking over.

Skirt–Talbots; Sweater–Talbots; Tank–Talbots; Handbag–FRENCH vintage.

These pearls were given to me by my Grandmother for graduation.

Recognize the shoes?  These are my new nude peep-toes for the wedding.  This was their trial run.  I love them.  And no, I don’t care about the rules of wearing hosiery with open toe shoes.  However, I did buy a pair of Donna Karan’s nude toe-less hose for the wedding…you can relax.

 And our JCPenney Model is still not quite right since the “accident”.   However she did nail the “pre-menopausal i came in here looking for what?” pose…and not on purpose.

 So, it has been discussed and decided that our model should take a hiatus from her taxing job.  It has been strongly encouraged that she studies the “Nancy Taylor Course” to refresh her skills and improve her image.  Perhaps her progress will be shared in future posts.  Stay tuned.

Now, please, go tune into the other wonderful ladies on Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday.

Enjoy your day!

How bold are you when it comes to wearing prints?

~~Mistress Bliss~~


Filed under fashion cents, Uncategorized, visible monday