A Change

Change is a funny thing.  It’s meaning to each person is really undefinable.  For some, it is the breath of new hope. Yet many cling to the security of familiarity and resist the slightest hint of transition. Interestingly enough, I’ve found myself, depending on the season of life, falling into both categories.  These days, change is on the horizon and the thought of it and what new direction it will bring inspires my faith. It’s really easy to get bogged down by circumstances. Take for example the latest rustling of our judicial system as it relates to healthcare reform; people are shaken, worried, and some even distraught.  Although, when I see the societal and political landscape changes, like this one, it reminds me of a earnest truth; though the earth be moved and mountains shake, the eternal system will remain. The change I’m feeling really has nothing to do with cultural shakings, but rather the soft gentle inward working that is calling me up a little higher. God has assignments for us all, especially in these significant times. Will we listen intently and deliberately to His whisper and begin to believe we are the people He reveals we’re to be?

” But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  II Corinthians 3:18

I suppose it’s no surprise then that a bit of my internal metamorphosis has leaked to the outside. I changed my hair. hee hee.

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And it goes something like this…

a birthday party, an accident, 3 trips to the dentist, 2 physician visits, a cat scan, a tooth extraction and all this in the middle of a hurricane.

This, my friends, is the reason why I’ve neglected the blog once more.  I will not go into details, but Olivia is fine and she is embracing her snaggletoothedness (and unexpected increase of wealth– thank you, tooth fairy). However, I have not been so cooperative with the change and have two bar stools that are available if anyone wants to take them off my hands. And, though I still have my teeth, one gap remains: why did the tooth fairy not leave some cash for moi? After all, I do have to pay for a cat scan. ah hem.

That being said, I find myself in another picture deficit. But, that won’t keep me from sharing a cute Instagram that Liv took several days ago.  My favorite Target shorts, paired with Target blouse , and Target beach cover up turned scarf. You get the theme here, right?  It’s always fun for me to mix patterns.  I know, it’s risky and can be over the top. Of course, we have no fear of risky business around here…clearly.

Hope your week is going better than mine. 🙂

The Treasure Hunt

As a recovered shopaholic, when I do venture out it is normally with a specific item in mind and a budget. I’m still fully capable of being sucked into the typhoon of impulse spends, but I do try to manage it.  Summer time usually thrusts me into the hunt for a bathing suit (which I hate purchasing), and to fill in some wardrobe gaps before vacation and in preparation for other warm-weather activities.

This year, I’ve noticed a new pattern formulating in my closet. Navy has become my new neutral.  Whether I’m wearing hot pink pants or something as simple as a white dress,  navy blue inevitably finds its way into the ensemble.  So, I opted for a new pair of wedges (guess what color) to contribute to my new-found trend. Other items included a delightful summer tote in linen with a nod to the neon craze and a figure forming bathing suit (or waist-cinching….let’s just keep it real).

The best part?  The store practically gave me the stuff! It was so discounted that it would’ve actually been criminal for me to leave the items on the shelf. What are your summer pick-me-ups?

Tory Burch, Nordstrom

Orange Jubilee, Kate Spade

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Sometimes you just have to draw it out….

First, let me apologize for my disappearing act. The go-to, and most responsible sounding answer would say, “I’ve just been SO very busy.” And, while that is  partially true, it’s not sole reason I’ve avoided the blog this week. Writer’s block, fatigue, a headache that lasted 4 days, and a broken tripod cast their votes as well. Clearly, I was outnumbered. Then, when I finally did allow myself to be photographed, it only confirmed the good decision to stay out of the limelight. Girlfriend needs some personal maintainance! I’m awaiting my next hair appointment (6 days away) like I did my wedding….with countdown in full force.  I also need some Vitamin D. Can you say spray tan (although i read recently that it’s yet another contributor to lung cancer…buzz kill) ?  Thankfully, vacation is approaching, and until then, I’m just clinging for dear life. You understand, right? But do take a look at my lovely niece! We celebrated her 16th birthday last night.  Ah….to have the energy of a 16-year-old.

That’s Off The Chain!

I just have to share this question I got today from one of my customers…..

“So, are you trying to send a message that you like being all chained up?”

Uh…that’d be a NO, friend. And, I do believe you may need to tighten yours up a bit dude.

Ha! I know, all in good fun. It’s difficult to anticipate what might proceed out the mouths of people each day. Honestly. I resisted the urge to play into pun by telling him “You’s off da chain, yo!”

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Speaking of chains, looked what arrived this week! My new pendant! If you have a soft spot for all things monogrammed, then you really must mosey on down to Mayzie’s and order one! They have a great selection of colors, styles, and sizes. Don’t procrastinate in ordering though, it takes 6 weeks for delivery.

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Dress: Britt Ryan, Shoes: Sam Edelman, jewelry: Mayzie’s, Sunglasses: Tory Burch

Ready to relax this weekend (or at least try to a little bit), and celebrate all the wonderful dads in my life.  In honor of their special day, I did purchase a gift….um…for myself. I guess you could say my chains cut a little too loose…

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I mean… Dad would want me to have them, right?

Thought Buckets

I’ve had a series of random thoughts this week. I decided to separate them into buckets ( a new skill I’m learning at work in the area of process improvement)

Work: Heat exhaustion is a real illness and does cause cognitive impairment. Therefore, I motion to the employers that all work related activities from 11-3pm should be replaced with iced beverages and spa treatments.

Health: I’ve self-diagnosed  SWAS (swimwear anxiety disorder). It is June and I’ve yet to purchase a suit.

Food: Bern’s filet, french onion soup and peanut butter truffle dessert enhance symptoms of SWAS

Creative Photography: Self-portraits have been hindered by a broken tripod. Can you say Instagram?

Family: My kids are contenders for the Guinness Book Of World Records category “Most VBS programs attended in a given summer”  (I’m working really hard to make this happen)

Fashion: I love my mint skinny crop pants more than just about anything in my closet right now, and in my opinion they match everything….evening eggplant. Can I swim in these?

Discovery: The hood of a black car in Florida is a great make-shift stove….and I could actually brew the packet of chicken broth I found in my car console. Really?

Contemplations: What should I get myself for Father’s Day?

pants & blouse: Ann Taylor Loft, 

Earrings: Mayzie’s (by Susan Shaw. they’ve become my FAVORITES. Oh, and at a cool $12! Get you some!)

Necklace: Stella & Dot

Sunglasses: Tory Burch

It Takes A Village…

…to keep me from being a disheveled mess, these days.  On the list of things I’d love to do: have my hair cut/colored, pedicure, spray tan, dentist and a dermatology appointment.  I missed my dental check-up last week, and the only positive thing about showcasing your ridiculously obnoxious roots is the fact that it speaks to a generous volume of growth since the last time you visited the hair stylist.  Let’s celebrate something, shall we?

In all seriousness, I’m a bit of a train-wreck lately. In fact, while paying for groceries this evening, the cashier had to help me with my outfit. Apparently my dress tag was hanging out along with bra straps showing , to which she felt compelled to have me turn around, mid-transaction, commented on my scandalous presentation and fiddled with my dress across the register. All the while, the people both in line and bagging the groceries looked on with pity.  I made it to the car where I unloaded the groceries. I glanced in the window only to notice a layer of smudged mascara 1/2 thick smeared under my eyelid. And, why would I want to accentuate the pronounced dark circles already taking residence there?  I tossed the shades back on and finished unloading.  Thinking ahead, I cranked the car to cool it off, and started to roll the buggy back to the docking station.  As it turns out, I’d left my driver side door open, to which a concerned, and rather vocal citizen shouts with a tinge of irritation,

“Hey! You gonna just leave your door open like that!!!!”

 “Well, no actually I was just gonna take…”

“Here, just give me the cart. I’ll take it”, she interrupted and grabbed it from me.

“Oh..thanks.”

But she didn’t hear me. She was already 5 paces toward the door whispering something to her teenage daughter.  I won’t make any assumptions about what she could have been saying (working on improving upon my assertion formulary).

I made it home with the groceries, shared a salad with the family, and decided to sneak away for a few moments.  So, here I am….dishing. I really don’t feel quite like myself.  Speaking of not myself, the photograph shared today is of me, with my pre-k graduate, and I’m wearing a cardigan.  I’m not a button-up-sweater girl. In fact, in 5 years I’ve only bought four of them, and those four in response to either feeling pressured by style books, or because I needed to stretch myself. I know….they are layering staples, and can perfect an outfit. I get the versatility piece. But, I’ve always felt boxy, stiff and overly studious. And, because I’m none of these things in reality, it seems sort of disingenuous. What I did like about yesterday’s outfit was the play on color. I let the crazy cardigan dictate the other selections and received praise from cardigan-lovers everywhere. I actually do like this sweater. I liked the price too.  So, perhaps I’m evolving.

Yes, Owen graduated. If you follow this blog you’ll remember he actually missed his ceremony. So, we had our own. The ceremony lasted all of about 2 minutes. He paraded in the robe, got his picture and diploma granted.  It was all the pomp and circumstance he required.  After the photo, he ripped off the cap & gown, said “I graduated” and that was it.  After asking me everyday for a week when he was going to have his “graduation party”, I was shocked to realize this was the only bit off affirmation he actually needed. I just love that about Owen.  He’s so easy. P.S. Please don’t be afraid of me with no mascara. 

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Wiped Out

The truth is, I’ve lacked the energy to write this blog. Challenged this week by my son’s case of influenza while trying to balance all of my other work and personal responsibilities has been taxing. Sure, the physical inconvenience of illness is difficult, but the timing of this one also delivered with it significant loss. We missed Owen’s preschool graduation. I missed my nephew’s high school graduation.  I can’t help but feel a little robbed. Just being honest.  We don’t get a do-over. We missed an important milestone.  I was surprised at my own reaction to the circumstances: pure heartache. Almost more than I could handle.

Almost.

I lost some sleep, and cried a few big tears. I plowed on through a hectic schedule at work, despite my weakness. So today,  I don’t have fashion tips, or funny stories, or even a new photograph to post. When inspiration seems lacking, I’m reminded that ultimately we are inspired by hope.  Yes…I have hope and it is enough.  Things are as they should be. I am recovering.

See you soon.

The Free Tory

Of all things I could possibly score for free, the least imaginable would be Tory Burch Footwear.  About a month ago, I noticed a peculiar flowery piece of mail sticking out of my husband’s back pocket as he was watering the lawn.

What’s that?”, I said.

“Oh, it’s nothing… just junk mail.”

Junk mail, eh? Hmm. I looked closer and noticed a faint, but very familiar emblem. Gasp! It was something from Tory Burch.  I quickly swiped it from his pocket, as he contested tenaciously,

“Give me that! I’m throwing it away!!! It will cost me far more than it’s worth!!!”

Clearly, he’d opened my mail (a part of the dialogue that I’ll not elaborate on here), and found a $50 dollar gift card sent to me from the company in honor of Mother’s Day!

“Wow! I can totally use this. AND, I’ll bet you I can get something for under $50.”

I kidnapped the card, shoved it in my nightstand drawer, mentally noting the May 31st deadline.  As you can imagine, Mother’s Day came and went, along with a couple of business trips, family occasions and other priorities.  Thoughts of Tory were far from my mind until one day when I was looking for stamps in the very drawer I’d hidden my treasure.  It was May 26. I hopped onto the website and begin to skim the sale items.  Surprisingly, there were several enticing treats at great bargains. And, I found the fabulous orangey-red flip-flops. Sparing you the details, let’s just say I got the shoes with tax and shipping all under the amount of the gift card!  That means FREE!  I couldn’t wait for Steve to get home so I could gloat.  Instead, I texted him a picture of the invoice with a friendly reminder to stay AWAY from my mail!

This is the cute little top I wore with my new flops.

 

To See Over Mountains….

I’ve been away for a bit, which has kept me from blogging.  Steve and I had a bit of personal business which swept us away to the great Colorado Rockies!  We landed Sunday evening for my inaugural visit to the Mile High City. Denver is an extraordinary  because of the unique way in which it boasts both its sophisticated urban center and relaxed natural landscape.  One minute you are strolling city blocks listening to the sound of car horns and street entertainers, and the next you can be driving into the glorious foothills, gazing at cows and lush fields. It’s a remarkable place, and the first time I’ve discovered a robust metropolis equipped with such aesthetic diversity. Whether you are visiting the sprawling suburban neighborhoods of Parker and Centennial or walking through a downtown park, one thing remains fixed in the lens: the mountains.  The stately peaks are visible from every place in the city. Tuesday, we decided to drive up into them a little. My perspective changed tremendously with the ascent. Suddenly, I could see everything much more clearly and through a wider lens.  It was gloriously beautiful to peer down from The Red Rocks amphitheater over downtown. Funny to think that only an hour prior we’d seen the city in such a micro-view. In that moment, while drinking in the expanse before me, I was reminded of my own journey ..one filled with its fair share of peaks and valleys. It’s important to see over them…to behold the whole picture…the grand scheme. With every steep step up, I get a little braver…a little closer to the ultimate destination. And if I will persevere, the view will be splendid!

Jeans: Current Elliott, Blouse: Hattie’s Branches, Shoes: Sam Edelman,  Sunglasses: Tory Burch, Watch: Michael Kors