Birth Of Spring

Spring is a breathtaking time here, as flowers burst forth in gardens, meadows, and along roadsides. I always look forward to visiting the Biltmore Estate to see the tulips in bloom in late March.

On Saturday, we spent another perfect day in Asheville, North Carolina. One of our purposes was to try out the new camera. This blogging adventure consistently encourages me to learn new things.

Read more about Colonel Robert K. Morgan here.

I snapped the photos above around Asheville as we enjoyed the sunshine. Thank you to Mr. Mickey for his photographs, making it possible to show you what I am wearing.

The day started cold but warmed up in the afternoon. Knowing that we would be gone for the whole day, I dressed for changing weather. Layers serve me well for all but the hottest time of the year.

The sunglasses are by Tory Burch. Mr. Mickey bought the ring for me while visiting an antique store in Knoxville a few years ago. It’s time for a haircut!

The long black cardigan and tank are from Chico’s. The straight leg jeans and the handbag are by Michael Kors. Shoes by BCBGeneration last year.

My search for an elusive silver/gray tank top from Chico’s continues. As we left the store in Biltmore Village empty-handed, I was thrilled to cross paths with a follower of the blog and her family. Lorraine made me so happy when she told me, “You inspired me to lose weight and step up my fashion game!” If you happen to see us out and about, please come up and talk to us. You are the reason I publish this blog, and I genuinely enjoy meeting you.

  1. I’ve been craving a piece of the French Kande and wondering about the best piece you’d recommend for casual Summer. Do they offer your readers a discount?

    1. I wish they did offer a discount, but no. (I don’t get one either!) I took into consideration the color of stone beads that would look best with my complexion and the shape of a medallion that would look best with my round face. Think about these points as you make your decision, so that you will be more likely to get something you will enjoy wearing often.

  2. I love Asheville! I stopped at Biltmore recently on my way to attend your workshop. Bulbs, especially the hyacinth, where beautiful. Someday I will splurge for a French Kanye piece. I really like the luxe look. I substantially changed the way I think about food and what I eat after following your site for some time. I have read and continue to review the Eat to Live cookbook. I am now only six pounds away from my goal weight and do feel allot better. Thanks!

  3. Biltmore has always been one of my favorite places. It’s been many years since I’ve been there however. I enjoy you pictures of it so much thanks. BTY I like your hair at the length it is now. Looks softer. I would love to be able to run into you sometime, but Denver is a long way from Tennessee. Have a lovely day.

  4. Just lovely, Susan. Please tell me more about your new camera. I’m beginning a search for a different camera and am finding it somewhat overwhelming.

  5. i enjoy wearing a third piece topper , but here in texas it is really hard , some days it is so warm there are very few items to use to cover up the tank top and i dont really like going about in just a tank … i know your weather is not quite so warm , but what would you do if you were in the texas heat ? i appreciate any ideas.. thank you

    1. I wear a loose fitting flowing top and a long necklace often in the summer. I also might wear a layered tank with the same tone of pants if I am in Memphis or L.A. and it is 100 degrees. I admit that it is a challenge to get dressed in hot weather. More examples to follow.

      1. So many companies make summer clothing with polyester in them and that is just too hot to wear in the summer in the hot and humid south. We need linen and cotton clothing….a little Lycra is fine, but polyester is a no no.

        1. Uniqlo makes a number of linen shirts. I especially like their button downs. You can wear it open with a tank top underneath and roll up the sleeves a bit.

  6. Susan, I echo Renee’s request for what to wear in hot and humid weather. Here on the coast of NC it is so muggy and hot so much of the summer (and well into fall) that dressing well is a challenge for those of us who don’t want to go sleeveless (I prefer 3/4 length sleeves or long ones that I fold up to that length) and who don’t wear shorts. There are days when even a necklace is too uncomfortable and a scarf would only work indoors. So, imagine you are going to be in such a climate for an extended time and share your ideas, please! Many thanks for ALL the advice you offer in every posting!

  7. For those living in hotter areas, Talbots has several linen items – tops, pants and blazers. Here in Michigan we still need to dress warm, we might get some snow on Friday. I’d rather see tulips!

  8. I recently walked into a Maurice’s for the first time in twenty years. I thought they catered to the mostly teenage crowd so I was pleasantly surprised to find nice business casual clothes as well as casual. They also carry up to size 22 now. I had spent hours on the internet searching for lace trimmed tanks and was thrilled to find a huge variety of tanks there–lace trimmed, plain, crinkled, loose, you name it. I also found (and bought) two lightweight, open stitch crocheted long cardigans. They are perfect for warm weather over a tank and do a great job of hiding the dreaded batwings!

  9. You inspire many women. Please keep up the great work. Beautiful photos!! Camera must be a nice one.

  10. Love your look, and love the scarf!…It goes with so many things…I have ordered several scarves from you and love them all..I also love your hair that length….very flattering! You are a real inspiration, and thanks, too, for your travel recommendations!

  11. How nice to see photos of flowers. There’s a possibility of snow in our forecast for tomorrow night.

    (Ontario, Canada)

  12. Hello Susan!
    I’ve learned so many great things from you! One of them is French Kande jewelry. Every since I started following your blog, I have wanted some of that jewelry. Well, I just turned 60 a few days ago, and for my birthday my sweet family got me a French Kande necklace and a bracelet. ( necklace is the midnight mix with the cuvee royale medallion and the bracelet is the triple labradorite with the Abielle medallion). I sure do love them! And the good news is I also received some birthday money and I will probably purchase another necklace. I really like the one you are showing here. May have to get it! Anyway, thank you so much for your blog and for showing us so many great things. Will you ever make it to the Seattle area? Would love to see you in person!

  13. Hi,

    Can’t help but notice how lovely your hands are. Do you do anything special to keep them looking so youthful.

    Thanks, Sandi

  14. Hi Susan, I have been reading you blog for almost a year and love your style. I read the Eat To Live book per your recommendation and am trying to give up sugar. Coffee? Never! Please keep doing what you are doing; I truly enjoy you.

  15. I live in Cyprus and have had to find a way to dress in the very hot months. I now have a collection of linen loose clothes, dresses especially, and they are comfortable yet still elegant. Very thin white cotton trousers with loose tops are also good. I am still able to wear sleeveless but have some pretty little crochet type cardies if I want to cover up my arms. Hope this helps, it is a challenge to stay chic in the sweltering heat!

  16. I purchased a gold and a silver metallic tank top from Chicos long ago. Not sure they are still around, but I find reason to wear both year round.

  17. Hi Susan, love, love, your blog! I have really tweaked my style
    due to some of your advice. Not sure if I’m saving much money
    though because reading your blog has made me
    become more interested in having “style”! And I’ve developed
    a passion for French Kande. That’s ok, my husband seems to like
    the “new” me so no worries 🙂

  18. Beautiful tulips…my favorites are the peony tulips & only a few bloomed here. Looking great Susan & I liked all your choices, including the new bag. Just visited shop w/the French Kande yesterday..lovely. It was nice to get to see Lorraine too!

  19. Just stumbled onto your blogs a couple weeks ago. After getting to my goal weight I’m rebuilding my wardrobe. I have been inspired by your videos and daily blogs. I’m glad someone is willing to teach us and help us with style. I live in Oregon so it is fun to see all the states that you have followers. I went to Chico’s and Talbot’s recently to by a few basics. I still get overwhelmed with so many choices. Any help would be appreciated. I’m retired and active casual, but also like to look nice shopping, going to grandchildren sporting events or out to dinner. Thank You.

  20. What a delight to see not only gorgeous scenery & outfit details (the ooh la la new French Kande necklace!) but you with a fan you inspired! Love it!

  21. Susan, the North Carolina chamber of commerce should give you an award. No one promotes the beauties of North Carolina like you do. Your lovely pictures of the Biltmore have convinced me and my husband that next spring, we are going to visit there. Do you recommend staying at the Inn on the estate or some where near by? All the lovely towns you have high lighted will be on our list.

    1. The Inn on Biltmore is superb. The Grand Bohemian is right outside the gate of the estate, and it is also excellent. Spring is a magical time to visit this region!

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.