Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leaping Lizards


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"We learned about Leap Day today at school." Liv announced at dinner. She explained to us that there are three times in a row where February 28 was the last day in February and then there is a February 29. I did that "mom thing" Where I pretended that she told me information that I had never heard before. "interesting". I responded.

I never really thought much of leap day before. I just know there is an extra day in February every four that leads to the Olympics and a Presidential election. As a semi-monthly paycheck recipient, this month meant one more day until I get my check. February has never been one of those months I want to continue on. I would love if the extra day was added to the end of June or September. If you live anywhere where winter is one of those season that is at its gloomiest, then February is not the month for an additional day away from spring. 

This year was a little different. I have heard a couple times that February 29 was supposed to be a lucky day..the only thing lucky about today was the spring like weather. It was a different sort of a winter day. It was the day where I planned on wearing a skirt and tights and decided to bare leg it. After all, they were predicting temps nearing the sixties. I wore some red as a send off to  It was nice to have a dose of spring on this official last day of February. How did you spend your leap day?




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Shirt: The Limited
Skirt: Target
Necklace: J.Crew (via Ebay)
Boots: Etsy


Monday, February 27, 2012

You Can't Always Get What You Want


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And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singin', 'We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't, we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse'
The Rolling Stones


What I want is a Monday that doesn't make me cry. At least my outfit was an easy choice. I love this shirt from the Limited I got a month or so ago. The blue and green primary color stripes make it casual but the great cut makes it fun to dress up. I couldn't resist a couple pops of color including my purple Coach pumps and the beautiful turquoise and gold necklace/bracelet set Josh got me for Valentines day. I have been pretty into the primary color trend lately..pulling greens and reds into my everyday.  I have made it almost a week with out shopping, and I have to say Monday is the hardest day to get through with a merchandise treat.

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Shirt: The Limited
Pants: Express
Bracelet/Necklace: TJ Maxx (gift)
Shoes: Coach (via Ebay)
Sunglasses: XOXO (via Burlington Coat Factory)



I am at summer camp. Perhaps a grown up version of my former child. It is breakfast time..bacon, eggs, toast. The picnic tables are crowded with fellow campers. I see familiar faces of family and friends in mixed company of their former and current selves. My grandpa is much younger and walking around ready to grab our noses. My sister is a young child and is playing with her look alike daughter. My husband is there with his current bald head with our children. Layla is younger, maybe five or six and Olivia is a baby. I pack my plate full of breakfast essentials. Ketchup goes on the hash browns, Tabasco over my eggs and butter on my toast. I have my egg cooked sunny side up so a little of the yoke seeps out ready to be sponged up by the toast. I have one link of sausage and two crisp strips of bacon. My stomach is rumbling as I balance my plate, napkins and fork and find a seat. There is a spot on the bench next to my cousin at her mid twenties self and my dad..freshly mulleted from the mid nineties. I set my plate down..ready to devour the breakfast. I realize that I forgot to grab my juice. I need some fresh squeezed orange juice to wash down the grease and butter. I got up and walked over to an area where people were getting drinks. There were a few faces I didn't recognize and for a minute I had a feeling of uncertainty about these strangers. I kept my eyes fixed on a particular man..he was skinny with a couple teeth missing. He looked angry. I quickly poured my juice and returned to my seat. To my surprise, there was a large woman sitting there. She looked at me with taunting eyes as I realized my plate was missing. My buttered toast..my ketsup and hash browns, my runny eggs..all missing. "That was my seat." I said. "Move your feet, loose your seat." She replied in a child's voice. "Where is my food?" I asked. She shrugged with a Cheshire grin on her face.

Clearly this was a dream. I woke up with such tantrum like anger that it seemed to consume my morning. I was so mad that this big bully woman had stolen my seat and my breakfast. In the dream I pouted and huffed off to my little tent where I refused to eat. My little hunger strike only hurt one person. No one else at the campsite was hungry. I always tell my girls that there is no point in throwing a tantrum...you never get what you want. No one likes a spoiled brat. But, lately I feel like I just want to throw an all out tantrum. Unfortunately I have little control over what happens to me sometimes, like I am trapped in my own life. All the bullies around me have stolen my seat and throw out my breakfast. By feeling sorry for myself, I am on a useless hunger strike. As adults, we can't just cry and pout when things don't go our way. We are told to "suck it up" and "get over it". Wouldn't it be funny if you could just throw yourself on the floor when someone was mean to you? I remember when I was a kid throwing one of my (famously epic) tantrums. My mom just sang that Rolling Stones song "you can't always get what you want". That made me angrier and I said that song was stupid. Wouldn't you know it is one of my favorite songs now? When I am having one of those days where people are throwing away my breakfast all around then I just like to sing the words and feel a little better. "You can't always get what you want..you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you might find, you get what you need."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

1000 Words

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I love doing an outfit of the day blog because it gives me room in my wardrobe creativity. The whole thing isn't as relevant if there are not pictures to go along with it. After all, isn't a picture worth a thousand words? I can only describe in so much detail how much I love these vintage burgundy wine boots...my first ever purchase from Etsy. (pre Lent of course).  As a former owner of such boots, I thought I would be an ace at styling them. After a couple skirt outfits and some cords that were all wrong in color, I decided they best fit over my black skinny jeans. With the bottom half done, I went for my Forever21 bird blouse and a chunky teal blue sweater. I felt a little rock star is in this outfit, like at any time I could grab a microphone and actually be able to sing. (I did get a little too close to a karaoke machine for comfort...). I can only say so much about this outfit..but here are the next thousand words:


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Shirt/Sweater: Forever21
Jeans: Gap
Necklace: Homemade 



I recently read this blog post on  writing. I have been following this blog for quite some time and love the practical advice on writing and publishing, and overall creating your own path in life. One of the basic things writers need to do is to actually write. I always say I will be working on my book..but when I sit down to start writing I am distracted by, well, life. I start on this nonlinear path of writing, basically I just write out a couple stories or thoughts that are not at all connected with other thoughts I have previously written. I get distracted or caught up in home or the kids or something other than my craft. Then I wonder how I am going to get the words from my computer to a real tangible book? Layla and I were sitting on the couch this morning just typing away on our laptops. She was writing yet another epic tale involving cats and I was jogging my memory hoping to squeeze out a thousand words. I told her that it was important for writers to write a thousand words a day. "Yeah, I know." She says. "That's what I am doing." I looked at her word count..319. This morning I have been inspired by my nine year old. She just writes stuff because she loves it. She isn't worried about who will read it or if it gets published or if it is even great. She just writes and writes and writes...at least a thousand words a day. Like any other craft, writing needs practiced and fine tuned. So far, the words have come easy for me and I am trusting the rest will just fall into place. Could you write a thousand words? Here is a prompt to get you started: (to give you a reference, this post was about 500 words)

What is the biggest challenge you face, is it a personal challenge? a professional challenge? Write what it is and some ways you think it could be solved...not matter how unrealistic it is..if there were not boundaries or limitations, how would you solve the problem? 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Forty Days


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I plan to reexamine my wardrobe and find new uses for old pieces. Maybe this dress? A Max and Cleo clearance dress from Dillards five years ago that I have hardly worn. I am not a fan of way the top fits, but its fun whimsical seventies print is what keeps it from the giveaway pile. I put on a button down and tucked it into my belt for a dress and midi skirt look. I am always wary of a midi-length skirt. I am only about 5'4" and usually buy my skirts in a petite to avoid a matronly and frumpy fit. If I can keep up this trend of adding new life to some of my older pieces than forty days should fly by!!! (don't worry...I treated myself to a Fat Tuesday splurge..)


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Dress: Max and Cleo
Shirt: Converse 
Belt: Walmart
Shoes: Madden Girl
Necklace: Charlotte Russe






The dearest idol I have known,
Whatever that idol be,Help me to tear it from thy throne,and worship only thee…
- William Cowper, “O For a Closer Walk with God”



"Are you giving up anything for lent?
I am trying to think of something. It will not be video games. I can't give up video games. I will die if I give up food. How about not buying. for a whole forty days. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday..we don't have CCD. Yeah! oops, I mean.. well, CCD sometimes barges into my time. You know, my time of relaxing and hanging out at home.
"Can I give up a certain kind of cookie?" Liv asks. 
"That defeats the purpose. You need to give up cookies in general"
"Wow. I don't know if I can do that". She says
"You know, Jesus died for your sins...the least you can do is not eat cookies for forty days." I retorted in my preachy mom tone. 
"I really don't want to give up cookies." She says
"I am sure Jesus really didn't want to die." I respond
"Well...maybe I will just give up pop for Lent". 
"That works to." I say. I would honestly her have an occasional cookie then drink pop. 

"I will go with not playing video games," Layla chimes in.  "Can I still write on the computer? Writing and games are different." She explains. I am OK with her typing up her stories on Word.

"Can I give up pouting?" Liv interrupts. 
"You can't give up pouting." I say
"I tried to give up meat last year, but that didn't work." Layla continues. "I am going to give up video games...except typing my stories on Word. 
"Can I give up crying?" Liv says again. "I gave up Arby's last year...I didn't go once." 
"That is because we hardly ever go to Arby's." I say. "I think you should just give up pop."
"OK.I will give up pop. Not just Coke but pop." 
"Perfect." 

I have been saying I should just give up shopping for Lent. Last year I laughed that thought off and went with my normal sweets. I can go forty days with out sweets...but I can't go forty days with out buying as much as a necklace or scarf. I can barely go four days...(shopaholic font). I live for the day when the mailman brings me something...hopefully that fits. I love picking up a pair of bright earrings from Target when I only intended to grab a birthday card. I love browsing Ebay and Etsy for some vintage treasures. What can I say...I love shopping. It is my crutch and my vice...when I am having a bad day something as simple as a new nail polish color can change that. Unfortunately for my budget, I have a lot of bad days. Can I really go from today until Sunday, April 8 without a single clothing, accessory or shoe purchase? My inbox tempts me everyday with special offers or free shipping. I can barely make it to lunch with out filling a cart somewhere. Forty days and no jewelry, shoes, nail polish, purses, scarves, intimates, shirts, sweaters, pants, jeans, leggings, tights or socks. Forty days..forty little days...no shopping..nada. Here goes...

What did you give up for Lent? 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Stripes


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Who said we can't wear navy and black together or that white shoes aren't permittied after Labor Day? Where is this Bible of fashion rules? Who came up with the idea of wearing black to make you look thin instead of wearing a great cut shirt ? I have been seeing a lot of really fun color combinations lately and I am happy for all the rule breakers and trend setters that asked why not. In honor of the smart ass slackers and the rule breaking fashionistas, I say wear what makes your feel comfortable. I have been told that stripes are not work appropriate. To all the rule breakers out there: Stipes all around! Nothing says summer like a great navy and white striped top. I love this tank from J.Crew. I practically lived in this tank and my red boat shoes last summer. Every time I look at it in my drawer, I feel the warm rays of the summer sun. In order to keep my mood uplifted, the navy tank was necessary. I love the idea of pairing navy with lime green. I haven't quite found the perfect lime tee...but I did find a scarf that had that touch of lime I was looking for. (like a Captain and Coke on a warm day.....) Sometimes it just takes a cheap new accessory to freshen your wardrobe. I love how my lime and navy scarf kicked up my classic khakis and navy striped tank. Looking to add some color to your wardrobe but are afraid? Try a colorful necklace or scarf..it is the easy and cheap way to keep up with the spring trends. 


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Tank Top: J.Crew
Shirt: Gabriel Brothers
Pants: The Limited
Shoes: Dillards
Bracelet: Gift




What the hell's the matter with you? Stupid! We're all very different people. We're not Watusi. We're not Spartans. We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts! Here's proof: his nose is cold! But there's no animal that's more faithful, that's more loyal, more loveable than the mutt. Who saw "Old Yeller?" Who cried when Old Yeller got shot at the end? " Bill Murray Stripes



I love the movie Stripes. If you haven't seen it, I would highly reccomend it. It is your basic "my life is going no where, I have a crappy job, I need purpose so I will join the army" kind of movie. (circa 1981) Did I mention Bill Murry plays the lead slacker?  I put on my navy tank, looked in the mirror and for some reason that quote from Stripes popped into my head. Yeah, I am that strange. There is always a random movie or song quote playing in my mind like a soundtrack to my life. I even imagine I have entrance music at times. (turn around...every now and then I fall apart...). The thing about Stripes is it has the familiarity of a a great slacker comedy. It is funny when a person goes against the flow. Most people I know that are "slackers" are actually really smart but just not challenged. Some of us don't fit into the conventional norms are are always going to ask "why". Like Bill Murray's character, John, us smartasses function best when we are challenged and pushed into our roles. We don't just adapt to what people expect us to do. We are square pegs trying to fit inside of round holes. Do you ever feel that way? Its like  your job or your family or even your friends are trying to mold you into something you are not. In the movies, the protagonist often realizes his or her strengths, rallies the group and defys authority to come out as the hero. Unfortunately real life rarely works that way. When was the last time you got a group of people to challenge authority and it worked? Most of us will eventually slowly conform to becoming a round peg. Today, I say to challenge that. Question authority and ask the questions. Just because something has always been done a certain way does not mean that that is the right way. I guess we all need a little Bill Murray in our attitudes...a little smart ass authority-challenging wild streak. Whether it is to stand up to that bully at school or work or putting your self ahead of everyone else's problems, a little bit of rebellion is alway good for confidence.






Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Leader


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Today's deep thought brought to you by: dusty pink pants. Can I be anymore obsessed with pink? I love these light pink pants from the Gap..they are such an great alternative to the traditional khaki colored ankle pants. I can't wait to throw on a white tank and stack necklaces for a cute summer staple. Of course that is months away...so I have to keep my focus on winter. I wore a gray embeleshed Tshirt under a cream cardi. Since the top had so much detail and the pants were a statement in themselves, I kept it simple with silver and gold earrings. If you are afraid to try the colored denim trend..I would highly reccomend a pale hue like pink to perhaps give a try. Keep it simple and neutral on top..like a cream or gray top. (or both like I did today).  If you are feeling a bit more daring..try a pale seafoam green top. Don't be afraid to mix up your palett a bit. Start a trend...be a leader.

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"Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life..." Mumford & Sons

I have learned a lot from watching countless hours of the "Walking Dead". Who would have thought a zombie apocalypse would be so insightful?  Sadly, you know what is not needed during the apocalypse? an Accountant.... "Since we have been watching The Walking Dead," Josh said..(we were g-chatting this morning) "I have been trying to figure out what role I play in the group." You know, in case there is a zombie apocalypse or something. When you are chatting via computer, it is possible for a tone to get lost in translation. "Are you being profound?" I asked. "I was being funny." He said. Too late, my wheels began to turn. Do you ever wonder what role you would play in a zombie apocalypse? Not that I see that as a possibility, but our personality types are indicators of what roll we play in a group mentality. At home, I am obviously the leader. I am the sheriff in this small town and even the dog respects my alpha-ness. I have a few circles of friends including childhood friends, mommy friends, work friends and drinking friends. I usually like to be the comic relief...and never really the leader. One time a girlfriend was let go from her job...which she relayed to our high school friend circle in via group text. I was on my way to dinner with Josh when I got her message. I kinda started laughing and sent back "boom roasted." She did not respond right away. "Was that insensitive?" I asked Josh after five minutes of no response. Perhaps I should have sent her the supportive friend.."don't worry you will land on your feet" sort of encouragement text instead of going for immediate humor. Finally she called me and was laughing. "That was the best response I got!!" She exclaimed. I was relieved she still wanted to be friends with me and it solidified my role and the "funny one". 

When Josh told me he was thinking about his role in the scheme of things, I couldn't really think of a great answer to give him. I am the leader, the banker, the one with the steady job, the one with the benefits and the one who gets the car every day. His role as daddy is not as defined as my role as mommy. He is more like my admin and support system, my therapist and the person who makes me laugh. Before being a mother and wife, I really never pictured myself as a leader. I was always the one who followed..and went with it. I hated making decisions and shyed away from commitment. Being a leader is never easy..you have to make all the decisions then try not to second guess whether they were the right decisions or you should have gone down that other road. Would that path lead to an area that is just as infested with the dead or would it had been the road to medics and a way out? The leader bears the burden of great responsibility. I am not sure I am always up to the task. I guess I am more of a reluctant leader...not sure how to handle my role and always second guessing my abilities.  It is funny how life puts you in these roles and doesn't always take the time to check your resume or call your references and see if you are qualified. So as the reluctant leader, I have these days where I am not sure I am the best candidate for the position. I asked Josh why he doesn't call the shots and be the leader. Why is he so happy to just go with it and let me be in charge. "Why don't you step in and take charge?" I asked. "You would hate that." He said. I am actually a little afraid of how much truth there is to that. As a leader I have to learn to focus on the positive and praise the people who have helped me get there. The one in charge is only as good as the people who bring them up and when they accomplish something..then all who helped should be recognized. We are not solo creatures and don't make it on our own. The boss who lets other people do the work and takes all the credit is hardly a good boss at all. I am a good leader because my girls are easy to lead and Josh knows me better than I know myself most of the time. Being a mother is nature's way of putting you in charge and even if you are a reluctant leader like me, you find the strength to keep your subjects in line. 


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Valentine

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Here's the deal...I am not a romantic at all. This is the tenth Valentines Day that Josh and I have spent together and I have to be honest, when he first said we had dinner plans, I was slightly annoyed. Valentines day plans? Seriously? I imagine the outside world somehow becomes more pink and full of superficial love like hearts and flowers today. Josh is a server and Valentines Day is one of the busiest days of the year. I always say the best Valentine's Day present is a wad of extra cash. (what can I say..romance oozes out of me). I have been putting on the Mommy loves Valentines day show for the nine years. I dressed the girls in pink and red when they were babies and this year we picked out special heart school outfits and painted our nails. (Coral for Layla and blood red with black crackle for Liv). We made the usual shoeboxes of love for their school parties and they both got gifts.

 I always thought of Valentines Day as sort of a "couples" holiday..as in unmarried couples. It is one of those things you have to do until you get married. Like the pressure to stay thin and and attractive..the pressure to celebrate Valentine's day seems to wear off with each passing year of marriage. You look at couples who celebrate and think..rookies. Maybe the reason Josh and I never really celebrate Valentines Day is that we went from dating to married in a little over a year...I guess no one told us that dating is a marathon and a sprint. Before I was old enough to legally rent a car, we were beyond that new couple puppy love. I guess a baby added to the mix is quite the game changer.

Then somehow, I started to feel a little love. Like the grinch at Christmas, maybe my under-candied heart was two sizes two small. Maybe, just maybe I can let my overly practical cynical side have the night off and enjoy a dose of school girl crush sort of love. My annoyance with the idea of being one of those couple started to fade and I was starting to get a little excited about celebrating. If a budding romance is worth a celebration, than we sure as hell should be celebrating our tenth Valentines day together. It was nice to get dressed up and go to a wine tasting dinner. The sweetness of chocolate and the warmth of red wine somehow turned me into one of those people who celebrates Valentines day.

Inspired by this girl's beautiful color pallet of coral, I paired my red skirt with a peach button down. My new necklace gave the dainty top a little edge. See that great bracelet I am wearing? That was a gift from my Valentine.  This is one of my favorite outfits I have done....I felt classy and elegant as well as Valentines Day festive. I hope everyone had a great Love day.


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Shirt: Gabriel Brothers
Skirt: The Limited
Tights: Kohls
Shoes: Seychelles (DSW)
Necklace: J Crew (Ebay)
Bracelet: Gift from My Valentine 
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