Finding the Beauty Around Me with DressLily & Link Up On the Edge #41

I am attempting to get back into the swing of things after the last few weeks of craziness. As I sat down at my keyboard to begin drafting this post, I found myself completely lost for inspiration. But I have an outfit with a shirt that I am obligated to show, so show you I must. But I wanted a theme, a message, something inspirational or important to share with you besides a cool top. And my cool top has a really cool tree on it, so I did some random Google searches about trees to see if it would lead me to something inspirational.

*This is a sponsored post. I received this top in exchange for a blog post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

In my Google search, I found this little gem from the novelist Alice Walker.

“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.”

This statement speaks volumes about so many things that I represent. We, as people, are all so imperfect and it is really the common denominator that bonds us all together. We just need to be able to see how perfectly human we are in our imperfections. We all have faults, harbor dark secrets, do things we are not proud of, say things we later regret. We, like trees, are contorted in weird and sometimes even ugly ways. But there is still beauty in all of us. You just need to change your perception.

When I first spotted this tee from DresssLily, it drew me in…I was attracted to the almost ugliness of the blackest black tree on the stark white background. At first I hesitated in choosing it. Was it ugly? Or was it completely awesome because it was so strange and eerie? I opted for the latter opinion. I had envisioned pairing it with a long black skirt to keep the near Gothic feel of the tee shirt, but that resulted in my entering the realm of frump. I picked through my closet, searching for the perfect match. Something was screaming red. Bold, bright, harsh red to offset or perhaps accentuate the oddity of the black tree.  I am quite pleased with the result. Ugly or not, I felt good in it and at the end of the day that is all that really matters.

Outfit Details
Tree Tee: Plus Size Tree Print Asymmetrical T-Shirt c/o DressLily (Currently on sale for $13.05).
Jeans: Old Navy (No longer available, but similar here and here).
Sweater: Banana Republic (From at least 10 years ago. Shop their Spring Sweaters here).
Shoes: DSW (Brand is Cliffs by White Mountain. No longer available but similar here and here).
Scarf: Cato Fashions (No longer available. Shop their scarves here).
Jewelry: All very old.

I am going to make much more of an effort to spot the beauty in the strange, the odd, the ugly, the imperfect.  I am going to pay more attention to the contorted details that surround me.  And I am going to try to appreciate them all the more. How about you?

And now let’s get back to the business of linking up! Here are your favorite posts from 2 weeks ago.

Susan of Over 50 Under 20 shared her thoughts on Why You Need to Wear the Right Shoes. While I am completely sympathetic to her injury, I couldn’t help but laugh at the story and the brilliant way she delivered it! I do hope you are mending nicely, Susan.  And by the way, you look fabulous even accessorizing with a crutch!

And Kathrine of Kathrine Eldridge Wardrobe Stylist shared her idea for The Perfect Gift for Mom from Monday Sparkles. I guess Mother’s Day really is right around the corner, so thanks so much for the great idea, Kathrine!

As always, I am ever so grateful to everyone who reads my blog and joins my link up! I hope to be more actively involved with all of my blogger friends now that the sun is staying up longer thereby preventing me from shutting down by 4:00 p.m.! Have fun linking up.

Keeping it on the edge,


Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups.


I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

66 Responses

  1. That is the most perfect saying, Shelbee!!
    I think we should find the beauty in everything and everyone!! And tress really are quite amazing, if you think about it.
    Then again, so is moving—we pack up our things and switch places much easier than a tree could do….

    • Thanks so much, Jodie! Trees definitely are inspiring in so many ways. We use so many analogies that involve trees, don’t we? The tenacity of a tree. Strong roots like a tree. Accepting changes every season like a tree. The steadfastness of a tree. I guess I will continue to use trees as inspiration when I am at a loss!


  2. Such a good post. Thank you, I feel like it should be read every morning! xoxo

  3. Shelbee, you look so cute. The red pants are perfect. And your hair looks great! Thanks for the inspirational “tree thoughts.” Love them.

  4. I’ve been wanting a red pair of pants for awhile, just can’t find a pair that fits right. I love the red tho with this b/w shirt and I also love that the top has an all black back! Love the tree graphic on the front. It has been so crazy here, too. I don’t know how I’ve kept the blog going! lol!!


    • Thanks so much, Carrie! I recently found these red pants at Old Navy on clearance (end of winter stuff, I think). I had been yearning for red pants, too! I have worn them a few times already. I basically haven’t kept the blog rolling in all y craziness! So now I have to get to work!


  5. I am in love with this graphic tunic! I would love to wear this under a leather jacket or blazer. Thanks for sharing my post on Monday Sparkles. Such a great Mother’s day gift. Thanks for the link up!

  6. That’s a great quote! The world is much better place if we look for and focus on the beautiful everywhere…

    I really like your shirt! I think it looks great with the red pants!

    Thanks for the link up & have a great weekend!

  7. Welcome back!
    I’m sure you will soon get back into the swing of things. You look fabulous Shelbee. I do like a good pair of Red Jeans xx

  8. love your outfit!!!that shirt is so cute!!!

  9. Cute ‘T’ and just the right amount of coloured pop with the red jeans! Thanks for the link up Shelbee. x Jacqui

  10. Love the red pants!!!

  11. Shelbee, I love trees and the more bendy and weird the better. Guess that says a little bit about me! Ha, ha. Your shirt is perfect and I would wear that in a heartbeat. Ann VosKamp in her book, One Thousand Gifts, talks about what she terms, the “ugly beautiful”. I love that term, because it does such a good job of describing life. There is much ugliness in this world, in people, but there is also much beauty. The Bible even talks about God bringing “beauty from ashes”. Great post. Hope you are getting all settled in to your new digs! – Amy

    • Thanks so much for this beautiful comment, Amy! I love that you referenced the Bible here because my post started out with a Biblical quote…flourishing like a green bay tree. But I couldn’t quite get it to go where I wanted it to, so I switched it up! Trees really are amazing and there is beauty everywhere. We just need to open our eyes and see it!


  12. That is one cool tee– love the tree and your interpretation of it 🙂
    XO Susan

  13. What a beautiful quote and what a beautiful message too. We are all contorted in our own ways – the great, the good, the bad and the ugly! Now I want a tree graphic tee.

    Have a great weekend! I will e-mail you very soon.

  14. Love the message in this post! I’m also loving how you styled your tee. Those red pants are fabulous!

    Doused In Pink

  15. Love the quote and the top! It’s super cute with your red pants!

  16. Thank you, Shelbee, for an inspiritational post which I definitely needed to hear this morning and for the link party. I see the beauty in the tree on your shirt. You look lovely wearing it!

    • Thank you, Debbie! It makes me so happy to hear that you were inspired when you needed it most! It is those little things that motivate me to continue doing what I do!


  17. Love the quote and your message. Also that is such a cool and unique shirt! I had my son paint a tree similar to this on a huge canvas to go over my sofa, so this top really caught my eye. Have a wonderful weekend, Shelbee.

    • Thanks so much, Jennie! What a wonderful concept for a painting, too. And it has special meaning since your son painted so I am sure it is a treasured piece in your home! Have a fabulous weekend.


  18. Loving that cool blouse, Shelbee! And you know black, white, and red is one of my fav combos!

    Dawn Lucy

    • Thanks so much, Dawn Lucy! It is one of my fave combinations, too. I am just about to order a really pretty red, black, and white scarf from DressLily! Have a fabulous weekend.


  19. This is such a cool print, and I’m loving the cut of this tee! I also love that quote.

  20. This is such a pretty, unique tunic! Love it paired with the red. My grandma used to say that we’re all weird, some people just let it out more than others :)! Hope you have a great weekend!

    • Thanks so much, Lana! And that is such a fabulous saying of your grandmother’s! I always say “embrace your weirdness”! Have a wonderful weekend.


  21. Thanks for hosting and have a good weekend and good to see that the move went ok.

  22. you look stunning shelbee! I wish i was daring enough to wear some statement bold coloured jeans! great blog!

    • Thank you so much, dear! But how can you not be daring enough to wear bold colored statement anything?! Your blog tagline is “Darling Be Daring”! Go be daring and show me some crazy pants! You will rock them, I’m sure!


  23. Great quote Shelbee… and writer’s block is waaaay too common for me.
    On the top, instead of saying its pretty or ugly, I think it is unique.. and I’d certainly wear it.

    • Well, thank you so much, Lorena! Battling the writer’s block is always challenge for us bloggers, isn’t it? And I have lost my running list of ideas during our recent move! I think I accidentally threw it in the garbage! Ugh. Wishing you a very fabulous weekend!


  24. Dear Shelbee, is it wrong that I feel like singing and twirling around in a I-want-woodland-creatures-to-come-and-help-me-clean-my-house-and-sing-with-me manner? Yes, probably, but I do want that shirt, wow, want. Off to visit and share and sing and share and twirl Thank you and hope the weekend treats everyone kindly. 🙂

    • Oh Donna, that is not weird at all! In fact, that sounds marvelous! Where are these helpful woodland creatures anyway? The only woodland creature I have encountered recently was the very dead mouse in the garage during the moving process which my husband literally had to scrape off the floor! Ugh. Not helpful, Mr. Mouse. Not helpful at all! Wishing you a song-filled and twirl-tastic weekend as well!


  25. Let me tell you about one of my [quickly aborted] art series involving trees.
    You could call it a study of contorted details.

    I believe all the US states have their own State Tree. (New York’s is the Sugar Maple).
    I had this “great” idea to do art pieces involving each state tree.
    It started out OK, but then I made it more and more complicated to the point where I decided to draw the tree into a piece of the actual wood of the specific tree WITH A WOOD BURNER! Did I think I was a boy scout or something? The tree was difficult and forget trying to do any text. And the burning tool got REALLY HOT. The smell of the burning wood was pleasant, however.

    Anyone want a wood burning tool?

    My link this week is about visiting a famous recording studio in Hollywood. It stars Severo.

    • Oh my goodness, Anne! You are so funny! In theory, that sounds like a grand scheme and one that could have turned out brilliant results! And the smell of burning wood is definitely oh so delectable. However, DID you think you were a boy scout?! Ha! No thanks on the wood burning tool. I have no use for such things in my life! Hopping over to check out this link starring Severo!


  26. I’ve been lacking inspiration lately myself so I feel your pain. That is a fabulous quote…because we are all bent in any number of weird ways. I love the tee…the tree graphic is super cool!

    • Thanks so much, Debbie! I feel like I should be more inspired when the weather gets nicer, but then I find myself looking for more ways to procrastinate and put things off! Have a fabulous weekend. I hope we all find our inspiration soon!


  27. I love the way you styled this tree tee. The red makes it!

  28. I love the red jeans, they add a bit of pizzazz and accentuate the top too.

  29. Hello Shelbee! That is a terrific shirt and love how you paired it with red pants. I owned a pair of red pants years ago and it seemed nothing else I owned matched them. Anyways thank you for hosting your party and for sharing with mine!

    • Paula, thanks so much for stopping by! Red pants can be a little intimidating to style! I think black and white with red is always a killer combination. I also love red with teal. And red, white, and blue always works, too. Maybe you will find another pair of red pants one day to have some fun styling!


  30. Mother of 3

    Lovely outfit and I love that quote!

  31. Shelbee, what a wonderfull post. There is so much beautyful we only must look and see it .
    Xo Tina

  32. I like that you styled it with red pants rather than black skirt. Bringing it out of the darkness is a great way to highlight its beauty. Would love to connect at