I'm Dreaming of a Peacock Christmas! What Color is Your Christmas?

Everywhere you look this year you see lots of lovely teal and peacocks! We see peacocks for Christmas? Yes, this year seems to be the Year of the Christmas Peacock. So let's see what it takes to do it!
Peacock for Christmas
Looks to me like it takes lots of green and blue on the tree. You can also support the look throughout the room with other design elements that aren't ornaments. Things like lamps and artwork. Pillows and such. All these things add to the peacock look. It is a very luxurious look, especially if you spread it around.

Details of a Peacock Christmas
Tree toppers and ornaments. Ribbons and clip-on peacocks. Feathers and tree skirts. And more throw pillows! Even a wreath made of feathers! The peacock motif is very popular as a decor element right now anyway, so doing it for Christmas is easy. A throw tossed across the back of the sofa and some pillows add the color and motif to a room in a big way. You'll even find inexpensive (and expensive) wine glasses and dishes with this motif and the colors available in your home dec stores. Makes your holiday entertaining really fun!

After the holiday decor is taken down and packed away, you may decide you want to keep that lovely teal color around year round. It's a wonderful, rich color and is very easy to decorate with in any room of the house.

So have yourself a merry little Christmas!
Judi and the Blue Cat

You're Invited to My Christmas Party!

It's that time! And so I'm inviting you to my Christmas party! What will you wear? Well, I'm a fairly casual person and my party is at my home, which is casual and comfortable. Kick off your shoes, if you'd like to.

Maybe these will give you some ideas...

You're Invited to My Christmas Party!
Teals and greens with a touch of a light ruby tone are just the thing if you're not into the standard Christmas colors. Not everyone wants to look like a Christmas tree!

You're Invited to My Christmas Party! 2
Varying tones of ruby make a great festive look during the holidays!

You're Invited to My Christmas Party! 3
No, I don't think you really want to wear the standard red and green of Christmas. How about black and white geometric with olive green? With the right pieces, it really looks awesome! And with your smile in luscious red, it'll look even better!

You're Invited to My Christmas Party! 4
This is as close to elf colors as I get, but who can resist these boots? And jingle bell earrings? Come on!

You're Invited to My Christmas Party! 5
This looks like a warm and festive outfit to nibble candy cane cookies in! Maybe you can help pass around some fudge, too!

You're Invited to My Christmas Party! 6
Wow, someone's feeling really festive today! The satin skirt and lace blouse aren't enough. There're bows on the heels of the boots, too! Wow! If you show up in this, I may have to put an apron on you so that we don't spill anything on you. But you sure do look pretty!

You're Invited to My Christmas Party! 7
Deep berry red and olive green, mmmm, nice. Untraditional, but still holiday-ish. A great look with that shrug!

You're Invited to My Christmas Party! 8
Now, this is a pretty look! Patent leather shoes and a chiffon off-the-shoulder blouse with trousers. Comfy and pretty in this dark ruby.

So put me on your calendar and pick out an outfit to wear! Bring some cookies or something else yummy to share!

Holiday wishes from
Judi and the Blue Cat

Solo by Jill Mansell

Solo



Untitled #2985My reading group is doing another challenge and this one sounds like a doozy! COYER Black Out: Winter Storm! You can only read those 99 cent and free books you've been accumulating on your e-reader! It starts December 17th and goes until March 3rd. You're more than welcome to join the group and the fun. This really is a fun group. Lots of other things going on throughout the week. Just follow this link to the site and join in!

Follow Me by Tiffany Snow

Follow Me (Corrupted Hearts #1)

by 

The Digital Gallery presents Katie!

Today, I have the work of another of Polyvore's digital artists, kateadams-2501. Her work is consistently sweet and uplifting. It often is whimsical. She often uses fairies in her art as well as animals. At times she adds text or poems to her pieces. I'm sure you're going to enjoy Katie's work.

Sleep tight....

Sleep Tight
Each day...
Each day...

Moonlight Skate 1978
Moonlight Skate 1978
Happy Sunday!
Happy Sunday!
The gift
The Gift
Really?
Really?
Ready to roll....
Ready to Roll

Getting dirty on the farm....
Getting Dirty on the Farm
ANOTHER rainy day!
ANOTHER Rainy Day!
Is this the "sandman"?
Is this the Sandman?
For you,  from Me...
For You, From Me

Well, was I right? Did you enjoy Katie's work? See what I mean about uplifting, whimsical and such. Her work is always a pleasure to see in my daily feed from Polyvore. 

A Peek at Some Thanksgiving Decor Ideas!

I took some of the Thanksgiving decor ideas from the contest on Polyvore to share with you. So many of the entries were so very, very pumpkin orange. I tried to stay away from those sets. I tried for sets that were more appealing. I leave it up to your own conscience what you do to share with those other than your own family. I don't preach.

GRATITUDE
Gratitude

I love the feeling and sentiment of this piece. The feeling is so light and airy. If we were sitting at this table, we would be able to carry on a conversation across the table. Yes, there are tall items in the center, but they are spaced well to allow for talking. And I really like the combination of all the different metals.

Festive....Not Fussy !!
Festive not Fussy
by kateo

It's exactly as the title says, festive without being fussy. It's bright and colorful, but not overwhelmingly so. And I love the shape of those wine glasses!
Thanksgiving Decor
Thanksgiving Decor
by kiki-bi

Simple and classic, gold on white. So pretty. And lime green!
B r a n c h Out into the Season - Home
Branch Out Into The Season
by nonniekiss

A minimalist look at decor as we move on into the holidays. Using clean branches for decoration against white creates a stark, stripped down look that can be very appealing when everything else is getting crazy and hectic.
BASKET case
Basket Cast
by queenofsienna

Another approach to containing the clutter. Baskets are a great way to confine all the loose ends, the bits, and pieces that escape your control as you go about your day to day life. Scoop the whole project up and toss it into a basket. It's all there when you have the time to go back to it. Or stash all of the month's magazines in one so that you know where they are when you have the time to browse through them. At our house, there's one for dog toys and one for cat toys. So we don't have to walk on them and the Roomba doesn't vac them up.

Winter Kitchen ~ Hot Cocoa
Hot Chocolate Bar ~ Winter Kitchen
by alexandrazeres

This is something I wish I had room for in my kitchen! It's not only pretty to look at, but think of being able to make hot chocolate easily any time of day, or night!

Well, I hope you got some ideas for the start of the season. If you're here in the US of A and doing Thanksgiving tomorrow, be thankful. If you're an American not able to be here at home for the holiday, I hope you come home safely soon.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Judi and the Blue Cat

Starting to Think About Winter?

It seems like we just got into Fall clothes and here I am talking about Winter! But since we've already had our first frost, and some of you have had your first snowfall; I think it might be appropriate to get on the ball about Winter things, too. Thanksgiving is Thursday and my sister is already fluffing her trees getting ready to decorate for Christmas. So, okay, I guess it is really time. I'm just not quite ready for it. Am I ever?

Oh well, ready or not, let's look good when it gets here!

Thinking Winter! 1
Pink and black is such a great girly combination! This is the grown up version. Pink pencil skirt with black lace trim at hem and black lace blouse with a camisole. Top with slim pink kimono jacket. Add pink pumps and two-tone handbag. Jet earrings add some sparkle. For warmth top it all with a dark and medium gray wool coat with a large faux fur collar.
Thinking Winter! 2
Skinny jeans and a striped blouse under a striped blanket cardigan. Two-tone suede booties and a large black tote make sassy accessories. Earrings also add interest with the two tones and a pearl. Keep it all warm with a fringed scarf, leather gloves, and a multi-striped coat with slash pockets. A graphic statement!
Thinking Winter! 3
A gold lace midi skirt and a deep chestnut chiffon layered blouse. Gold suede boots make you look tall with the color going all the way to the floor. A light chestnut colored leather bag adds interest. Chestnut colored earrings add some sparkle. Warm it all up for the outdoors with a knitted lace scarf and faux fur jacket in multi-tones.

Thinking Winter! 4
Stone colored suede leggings and a royal blue velvet tunic top look quite elegant with black and royal flats and a faux fur bag. The star-studded scarf adds a bit of fun, and the sapphire and diamond earrings add sparkle. The pale blue coat looks cold, but its wool will keep you warm when the wind blows.

Thinking Winter! 5
A copper and cream striped skirt topped with a chunky knit cream sweater looks great with ankle booties and two toned bag in similar tones. Rose gold earrings blend well. For more warmth when you must face the cold, a multicolored scarf and pine green wool coat with an oversized faux fur collar.
Thinking Winter! 6
Olive skinny cargo pants and a peaches and cream tunic sweater with a print silk scarf tied at the neck are a great start. Tuck the cargoes into cream suede knee high boots and rose gold teardrop earrings finish the look. The leather and suede pierced bag adds more green and suede to the look, so it's a good choice here. A canvas coat full of warm stuffing and a large, fluffy faux fur collar top it all to keep you warm. The nude tone gloves with nail polish accents are for fun and warmth!
Thinking Winter! 7
This dress is a plus-size item. It's short, but for winter, you may not want to be wearing something this short when the wind is blowing cold. So add a pair of leggings or heavy opaque tights and short funky boots to the outfit for a cute look. For a more sophisticated look, the taller, high-heeled boots would work. The red handbag picks up the primary color in the design on the front of the dress. The earrings pick up all of the colors! The faux fur coat keeps out the cold!
Thinking Winter! 8
A pair of skinny jeans, a print tunic blouse, and a fringed blue on black blanket cardigan look great with pointed, textured flats and a black handbag. These are all in very dark tones and along slim lines. The bright sky blue and white earrings add a touch of brightness and light to the outfit. For warmth, cover up with a charcoal blue waterfall wool coat and a sky blue scarf. Add sky blue leather gloves with creamy white pom poms for extra fun!

T'is the season for layers. Not the lightweight layers we were wearing last month, but heavier layers that include wool and fleece. This is not the time for peep-toes anymore. Put those to the back of your closet and wear the closed toe shoes and your boots. Ankle boots, knee-high boots or over-the-knee boots. Whatever you like, they're in all the stores and everywhere on-line! Prices range from quite affordable to simply outrageous!

You know your own area, so be smart about buying winter coats. If you get a mild winter, you can get just about anything that appeals to you. If your winters are serious, pay more attention to fabric content when shopping. You don't want wool blends, you want 100% wool for warmth. You don't want just any fleece, you want the wind cutter fleece to break the wind. You don't want just any puffer, you want one with real down with a temperature rating proper for your area. Don't waste your money on a coat that's not going to keep you warm. It's just not worth it, no matter how smart it looks!

So now's the time to look through your closet and find your warm clothes. Pick things up from the dry cleaners if they've been in storage there for the summer. Think ahead to what layers work with what. Try new things that you haven't done before for fresh, new looks with what you already have. Shop for what you need to add or put those things on your Christmas wish list and make sure you add color and size so you don't have to exchange after the holiday!

Next week is the fourth week before Christmas, so I'll start looking at fashions for different types of holiday parties you might get invited to. It looks like all the holidays hit at about the same time this year. And then there's New Year's Eve and Day. So you'll need clothes for house parties, office parties, big parties, and small parties. Family and friends parties. And parties where you don't know anyone. I'll do my best to find you outfits for every occasion. 

Until then, enjoy the other offerings here on Blue Cat Review!
Judi and the Blue Cat

White Sand, Blue Sea by Anita Hughes

White Sand, Blue Sea: A St. Barts Love Story

by Anita Hughes (Goodreads Author)

ebook
Expected publication: April 11, 2017, by St. Martin's Griffin

GoodReads Summary:
Olivia Miller is standing on the porch of her mother and stepfather's plantation style villa in St. Barts. They have been coming here every April for years but she is always thrilled to see the horseshoe-shaped bay of Gustavia and white sand of Gouverneur's Beach. This trip should be particularly exciting because she is celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday and hoping that Finn, her boyfriend of four years, will propose.

The only person who won't be here is her father, Sebastian, who she hasn’t seen in twenty years. He’s a well-known artist and crisscrosses the globe, painting and living in exotic locations like Kenya and China. When Sebastian unexpectedly walks through the door and floats back into Olivia’s life like a piece of bad driftwood she never knew she wanted, she starts to wondering if her world is too narrow. She questions the dreams and the relationship she’s always thought she wanted. But there seems to be more to the story than an innocent fatherly visit, and Olivia must decide if love is more important than truth.

Set on St. Barts, the jewel of the Caribbean, WHITE SAND, BLUE SEA is a heartwarming story about romance and adventure, and most importantly, about knowing yourself, and what makes you happy.

My Review: I gave this book three stars. It lost one star because it is supposed to be a romance and it isn't romantic. It lost another star because the characters aggravated me, a lot.  They all needed a really good shake. Ms. Hughes wrote really good aggravating characters. Maybe for that, I should give her a star back.

The biological father had shady  motivations for being involved after all this time. Where the heck has he been and what is he doing back here now? The stepfather should have shown more backbone on two fronts - the invasion of his house and his marriage. These two make strange friends.

The mother-wife-ex was conflicted and not sure about which way to go or what to do about what was happening. She needed to speak to her husband and lay down some boundaries with her ex. She needed her husband's support to handle the situation and she kept waiting for the right moment. There is no right moment - just ask for it. He needed to know she needed him. Instead, he's playing tennis and loaning out his wardrobe to the ex.

Everyone should have stopped tip toeing around the fiance. He needed to show his support for the woman he's claiming to love instead of whining. Here's a young woman who hasn't seen her father since she was a very young child. She wants to spend time with him and the last thing she needs to be doing is worrying about who else's feelings might be getting hurt. This is a major crisis in her life and she's not getting a lot of support from those closest to her. She's having to handle it on her own! A very strange family situation.

But, I didn't write this book. Anita Hughes did.  She chose this family dynamic. She's not new at this either. She's written almost a dozen books and is a well thought of author. So, maybe she's just not my style. Or maybe I just need to read more of her work to get a better feel for her. I think to do her justice, I should read at least one more of her books. I'll let you know what I think once I've done that. Then maybe I'll read this again and re-review it. But right now, I just can't recommend this book when it shows up on shelves in the spring.

This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley

The Pattern Artist

by Nancy Moser (Goodreads Author)
Kindle320 pages
Expected publication: December 1, 2016, by Shiloh Run Press
GoodReads Summary:
English housemaid Annie Wood arrives in New York in 1911. On her own for the first time working as a Macy’s sewing department clerk, Annie catches the eye of a salesman at the Butterick Pattern Company. Through determination, hard work, and God’s leading, Annie discovers a hidden gift: she is a talented fashion designer—an artist of the highest degree. As she runs from ghosts of the past and focuses on the future, Annie enters a creative world that takes her to the fashion houses of Paris and into a life of adventure, purpose, and love.

My Review:
I've already added this one to my favorites list! I knew when I read the summary of it on NetGalley that I would like it. And I loved the cover design. Once I got into reading it, I was lost in it. I couldn't read it in one sitting because of what was going on at the time, but I had no trouble getting right back into the story each time I picked it up. The story stayed with me.

Ms. Moser wrote her story with brush strokes so that you could see exactly what was going on and understand everything easily. Annie Wood has the greatest good luck in each of her crossroads. And she trusts in God all the way. Even when she does something that she knows is wrong, she ends up not only not getting in trouble, but she comes out ahead. Rising from house maid to fashion designer, in Paris, no less. If you've got a taste for a fun story and fashion, this is certainly the book for you!

I was provided an eARC by Shiloh Run Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley of Blue Cat Review

Just a note...

Untitled #2985This is just a quick note to let you know that I have fixed the comments function and anyone can now leave comments. You don't have to belong to my blog or Diskus or anyone else. You just have to have something to say. Please be considerate with the comments you leave. I reserve the right to remove any inappropriate language.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Judi and the Blue Cat

The Digital Gallery Presents SUBURBHATER

I would like to share the artwork of a particularly gifted digital artist with you this week. Her Polyvore name is SUBURBHATER. She has been on Polyvore for seven years and is from Canada. Her work has always been inspirational to me and has always stood out in any group she has joined. I am sharing some of her most recent work with you.

7642 - simpler times
Simpler Times

7637 - therapy session
Therapy Session
7636 - refills
Refills

7634 - mind meld
Mind Meld

7631 - where to start?
Where to Start?

7632 - musically inclined
Musically Inclined

7629 - Window on the night
Window on the Night

7628 - Tabitha really hated to leave home
Tabitha really hated to leave home

7627 - travel arrangements
Travel Arrangements

7624 - breathe
Breathe

7623 - the great cat rock caper
The Great Cat Rock Caper

7617 - whistle down the wind
Whistle Down the Wind
7608 - giving thanks in all things
Giving Thanks in All Things

7600 - onward
onward

7601 - and upward
and upward

I hope you enjoyed this presentation of this very gifted artist's work as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.

Don't miss tomorrow's book review on The Pattern Artist by Nancy Moser due out December 1, 2016. A book I gave a five-star rating to and added to my favorites list!

Until next time,
Judi and the Blue Cat