Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm Grateful For ...

For those of you outside the US, this Thursday we'll be celebrating our Thanksgiving. Here, the day is marked by excess: we Americans almost always set out to deliberately over-indulge in our favorite seasonal foods and beverages with family. We may not like our relatives, or particularly care for turkey, but celebrate together we do. The feast itself is usually scheduled for early afternoon. That's to allow for the traditional nap that follows and/or our other national tradition-obsession; hours and hours and hours of college or pro football. And that is usually accompanied by grazing on leftovers, and extra servings of dessert.

But at its best and in its deeper meaning, it's a national day of gratitude. We're supposed to spend at least a portion of the day counting our personal and collective blessings. I am first grateful for my Darling Dan and the rest of our very small and peculiar family. That absolutely includes all our four- legged and furry or big, hairy, hoofed "children" as well as our wild and domestic winged babies. I celebrate the health of all the above, and the health and happiness of our immediate and extended two-legged family and friends.

It's just the two of us here, so I'm grateful that Dan doesn't want the whole traditional demonstration of excess for dinner on the big day. We just make lots of only our very favorites dishes and enjoy them with a good bottle (or two) of better wine than we usually drink, and a bottle of cheap champagne to finish the evening. (We find the bubbles nice on a full tummy.) I'm also grateful that he doesn't watch football ... and that brings me to another thing I'm especially grateful for.   Satellite television
allows us to save marathons of favorite series we've missed on the DVR, or movies.

I have a whole list of important and serious things to be grateful for but, as you see, I'm also grateful for many of the less high-minded elements and fun parts of my life. And since this is (ostensibly) a style blog, I have some gratitude to express about the style and sartorial life as well.

To start, I'm grateful that Dan and I just dress up our best jammies or jammie-equivalents on Turkey Day, and call it good. It's all about the food anyway at our house. I might or might not wear mascara, but will absolutely brush my hair. I'll lounge and help cook in cozy black leggings and a new, black and pink lace print sweatshirt in ... ahem ... "French terry" that sports a different, silkier front panel.

Speaking of Target* ... I'm grateful that we finally got one in our Big City. I have fun at our Target. And because of their designer collaborations, it's one of the few places where I can have at least some of the same kind of fun as women in more urban areas have.

Another Target thing I am grateful for this year is Sonia Kashuck's new line of fragrances with companion creams and other body-care yummies. There are four different scents in the line but I'm enchanted with her Pink Innocencia. I'm a little bit of a fragrance snob. I have standards -- they're low, but I do have them -- and I generally try to step it up a bit from Big Box perfumes with celebrity names. However, Kashuck has some serious design and quality chops, and this tuberose, magnolia and amber fragrance is right up my alley.

 It comes on pretty intensely right out of the bottle, but settles down quickly and just glows softly all afternoon. Great for layering too, with hand and body creams, all inexpensively available. Lovely for everyday, especially when I'm here all by myself all day with the dogs, cats and horses. They don't care much if I smell good, but I do.

As much as I love Target, I won't be anywhere near it on Black Friday. Which starts as early as Thursday evening, right after dinners. It has become the most insane shopping day here in the US, and I'm grateful that I'm avoiding this part of the holiday madness. I like a good sale as much as the next woman, but I'm too little and too old to compete with younger, or larger, or more determined (or sometimes just meaner) women for deep sale prices and parking spaces.

I'm grateful that this was the year that I managed to get all my favorite magazines, including the fashion glossies, in digital subscriptions on my Kindle Fire. I love it. I can now carry ALL of them around with me along with my book collection, sketch pad, music, web browser and a movie or two if I wish.

And I'm grateful for happy style accidents that sometimes happen. While wandering around JCP (yes, again ....) I found a brown and black striped boat-neck sweater that I just love. On sale. And I'm grateful how well it goes with a brown and black stripped skirt that I've had for a long time. It has looked okay with other tops, but I think it's now part of an "outfit" with the two happy pieces together.

And I'm grateful that our recent warm day has turned to much cooler weather, so I could bring out the tights and boots and leather and enjoy wearing it

Finally, I return to my list of important blessings. If you're reading this, I'm thankful for you! And if you leave a reply, I'm extra thankful. And if you are one of the great but unsung style-bloggers from all around the world that I count among my bloggy-friends, bloggers who inspire me daily, weekly and always, and who share with me your pretty clothes, interesting lives and smart opinions .... I'm grateful for every one of your posts this past year. You help bring the world to my door, you challenge my preconceptions, make me think, let me learn, and keep me from being as isolated as I might otherwise be. I'm thankful for all of that and every one of you.

So, where ever you are, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

*This is not a sponsored post by Target. Or JCP. Or anyone. I'm just a fan.


This is me, linking up with 
the adorable and always charming Seeker at
Tres Chic Style Bits  on Mondays. 
 Do drop by, and definitely feel free to show this new Linky Party some love and Link Up!


  1. Jean at Dross into GoldNovember 25, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    And I'm grateful you started this blog. XXXOOO

  2. Awwww. Thank you, Jean. You are one of those I most appreciate.
    Enjoy your holiday, lovely lady.

  3. I am grateful to have met through blogging such a wonderful lady like you Jan! Enjoy your day with Dan in your comfy and stylish relaxed look. I am like you, I will not join in the madness of black friday - I love my sleep too much and do not like crowds.

    Happy Thanksgiving!


  4. Your Thanksgiving sounds just like our Christmas except with more gratitude. Here its greed, wishlists and me,me,me all the way.
    Have a fab day, lazing around in Pjs, getting drunk and avoiding televised sport! xxx

  5. I am so grateful to have met you, my dear!!! You're one of a kind, not words enough to say how wonderful you are!!!!
    Thanks soooooooo much for the shout out of the Linky Party, much appreciated!!!! And thanks for linking.
    Funny that we both wore brown and black stripes. Well great minds think alike :)

    I'm loving all in your outfit, so stylish!!!
    I like the way you describe your Thanksgiving, I guess that if we celebrated it (well after all we all have things to be grateful for), it was how I would like to spend it.
    I wish you and Dan a lovely, happy and fabulous Thanksgiving!!!!!

  6. I am smitten with your outfit, and about Thanksgiving the abundance sounds pretty much like home. It's a great gesture and celebration though, enjoy, and happy thanksgiving!
    Those boots, I am drooling.

  7. Did I express my gratitude for my new circle of blogger friends, especially those who write so well?

  8. Beautifully said dear Jan, you are a gem! Growing up on a farm where shopping was one hour away from home, the "big" town as you say, I think I know you. It's been fun to see your outfits and read your inspired posts. You are one stylish lady and a wonderful writer, the pleasure is all mine.

    Say I bought this top and the skirt at Target. it's lovely isn't it? Worn with a crystal necklace and heels or boot I thought it was fab too. And speaking of fab, these stripes are right on with you very stylish boots.

    Have a peaceful day on Thanksgiving,

    blue hue wonderland

  9. Tamera Ferguson WolfeNovember 26, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    I'm thankful for finding and reading fabulous bloggers like YOU!!!
    That top was MEANT to be worn with that skirt--just stunning!!
    Have a fantastic Thanksgiving with Dan and the fur-babies!!
    I don't shop on black Friday, either!!

  10. Dear Jan,

    I am grateful I get to know you from here. I read your post in the morning and the whole day long I again and again thought about the good things I am grateful for. That is what blogging should be, to spread good thoughts. That's what you do so often and so well.

    I am happy you found that striped combi. You look marvellous in it.

    Have a great week!

    Sabine from

  11. Oh, my friend, you richly deserve a day off to eat drink, and be lazy! I used to cook a massive meal for anywhere from 6 to 28 people. Now I make reservations LOL. I cook a traditional Cuban dinner either Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve but it's just for hubby and me.
    I didn't think I'd like you in that sweater - but I really do. That camel brown does magical things with your complexion! I'm SO glad that we have become friends! Personally, I love it when we lock horns LOL. It means you're genuine enough to disagree with me. I like that!
    Black Friday is the most important day of the year! It's my annual re-release of my now-infamous cover of "Santa Baby" ;-P
    Happy Weekend doll!


  12. Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Your outfit is so elegant! Love those boots! Tres chic :) And I agree, Target rocks :)

  13. Happy American Thanksgiving Jan!

    I'm thankful for your well written insightful posts. Always a joy to read.

    I do love this striped outfit. The colours are perfect on you. The whole ensemble is so sexy with the boots and leather.


  14. and i'm grateful for you!!! So glad we found each other here in this bloggy sphere! Loving the lace print sweatshirt in this post! lol. Your writing is so real and inspiring to me, you will def be seeing me around!

  15. And I too am grateful for getting to know you my blog world friend! We have minimal family as well so it's a small festivity. My husband also doesn't watch football or any sports for that matter (how did we both get so lucky?!) so we just kind of hang out and eat. Makes for a good day.

  16. Mrs_Jack_of_all_tradesNovember 27, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    Wow, that is a long list of things to be thankful for and as I said to another blogger today, this Thanksgiving celebration is a good thing and a way to remind us (me including, the non American) that there are many out there that are not as lucky.. I (again, even not celebrating but 'gate-crashing' here) am also thankful for a lot of things.. today alone there are tons - my darling Captain is stone free without having to have to go through surgery, health, kids, food, home, this safe city and YOU who never fail to crack me up everytime.. wish I know you personally, really :) Happy Thanksgiving, Jan and Dan (oh, my captain doesn't watch football too!)

    p.s You rock the cute print mixing look and what a clever way to mix! Love, love, love!

    MRS JACK OF ALL TRADES (a fashion and life-style blog)

  17. Darling Dan is certainly a man to feel thankful for - I'm feeling the love for him too, all the way over here!
    And for you too, of course, your blog and the thoughtful, kind comments you leave are things I am most grateful for.
    Gorgeous stripey combo, you always look so damn classy and sassy, Jan, and those boots are beautiful!
    Enjoy your day - your version of Thanksgiving sounds pretty good to me! xxxxx

  18. Hi Jan! It's good to count our blessings and I'm happy to see you have a long list! Better to be grateful than grumble! ;-)

    already celebrated Thanksgiving in October in Canada, but being
    thankful is an important attitude we should have daily - an attitude of

    Your sweater and skirt look like they are made for each other! Very beautiful!!

    Life is precious!!
    ♥ carmen

  19. Happy Thanksgiving Jan ... I enjoyed your list ... hope you enjoy day - it sounds kinda perfect to me.
    Simply Sassy Style

  20. Oh Jan, what a lovely (and amusing) post. I too am grateful for your neighborhood Target, and you know why! Your brown stripes are a wonderful duet. Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. Again I enjoyed your post. You are my kind of girl. I was nodding the whole time with assent. Yes I agree, yes I love that too, yes, avoid that crazy sale. And I am grateful I found you and your blog.
    Your putfit with the brown and black stripes is great. Sometimes it just comes together, like this skirt and sweater. I like the way you combined it with the boots and jacket (wearing it the fashionable way I see...) and the necklace. Yes I have seen and studied it all.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  22. Post T-Day Pause: Wow ... what a day yesterday was. I now have to make amends calorically, but it was amazing if I do say so myself. Dan's turkey was perfect, best stuffing I ever made, and the hit of the day was kale in vinegar and bacon.
    Hope you are resting peacefully on your long weekend.
    Thank you for all your kind thoughts, Alice.

  23. Hey, Vix! Sad to say, so goes our national attitude about Christmas ... me, me, me. When I was a young 'un, our nearly-all-secular- Christmas was for a few of the nice things we wanted all year, but waited for. In that, it was the practice of delayed gratification, but it was a lot about stuff, I agree. Over the decades, I've experimented with different ways to keep Christmas, and as a non-traditionally religious family, we try hard to think of the holiday as sort of a new year, a new start ... and in the Dickinsean way, transformation and redemption.
    I know that sounds smug and high-minded, but I have to admit that it's Dan's resisitance to holiday shopping for me that I hope to Transform, and that he will Redeem himself by actually shopping!
    We did have a fab day ... the food was utterly amazing. Bless him, he CAN cook a turkey!

  24. Thank you, Seeker! It takes a special woman, like you, to host a linky party ... it just takes time to grow! I'm liking the company so far!
    And thank you for all the nice remarks. So sweet , and I agree ... we both have excellent taste in black and brown stripes!
    We had one of the best dinners ever, and I'm in watching the calories-closely-mode as I'll do it all again next month!

  25. Thank you very much, Nicolene! So sweet of you to stop by and I'm extra pleased you like my Ralph Lauren tough-girl boots ... they are great for very cold, nasty weather!

  26. Again ... extra thanks. We've both met a bunch of great women via blogging, haven't we?

  27. Awww.... thanks Ann! So sweet, and so like you! I'm so glad you enjoy what I try to do.
    I'm not sure Thanksgiving was peaceful, but it was sure fun. I overate pretty seriously, so I'm back on best behavior ... would like to fit in my winter clothes until at least February!

  28. Wonderful, wonderful post. I want you to know that I'm truly grateful for your blogging friendship, you were one of the first that gave my the encouraging words I needed as a new blogger and the motivation to continue on. Your style accidents are quite remarkable, in fact I do believe this one is one of the BEST outfits you've put together, it's just stunning. By the way, I'm really liking your hair length and color right now.

  29. You are so kind, Tamera! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving, after the very tough weeks and year you kids have had in some ways. I almost had to make a run into Fort Smith for restaurant stuff today, and found a better solution ... reprieve! I didn't want to go anywhere.
    Have a great week, lady!

  30. being grateful is so important for being happy, so thanks giving is a wonderful tradition to me. we don't have that here in germany, but I'm seriously thinking aout celebrating it next year, too! anyhow, being grateful is a wonderful exercise to practice everyday.

  31. Happy Thanksgiving Jan! I love your gratitude list...I'm one of many grateful for your bloggy friendship. You always have a knack of saying just the right thing! xo

  32. All of that ... right back at you! Thank you for saying such nice things. The sense of style that I most aspire to is so often much more in my head than on my back. Aspirational looks for me are always a modifed and adapted version ... but wait! That's true for all of us to at least some extent. I learn so much from women just like me when I watch their similar efforts.
    I'm always inspired at your aesthetic and taste, Aya.
    Have a great one! I have to sneak into town this AM for restaurant supplies ... hope all the crazy people got what they wanted and went home!

  33. I like the stripes on stripes in this sophisticated bronze and black color scheme (found your blog via Suzanne Carillo fyi!)

    Glad you were able to have a Thanksgiving that made you and your family happy. Your list is great, especially the part about being grateful for some of the more fun but "less high minded" part of life. I am grateful for my family and such too, but I think in a way it is easy to be grateful for things like that. We are privileged to live in a first world country with the comforts we enjoy too and sometimes that is easy to forget.

  34. Oohhh I saw you at Suzanne Carillo's blog! Well done.

  35. Dining out ... yes! We have often wished there were someplace here open on Thanksgiving, Cuban? Yummmmm. Sounds seriously satisfying and completely tasty for a fun Christmas. Another thing we have in common ... Not Cuban but from a similar latitude. We do border style Mexican on Christmas Day most years. And often on Christmas Eve, we do my dumb old Pot-Spaghetti.
    I can so see you poseing and pouting through "Santa Baby" ... have you done it for YouTube yet?
    Glad you liked my black and brown stripes ... an outfit that looks better on a sunny day with my hair color. Lock horns? Nah. Just more than cursory discussions. So fun to have something to discuss!
    Here I am, late again in replies. So glad you wrote, though, and so happy to read it. You're a peach, and I hope you have a great week coming up!

  36. Hope you had a good holiday, Oksana! Thank you so much for your very nice comments. Glad you like my outfit ... I mentioned that I'd had the skirt forever; it belonged to my mother, and she died in 1997! So it was a long time coming, that pairing!
    And thank you again for finding my bee pin ... I've been looking for one for quite a while now. I just finished buying it off your site, and am looking forward to wearing it.
    Have a great week, Oksana!

  37. I'm grateful for you, too! I'm so far behind in replies, and just getting out and about to look at blogs. It's odd how our slow season at the restaurant seems to mean more work for me! I did not know you'd included me in your recent post ... I'm far beyond flattered! Thank you about a billion times. I so appreciate being included, especially in such great company!
    Glad you liked this outfit. It's one that makes me happy when I wear it!
    Stay warm and have a lovely week.

  38. Hello, lovely Nell! Yours is one of those blogs that reminds me that dressing and personal presentation are parts of an intricate language we all use to show ourselves to the world. I'm so drawn to the vivid way you use that language!
    If you've not yet met Jean at , I highly recommend her site and work to you. She's highly skilled at refashioning and re-envisioning, and speaks your language in ways I think may interest you ... just with a different accent!

    Have a great week, Nell ..thank you for visiting!

  39. Hey, Debbie! That's exactly what we did, more eating than hanging out. I'm having to watch what I eat forevermore, just because of this one day!
    Since Dan is at work most nights at the restaurant, I DVR his favorite programs and we marathon them on holidays so he gets a chance to catch up!
    Hope your Thanksgiving was a lovely one and that you have a great week coming up!

  40. Mrs C ... you always say the nicest, most thoughtful things. I appreciate every word.
    I'm happy to hear that the Captain's health issue is happily resolved. Kidney stones? Yikes .. that's a good one to have behind you!
    Here in the US, we have larger economic and social gaps than in previous decades, so Thanksgiving was a mixed bag for lots of people. Always good for us, especially here, to remember the value of what we do possess in terms of treasure and relationships ... so many lack so many of the elements that make life secure.
    I'm genuinely tickled that you get a kick out of my writing. Someday ... when my ship comes in ... Dubai is now on my bucket list!
    Have a great week, and thanks so much for stopping by.

  41. So happy to hear from you, Curtise! Know you are pushed to death right now ... so I'm extra happy you had time to read and write. I think of you often when I see things that I'm pretty sure would appall you or amuse you! One of the things I'm grateful for this year is that Debenhams finally came up to scratch for you! About time!
    Hope you're beginning to enjoy your new position ... are you seeing it as a permanent thing, or is it just for the holidays?
    Have a great week, our Curtise. And thanks for all!

  42. wow, you look awesome in this striped mix! Also loving your hubby for his laid back wishes during the holidays. Spending the day in your pj's sounds so relaxed! Hope you had some nice holidays!!

  43. Wonderful outfit Jan. I just love the pairing of the top with this skirt. I have wanted a brown/black striped top like this one and am keeping my eye out for one when thrifting...just haven't run across it yet...but it's on my wish list. You look great! :)

  44. Oh, I love how you mix horizontal and vertical prints together! :) We don´t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Spain although Black Friday sales are beginning to crop up in here too, a North American influence, by the way. ;)

  45. Thank you, Carmen! So happy you liked my post, identified with all my happy feelings, and liked my stripey matching. The skirt is very old, but it just works with the sweater ... I'm pleased.
    I enjoy your responses, and am always glad to see you here!

  46. Thank you, Wendy! Glad you liked my list of good stuff! The day was pretty much what we set out to make it, but I get crabby when I've over-eaten, and stayed up too late. Went to bed vowing not to over-eat again ... until Christmas, anyway!
    So happy to see you here.

  47. Hey, Anne! Thanks for stopping by to say hey. I'm so happy you got tickled with my post ... that's always a goal of mine. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well!
    I'm so far behind ... still have to work on Visible Monday post. But not till I say thanks to you kids who took the time to write!
    See you at your blog ... very soon!

  48. Hello, Greetje! Glad you had fun with my silly post. It's always so good to hear from you! Thank you so much for your kind remarks and good wishes. You never miss any details!
    I didn't intend to wear the jacket at all, but it was the coldest day that we've had so far ... right on the heels of that very warm spell. So I just put it over my shoulders for the photo. Can't run around with it just sitting on my shoulders like that ... I'm not nearly cool enough for that. It's a good way to allow the outfit under a coat to show a little, though!
    See you at your blog, very soon!

  49. I only saw it a couple of days ago... I'm so pleased, and was happy to write to her to say thanks!
    I'm flattered, but more than a little intimidated by the company!

  50. Thanks for letting me know, Tamera! I had no idea, and I was glad someone told me. I'm behind getting to everyone's posts right now, and would have been sad to miss it! If you hadn't mentioned it, I couldn't have thanked her ... a reminder to keep up with everyone a bit better!

  51. Wow ... that all has been a long time ago, Trina. You're lovely blog is often one of the brightest spots in my week, and I'm glad we met as well!
    Thank you for your kind comments on my stripey serendipity as well. And for your very kind comments on my hair, as well! I'll be writing more about that later today! Will be interested to know what you think about that as well!

  52. Gratitude and all your favorite foods, friends and family! What's not to like ... beyond putting on a pound or two. But you are right, better to practice it every day! Thank you for reading, and dropping by ... always a pleasure to hear from you.

  53. Hey Sue! One of my favoritie bloggy buddies ... I'm grateful always for your amazing posts. Your thoughtful, spirit rich topics and mad, mad skills and taste make for a wonderful combination. So happy I know you! Especially as you always have nice things to say! Thanks so much, darling girl !

  54. Hello, Kristian! So glad to meet you. You are very welcome here, and I'm happy you stopped by! Thanks so much for your nice comments. I don't mind telling you, I was intimidated to find myself in such sleek company at Suzanne's. She's amazing, and I'm so flattered that she included me among her faves for the week. Big, big honor for me.

    I know what you mean ... friends, family, ones health, home and security ... it's important to remember all of those. But I think it's important to count the spicy elements that keep life fun, too. Here's where our individuality comes in!
    Stop by any time!

  55. Anja! So glad to hear from you! Thank you so much for your sweet comments, and for coming by to say hello! We did have a great Thanksgiving, but I got pretty crabby from overeating guilt by bedtime! Otherwise ... a fun day!

  56. Lovely Lisa! Thank you so much. Hope you find one ... you look so good in cool neutrals as well as the pastels you wear so well! Good luck on your quest!

  57. Hello, Che! So happy you stopped by, and I thank you for your kind comments!
    But, YIKES! I'm so sorry our American style greediness is popping up there in lovely Spain as well! With a tough world economy, I guess it's inevitable, but what a sad thing to hear.

  58. Dawn @ AlterEgoFashionistaDecember 3, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    What a totally delightful post! I loved reading about your gratefulness and your shopping trips and your family. I enjoyed your insights and meanderings...and especially, I think your outfit is a winner in every way! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

  59. SO loving this look! Glad to have come across you and your blog on Google+. :)


  60. I am grateful for you Jan. For your witty and intelligent writing. For your stunning style perspective. For the absolutely beautiful comments that you leave on Style Crone. I am so happy and honored to know you out here in blog land. And hope to meet you someday when you visit your family in Denver.

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