Monday, June 29, 2015

What I'm Wearing Summer {June - Dressed up & down}

Summer is off to a good start!  Mornings of workouts, coffee, breakfast, Bible Study, reading and days of all kinds of activities.  More of what's up lately last week on this post, click here to read.

As always with what I'm wearing...
Disclaimer: What I'm Wearing is in hopes inspiration for your closet, that I can give you some ideas from what I'm wearing. What fits you doesn't always fit me. What fits me, doesn't always fit you. So, we all know the style of jeans that work best for us, the brands of shoes we love, etc. I'm not a "linker" to buy all of these outfits here. Truth be told, a lot of my clothes are many many years old and I pick up things all around the place. I'm don't update my wardrobe every season with the latest and greatest. I don't have signed up for Pinterest, so if there's something you like, you can "pin it" to save. Hopefully you're just inspired, maybe by something you have and didn't think about putting it together or maybe you are just looking for a simple accessory to add in and these posts can give you some ideas.

Most summer days have looked like this...Nike shorts and t's. Works for babysitting, hanging out at home, running errands, whatever. I try to keep in mind that sometimes I need to wear something else besides Nike shorts, but they are just uniform to me. This day was epic, first Triple Crown winner since 1978 when American Pharoah won Belmont.  My parents happened to be at Churchill Downs the week before the race and caught him on a workout, top middle pic. We have watched so many races, failed Triple Crown attempts, that this was so fun to watch! I was babysitting when it was live, and we watched the race.  However, I came home and watched it again after.  :)
Despite how many days I am in Nike shorts, it is fun to get dressed up sometimes.  I attended the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Gala this month which was perfect time for a little black dress to make an appearance. This dress is one I picked up last year for an event, I didn't want to spend a lot of money and needed a simple dress, and I found it for less than $25 at Marshall's. The side detail ruching gives it some simple details and it's comfortable and easy to accessorize with various looks.
Marshalls dress, Jessica Simpson heels via Nordstrom, Grandmother's clutch, boutique necklace
I found this top on an Academy clearance rack, it is BCG and has an open back that is a little unexpected and fun.  It's perfect for summer, especially when AC is cranked inside everywhere and it's blazing hot outside. Not to mention it works w/ the Nike shorts too. ;) However, these are from Walmart for $7.86 or maybe $7.96.
Academy top, Target sports bra, Walmart shorts
Summer 2015 has brought the printed {"challis"}shorts trend out in force. I have seen them from Walmart to Boutiques and everywhere in between including price points too. Trends like this are ones I'm a little hesitant to and don't typically make a big investment to, because who knows how long they will last. I happened on these at Francesca's in Houston one day, and they were on a sale and extra 40% off and my favorite color.  For $12 - I'm on board. Another trend that I can remember being around before in my lifetime, the tied up button up is back.

This day I was headed to a benefit for one of my college besties husband who has recently been diagnosed with ALS.  It was overwhelming to see the small town turnout for them and give so generously. The road ahead is uncertain, but their faith in God is strong and they have a strong team rallied around them for support.
Hollister shirt, Francesca shorts, Noonday Collection earrings, Target flip flops
A couple of weeks later, I wore them again, this time for an outdoor meet up with my Rodeo Committee friends. Traded button up for tank and flip flops for wedges, but most of the rest is the same!
Target tank, Francesca's shorts, Splendid wedges, Noonday Collection earrings
At the end of school I went to a Happy Hour on a rare day that temps had dropped a little and I could still wear a long sleeve T.  Flare jeans have always been my favorite, even though they went "out of style" I feel like they are the best fit for my height and shape. {Skinny jeans were always hard to find to fit me and now maybe they are medically unsafe - WHAT!?} I love flare jeans with wedges...
Gap jeans, Able's Mercantile T + clutch, Target wedges I repeated flare + wedges a couple of times.  This time with wedge sandals. White shirts, button up, T, or tank are staples to me and if i had to have basics for life to wear something like this is what I would choose with the option for accessories, of course. :)  
JCrew tank, Old Navy belt, Sam Moon necklace, Gap jeans, Splendid wedges
...and one more time for a Friday happy hour with this Small Town Girl tank. Restaurants are typically cold to me, so despite heat of summer, if I know I'm going to be inside jeans still work for me.  I have seen "Small Town Girl" t's and tanks in several boutiques, all cute and various fonts and styles, but all $25 and up.  I know this isn't something I would wear a ton, but when I saw it sticking out on the end of a rack when I was in TJ Maxx in the middle of the bedding update, and it was $9.99 I think it jumped in my basket by itself. This is one of those "muscle cut" tanks, which I'm a little leary of, but arm holes aren't extremely huge/cutout and it works for me.
TJMaxx tank, Gap jeans, Able's Mercantile clutch, Target wedges, Noonday Collection earrings
This was a Sunday Style for church, and a direct repeat from last year.  I love monochromatic white and mixing in gray + gold is another favorite. If you find something you like, repeat it, especially if it's one of those outfits you feel great in. No matter if it is casual or dressed up, own it and wear it with confidence!
Target tank + handbag, Old Navy jeans, Nordstrom scarf + earrings, BCBG heels via Ross
Finally, to wrap up June, I went to the Garth Brooks concert last weekend.  It was epic, one of the best, if not the best, concert I've ever attended. If he's coming to your city and you can get tickets, I would recommend seeing the show!  I wore a sundress with a little lace skirt/slip under it since it's a little short for my taste. :)  My fringe boots haven't been out since Rodeo ended, so this was a good time to get them out.  The dress is one of those I picked up somewhere at a Boutique and on a sale rack. It's not my normal wear, so not something I would pay a lot for.  However, I have worn it several ways - over jeans, with flip flops/sandals and boots now too over a few years.
Boutique dress, Target lace skirt, Walmart earrings, Liberty Black boots
I guess this ended up to be a little summer life + what I'm wearing with lots of repeats too. Have a great week ahead! As always, stay in touch via Facebook or Instagram


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Linkup: What's Up Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday!  Hump Day for those of you getting through the work week!

I'm linking up this week with The Larson Lingo, Mix & Match Family and Pinterest Told Me To for 
  1. What I'm eating this week...
    Breakfast has looked like this most days post workout.

    Also, I just picked up this new Whipped Peanut Butter.  Delish!! I grew up on Peter Pan and have made it this far without organic peanut butter and every time I've bought organic it is weird tasting and very oily, so Peter Pan it is!
  2. What I'm reminiscing about.... 
    Last week was a fun week at the 4G with my nephew and nieces.  We will have another week in July and it has made me nostalgic as they have all turned another year older in the last month.  Their personalities are in full bloom and every stage brings on new adventures. I love being an Aunt, from when they were tiny and dependent to these days as they are 8 & 6 and learning independence, but still love to be held, read to and loved on.  
  3. What I'm loving.... 
    The morning. I love the morning, and think if work could start about 9:30 I would really start off on the right foot every day and have so much accomplished by then.  I would still like the {school} work day to to end by 3:10 though. My mornings when I'm at home are becoming out, workout (bike, walk, jog or swim laps), cool off (it's 1000% humidity here lately), shower, make breakfast, Bible Study and  then start my day...
  4. What I've been up to....
    Summer vacation for this teacher! Hallelujah! Most days include a workout, making breakfast, reading, house project, blogging, creating canvas letter art, and the pool. I've also been babysitting, hanging out with family and friends and sometimes taking a nap. Barney has been taking lots of naps on the new bedding.
  5. What I'm dreading.... 
    I finally crossed vacuuming off my to-do list, which apparently I had been dreading for the excessive amount of time it was on the list without being crossed off.  I also need to dust, one of my most dreaded chores.  
  6. What I'm working on.... 
    Dreams. Trying to take time to tend my creative side this summer. Creating lettered art and writing on my blog.  Practically I'm also working on cleaning out my closet, exercise and other things that get pushed to the side during the school year.
  7. What I'm excited about....
    Honestly, there's nothing huge I'm excited about. I have several fun things planned this summer, none of them are major (like a trip to tropical island) but all involve quality time with friends and that makes me happy. 
  8. What I'm watching/reading.... 
    Watching...The Bachelorette - that's another topic in itself. I've watched since Season 2 of this show, and there's definitely been some better seasons than others. But, I'm still watching it.  I watched Astronaut Wives Club last week, though I'm not much of a TV watcher I might watch this series. Summer reading makes me happy and I've almost  finished my 2nd book...The Invention of Wings. I already finished All The Light We Cannot See and just checked out The Rosie Effect to read next.  I've also been reading to littles this summer....
  9. What I'm listening to...
    Currently - silence.  I know that is way weird to some, but most of the time when I am at home I don't have on the TV or music or anything for  background noise.  Maybe that comes from being in so many places with lots of noise (I teach High School) that silence really is golden for me.  I do love my iPod for workouts though, and have a few news songs to add for summer playlist.   
  10. What I'm wearing.... 
    These days, the laundry looks like this plus a bunch of socks, so mostly that means I'm wearing my uniform: Nike shorts & Tanks/Ts.

    Other days of the summer have looked like this...more coming soon on what I'm wearing this summer since school is over and the weekly What I'm Wearing posts are done. 
  11. What I'm doing this weekend... 
    Not sure about this weekend...yet. 
  12. What I'm looking forward to next month... 
    July will include another week with my nephew + nieces at my Mom and Dad's, working a show with a friend, going to Ft Worth and who knows what else...all are things I'm looking forward to.  
  13. What else is new.....
    Nothing major right now.  It's one of those seasons where nothing big is happening, which I'm ok with. 
  14. What am I doing for the 4th... 
    Not sure about this yet either...there's a few options, but one will include time with a bestie who's in town from out of town and the rest is TBD!  #SingleGirl
Have a great day and rest of your week, no matter what's up! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Confessions

I've been in a cycle of convenience lately, and I think it is time to break the cycle. It started during Rodeo, on the heels of Spring time change and when my free time also hits an all time low. I maintained a schedule of minimal sleep, full school days, long volunteer shifts and lots of late nights and weekend fun with my friends. Somewhere in there I slacked on my morning routine opting instead for the snooze button and also increased my drive-thru appearances picking up quick food on the go.

About 18 months ago I had a good break up with fast food and only ate it occasionally.  I am certainly not anti-fast food, I do live in Texas, home of Whataburger and I love a fountain Dr Pepper.  Through these months I have noticed my energy level was down, I was sick for almost an entire month fighting an infection (and I'm sure fatigue didn't help) and my workouts were few and far between, partially due to days and days of rain Texas has endured this year.

All of these things are excuses.  
Aren't we all good at making excuses?    

It's time to get back to my routine. Really all of this amounts to is convenience over a commitment to what is important to me. It's not about a number on the scale, not about counting calories, or size in my clothes.  It IS about being healthy and feeling my best both mentally and physically.

I figured if I confessed it, it would make me more accountable to myself to do something about it.  The summer schedule allows me free time most mornings to spend in my favorite routine: coffee + Bible study + reading books that challenge my character and goals. When I'm jogging, the heat, or really humidity, is extreme. If I'm fueled up with the best nutrients for my body, that helps me perform at my best when I exercise.

Maybe you're not in the same rut I am, but there's something else that is convenience to you vs. commitment to a change you want to see. We don't have to wait until the first of the year or a new month or new week to commit to change. I'm not getting on a "program" to see drastic results.

It is a simple formula for me:  Preparation + Commitment.

I am just going to commit to myself to do what is important to me. To prepare for days that are busy, make sure I rest when I need to, fill my mind and heart with truth to fight the demands of the world on a daily basis and do my best for a healthy body from the inside out.

Also, in the spirit of confessions, I feel like you should know I washed my hair last Monday and not again until Saturday night. This pic was Friday night, also the first day I put on makeup since Sunday for church. It is summer after all. :)

Cheers to you! We can do it!  Let's prep and commit! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Perfect Everything Cart by IKEA

I am a fan of organized space, and lately my dining table has become a lettering studio as I'm working on canvas paintings.  (Click here to see Lettering Lately or follow on Instagram.) The clutter was starting to wear on me and I needed a solution to regain my table space when needed and still have easy access to all of my painting supplies.  I was in Marshall's recently and saw a couple of cute carts that would be perfect, except they were priced at $79 and $89 and that was WAY more than I wanted to spend. I remembered the IKEA Utility (formerly "kitchen") Cart and looked it up while in Marshall's to price compare and was reminded it was only $29. I almost left immediately and drove to IKEA, but knew I would be in the city later in the week, so I refused the urge, for a couple of days.

Here's the before table shot:

If you're not an IKEA shopper, you could lose your mind in the maze, and when you finally find your way out most of their things are in boxes with assembly required.  However, this took me about 15 minutes to put together, so it is very simple and easy to follow directions!!

My trusty assistant while I was working on assembly was working on his own mess...

I met up with a few friends at the pool right after I went to IKEA and before I could say "kit" of "kitchen cart" they all knew exactly what I was talking about and asked what color  I got! I got the steel gray color, but it also comes in a very fun turquoise and not-as-fun-but-equally-functional taupe. The cart is very sturdy and friends talked about using it for kids toys/coloring & art supplies, bath items, cookie making supplies, school supplies, So, really, it's not the kitchen cart, it's the anywhere in your house cart.  Here is the cart put together!  

Here are my shelves as organized for painting supplies...bottom shelf, small canvases, shipping/packing materials, my fancy color mixing plastic plate, and other catch all items.  The tin bucket is from Hobby Lobby and was 50% off in the metal sale. Getting the right containers to help organize the cart was all consuming for me for about half the day, but found just the right pieces at Hobby Lobby, Ross and Marshall's! :) #OCDinfullforce

Middle shelf is stocked full of paint colors with a little room to grow/add more colors!

Top shelf contains all the things I use the most.  They are mostly divided up in tin buckets. Paint brushes/sponges, paint pens, finishing materials and few extras as needed.

Before and after...using ALL the space!! :) One day when I have a studio/office space it might be lined with these carts.  I love that they can easily move around, are sturdy and hold lots of stuff!!

Finally, here's my table after. The cart can roll into a closet, canvas picked up and "centerpiece" of the table moved back to its place and I have reclaimed my dining table! #MissionAccomplished

A week into using this cart and  I'm sure this is one of my favorite things, so I'm linking up for Friday Favorites!! In fact, I might see reason to have more than one in my house eventually, I think this could easily become one of your favorites too!  
Linking up for Friday favs...with AndreaErica & Narci


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Lettering Lately

This Spring and start of Summer I've been doing lots of lettering.  Canvas can be created with any color + words combination.  Quotes, lyrics, verses, names, weddings, inspiration, initials and more! Here's what I've been working on lately.... 

If you follow me on Instagram you have seen these preview shots.  I always try to send a "sneak peek" to customers as I'm working. 

11x16 - hanging in a High School sports office for Volleyball players!

8x8 square wedge - wider at the bottom, so sits upright, no need to hang.  This was a request inspired from my recent blog post "Running in My Lane

I gifted my Discipleship Girls at the end of our year with Restless (amazing book by Jennie Allen) and a journal with a verse I wanted them to remember from our year together that I lettered inside the journal. 

12x12 square - Wedding Gift

My church has a quarterly Women's event and I lettered the chalk board and quickly {quick like sitting outside by the table full of Oreos before event started} for an after event Oreo Bar

4x4 little prize for one of my College Besties - her husband was diagnosed with ALS this year and she has her big girl panties on daily - learning, searching, pushing, trying and asking all she can to help him!

18x24 ~ Family Motto a Mama tells her boys on the way out the door everyday. 

12x12 ~ Birthday gift for a girl.

This was a big project, 2: 9' banners lettered with scriptures that were the focus text of our Church Women's Retreat. I have another big project coming up I'm excited about - creating pieces for a Fall outdoor wedding! Here are the banners in process....

....and here they are hanging on the stage.  We have an amazingly creative person on our staff who creates such unique and fun event spaces. Her vision for the space is a gift and I was honored to contribute to this event.

6x6 blocks ~ graduation gifts for 3 High School girls

8x8 silver canvas ~ This started as a morning doodle from my Bible Study which became a gift for my God-daughter's birthday. Isn't she adorable in her new pearls?  I hope she will always love Jesus!
And of course more are in the works...please contact me for any custom words for your home, office, children's rooms, gifts or otherwise! I love words and creating them on canvas for your space!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Weekend Bedding/Room Update on the Cheap {Featuring Marshall's, TJMaxx, Ross & Walmart}

Saturday of Memorial Day weekend started off perfectly, breakfast with friends at my favorite breakfast spot. I was "in town" {since I live in the suburbs} and decided to take advantage of that and run some errands/hit some stores for browsing.  Which turned into a bedroom redecoration! Before I get to the new, here's a look down memory lane of the past... 

I had this gingham comforter since I moved out (1998) which started with an Americana decor theme, but there's no need for those pics which also include a few bears. I was 21 and just moving out on my own, don't judge.  A couple of changes through the years, but this was the 2004-2007 look which also features a home phone on the bedside table.... 

An update late 2007 when I moved...had these floral sheets, but found the Ralph Lauren comforter online and switched it up a curtains holding steady...  

In keeping with yellow/red/green I got these quilts and updated again around 2010, adding in a little teal blue color with new lamp shades, but curtains, dust ruffle and shams still worked with this look.

This is {was} current look. Quilt I picked up at Walmart (what!? Yes, I loved it too) and the shams, dust ruffle, curtains and lamps all still worked including throw pillows acquired along the way.  I'm keeping this quilt, it's a classic pattern and colors. One day maybe it will reappear in a guest room...

Let's be honest, this was the real "BEFORE", but of course I made it up one last time to have picture for posterity sake.  :)  I do usually make my bed every day, but sometimes on the weekend I don't....

A few years ago I saw this set at Bed Bath and Beyond with my Mom.  They showed it with black sheets and I loved the colors and pattern, however I wasn't in search of a re-do and it was pretty expensive. But, I've always loved this set. It's the Echo Jaipur and here it is featured from Macy's. It is also still expensive. Regular price is $275, and I've seen it on sale for $175-$199.  

Back to my Saturday after breakfast, I headed for a TJMaxx that typically always has good finds. Wondered around through shoes and then started looking at bedding, just to see what they had.  First thing I saw was these darling ruffle curtains. If you have a room that can handle ruffle curtains, these are so cute. I also saw them at Marshall's.

Then I found this...comforter and 2 shams and similar in pattern and colors, but goes with accessories I had in my room, though not with the red curtains. However, bargain price of $59, I decided to go for it and would end up changing out curtains! So, the hunt was on for additional pieces I needed... 

By Saturday afternoon I had new comforter, shams, sheets and curtains. When I got home I had plans that pushed out about 30 minutes which gave me a chance to make the first change really quickly, from red to gray linen + patterned sheers for curtains. Or "window treatments" if you're fancy. I am not. Barney likes to check out new things too and be included in pictures. Also, this is preview of the bedding plus sheets and shams I found.  

Sunday afternoon I washed the sheets and started tearing apart the old bedding and replacing with the new.  Here's first look all together with sun shining in! The new curtains definitely change up the lighting!

I picked up the dust ruffle ($15) + dark gray shams ($15/set) at Walmart from their basics line, I liked  the simple stitched pattern on the dust ruffle. Changing the dust ruffle by yourself is a workout!

Here you can see the sheets, they are from Ross, $24.99.  The pillow I had from before and it breaks up all the gray, plus there is a bit of tan in the comforter when up close.   

Here are the shams up close. Dark gray from Walmart, light blue from TJMaxx clearance shelves ($15) and the shams that came with the comforter. Don't judge on the pillow count, I realize this might be excessive to some!  

Another view of the curtains, and Barney still making his presence known with the new bedding. Gray linen curtains are from Marshall's and the white patterned sheers are from Ross.

And, all together "AFTER"...really happy with the change!  

Final comparison - Before vs. After!  Comforter, 6 shams, sheets, dust ruffle and 6 panels of curtains all for WAY less than the price of comforter set regular price, and less even still at sale price! If you're shopping for new bedding I definitely recommend TJMaxx and Marshall's (this is in no way sponsored by them); however if you don't find what you like right away, keep browsing! The inventory changes constantly with comforters, quilts and duvets!  They always have new choices available!

Sweet dreams,