Sunday, August 30, 2015

Start Marriage Right: #RelationshipGoals

I'm happy to be back writing over at Start Marriage Right after a couple of years away... this website is a great resource for single, dating, engaged and married couples.  So many contributors and tons of wisdom and advice.

I missed this post when it published, but click here for my latest post!


What I'm Wearing ~ Summer {Winding down the Summer}

The final weeks of summer are over...but the last few weeks have been good including my middle-of-August-birthday which has lasted for pretty much the whole month! Here's what I've been wearing lately....

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. Follow me on Instagram (click here) to see what I'm wearing in between the posts. Hopefully you're just inspired, maybe by 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.

No, I wasn't in, or headed to, the mountains, but I was flying this day, which airplanes have the potential to be arctic like and I always dress in layers.  When I am flying and need to pack cowboy boots I typically wear them to save suitcase space. Leggings are always easy travel and this sweatshirt from Be Still clothing is one of my favorites for cold weather/over air-conditioned places.  Stripes are a neutral and add a little more than just a solid. But, a solid would work too. Stripe T is from Mashalls, leggings are from the C9 line at Target, boots are Cavender's and ponytail holder/bracelets are Junk Gypsy.
Here's what was packed in my suitcase, several pieces seen before in previous posts. I cut my bestie out of the pics, not everyone wants to subject themselves to the world wide web. ;)
I kicked off my birthday week with a fun day out with my school bestie. We went for a little shopping (Anthro, Paper Source & Kendra Scott) then lunch. The gift of time is my favorite! This is pretty much an entire Target outfit except the earrings which are from Sam Moon Trading Co. Shirt is "boyfriend", which really means from the men's section. The cross-body bag is available in several colors at Target and it's a perfect size, not too small that you're cramming stuff in, but not so large it's awkward.
What used to be "Restaurant Week" is now pretty much restaurant month in Houston and I met up with a couple of friends to try a new steakhouse. It was delicious and one of the best desserts I've ever had - the Cinnamo Roll! These jeans are Mossimo from Target with a T from Marshall's and a several-years-old Anthro clutch. Added my pale-yellow Sam Edelman heels, recently found at TJ Maxx.
Birthday week ended with Texans pre-season starting and I met some friends to watch the first game of the season! Same jeans as above and the Texans T is one I found a couple of years ago, not even sure where.  Earrings are Noonday Collection and the wedges are my old faithfuls from Splendid LA.
Sunday Style as posted on Instagram, had a dress in mind, but really should have shaved my legs to wear a dress, so white jeans it was. #keepingitreal Gray, white and gold is a favorite, changed it up a little and added the pale-yellow heels for a little extra color.
I mentioned about my new Rayne necklace here, and this was it's first night out. Flare jeans (years old from Gap) and a Target tank with cardigan in tow of course. Clutch is from Able's Mercantile.
It was a good summer, and now it's time to get back to work, back to routine!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lettering Lately

First, thank you for reading! Over 20,000 times someone has clicked to a page on my blog! I'm not really a numbers person, but when I realized that this week, it was a bit shocking to me! I love hearing from readers and really appreciate those of you who read, comment(!!) and share my blog! Click to older posts at the end of this one for a few random Life Lately updates.

Here's a few updates of what I've been lettering lately. Also, I updated my blog a bit and at any time you can click to the menu bar and see information on Lettered Art (Click Here) including all previous posts.

One person's trash{can} is another person's treasure. This Mama is an up-cycler and she is going to put this can (found at Canton Trade Days) in her living room with a fabric liner and fill it with extra blankets and pillows.  The verse was perfect for the purpose "Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest" Matthew 11:28.
Back to school is in full swing and these chalkboards were for a Mama sending 3 littles to school. It was fun to see their first day pictures with their completed signs. Charlie wants to be a Lifeguard! I love responses from children to life's big questions. Sometimes there's such a sweet reminder in their simplicity and boldness!
This sign is for a teacher at my school, she's hanging it in her classroom. It is 16x20 canvas, hard to tell but a mint green with charcoal and coral writing. Again, the iPhone isn't professional grade color photography and my "studio" dining room isn't professional grade lighting. :)
A friend contacted me for a wedding gift for an initial shower. How fun is that!?  I love monograms and initials and I think celebrating all things new initial is such a fun way to honor a bride!
Last, this is another canvas going in a classroom for a health teacher. Such a great quote, and lesson for High School students. All of us need to be reminded importance of character.  16x20 with coral, turquoise and white.
A couple more projects are in the works and I'm always taking orders. Remember for ideas and previous posts click to Lettered Art on the home page


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Life lately...

Though August brings the end of summer, there has been lots of good memories this month....

I love Rodeo, that is no secret. One of my favorite things in a hometown rodeo is the bucking horses showing off in the arena. I got to attend the Top o Texas Rodeo this year, and at the end of the night they turned out their horses for a free run through the arena. I grew up riding horses and I love the athleticism of a horse, from show ring to race track to rodeo arena.
My birthday was this month and my friends have blessed me so much! They are so gracious with sweet and thoughtful gifts and I have loved the gift of time with so many people from so many seasons of life this month. 
My Dad is a sweet gift giver. He always has something picked out for Mom and me (we share a birthday) and this year he had to make a little day trip on our birthday, but made a special stop while he was gone for a box of candies. This year I spent my actual birthday at home, with my Mom and Dad and my sweet nephew + nieces. It was a simple day, I think we even had PB&J for lunch, but it was again a gift of time and that to me is priceless.
Birthday week extended this year from almost a week before my actual day to a week after and this little cupcake plus a night out with work friends was pretty sweet!
The last Friday of summer I spent mostly by myself. Anyone who works in education knows, there's not much time to yourself, a lot of days all of your words are used up during the school day and the days can be draining. I spent the morning of my last day at a new coffee shop...a vanilla latte, lemon cranberry muffin (yum!), my Bible Study (Seamless by Angie Smith) and a little blogging for Start Marriage Right was such a good way to finish up my summer break. 

I have long wanted a Kendra Scott Rayne necklace, but couldn't see the $80 price tag and when I found out you get a piece 50% off in your birthday month, I waited until August to finally take the plunge. I went with a bestie to the store, I had in mind the color I wanted, but they didn't have that color. Boo. So, began the process at the color bar and I picked out a pyrite stone, the friendly girl put it all together for me, I checked out with my "final sale" custom color bar piece and went on my way. Until the next day when I looked at it and I didn't love it. Sigh. So many choices, I think I was overwhelmed (who knew!?) and didn't love what I ended up with. So, I went back, plead my case, and another friendly girl switched  me out to Rose Quartz and I. Love. It! She {my Rayne necklace} made her first appearance out last week.
One of my dear college besties lost her Grandma on my birthday to Alzheimer's disease. She also lost her Dad in December and this was his Mother. My sweet friend wrote and delivered the eulogy for her Grandma. She talked about the trains coming through their small town and her Grandma would always say "that was her bread and butter" because her husband worked for the railroad. She'd lived 30 years since he passed and still into recent years spoke of the "bread and butter".  As we gathered outside where she was laid to rest by him, a train came by, blowing it's horn through the small town they lived all of their lives. That train reminded me, again, that God is faithful. If we are looking for him, he is there, in every detail. 
This summer has been simple. Nothing grand, but filled with family and friends. I was out to watch the Texans pre-season and these koozies were being passed out.  "Whatever" has long been my word, and #upforwhatever on this koozie pretty much sums me up. My bucket list: up for whatever.
And, finally, it was the final day before I went back to work and I crossed a couple of projects that had been on my list all. summer. long. off the to-do list!  Who wants to clean-out the file cabinet or iron the clothes in the laundry basket?! However, I was glad to have those crossed off, even if I started them at 5pm on Sunday night before I went back to work on Monday. I felt like I finished the summer well and now it's back to routine!

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Dog Days of Summer

It is the last day of summer, and it's been busy few weeks for Barney (and me) ....

He makes it a priority to take a nap (or 6) each day.  He makes the couch and blanket look so good, it would make anyone want to lay down on the couch for a nap....and I've indulged in a few naps this summer too....
He has taken to the new bedding pretty quickly, and tries out different spots throughout the day...I've taken to the new bedding too and enjoyed a few lazy mornings myself.  Next week is going to be a major adjustment to my mornings...
Laundry can be exhausting, and I find myself putting off the chores sometimes in the putting the clean sheets on the bed. It takes less than 5 minutes but I will procrastinate and put it off All.Day.Long. until I'm so sleepy and finally get up to do it....
In between naps, B does keep up with what's going on around  here, checking out anything new and making sure nothing is for him....despite most days in shorts/t's/no makeup there's been a few dress up days... 
Summer isn't all work naps and no play, finding just the toy he wants and having a little playtime, but that usually results in another summer playtime has been family time, meals/coffee/treats/happy hour with friends, pool time, reading, creating, cooking, babysitting, road trips and more.     
Sometimes keeping up with all the goings on is a balancing act...looking out the window on the world and watching what's going on inside. I love days at home and days away and I feel like this has been a good summer with balance of both.
Outside is always a favorite. B loves the sunshine and I do too!  Let's be honest, he loves outside the most for the potty reward treat (shout out to those of you who have endured potty training this summer). I have gone many a mile this summer outside...walking, jogging (in my new Asics)  and biking, on my favorite trails, in local neighborhoods and cities while traveling, with friends and by myself.  I love the outside workouts for the rewards too, like cake for breakfast!
B has had a couple of getaways to the 4G, which includes equal parts rest and pacing...following my Mom doing her chores, squeezing in the chair with my Dad while he's working or napping in the recliner, rearranging the pillows on all 3 beds to his liking for the perfect nap spot, hanging clothes on the line, supervising Uno games with the littles, trying to get a bite into a fresh loaf of bread (or buns, or whatever he can), wondering when I'm coming back, and making sure I don't leave without him. This summer included most of 3 different weeks at the 4G for me too, with the littles and my Mom and Dad. Those are precious days of memories, sweet conversations, reading, swimming, coloring, feeding horses, lots of cake, Mom cooking all of our favorites, VBS, legos, blocks, playing store, fixing ponytails and naps with my sweet nephew + twin nieces,
And next week we go back to our routine, he sees me off in the morning, as if he's sad, but I know what's really on his agenda, {refer back to the top of this post}, but it will be good to be back in routine. I think. It's going to take a few days to break the stay up late, get up by 7, nap in the afternoon cycle...

As always keep up with the blog via Facebook and Instagram!
{Click through to links in this posts for previous posts throughout this summer.}


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Lettering Lately

Here's what's been happening in the Lettering Studio lately, and by studio I mean my dining room table! :)

{Click to see previous lettering posts HERE and HERE}

This quote was one I did on a canvas previously, and I had a friend request it painted on her wall in their workout garage. This was the first time I've done wall lettering, and I do everything free hand, so this was certainly a challenge and I kept telling myself while painting it, if it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you. Finished size is probably 4' x 4.5'-5'.
I love favorite things and this Mama had a big 17th birthday party filled that was so fun for her daughter! Think limo, dinner, hotel, unlimited snacks, besties, scavenger hunt and more! I created this canvas for her with lots (about 22 or so) of her favorite things incorporated. Click on the pic to enlarge it.  This was an 18"x20" canvas.
A sweet baby is on the way, actually due any day now for a girl I babysat since she was 6-weeks old & her husband. His name will be Oliver and the nursery is black, white, gold, hints of red...think Harry Potter for baby! This is a block canvas, 4"x12".
A sweet friend recently got engaged and is using this chalkboard for her "Save the Date" announcements and will re-use at her wedding.  Chalkboards are an easy decorative addition to any party or event, even just a special family day (think birthdays, anniversaries, first days of school, graduations, good report cards, first job, potty training and everything in between!) This board is 20"x20".
This chalkboard is in the home of one of my besties, shown before with 4th of July emphasis. Changed it up for August and will switch it again soon for back to school! This one is done with good old fashioned chalk! If you have a board you would like done, I can do permanent, removable, or combo.  I've got First Day of School boards coming up next.
Took a quick canvas break to paint some banners for my church. We have a community/church VBS-like event for 3 nights in August. These were for the Bible Story locations, which were dug-outs because they met at a big baseball facility. Our church does an amazing job setting up and making anywhere feel like home! These are 3' by about 10'-11'. Party banners are also available!
This canvas was dual-purpose...part decoration for a Bachelorette Party and part gift to the bride for her new home. Can be used throughout the year for parties and gatherings in their home. Again, I do all free-hand and hadn't done a monogram before, but see above, if it doesn't challenge you....  This is a 10"x10" canvas. The color was almost Tiffany blue/turquoise, but the iPhone doesn't really do it justice.  
Sometimes a blank canvas can really stump me. This one had me for a's 24"x36", so large and going in a baby room, will transition to big-girl room and I had complete creative rein to do what I wanted! Sometimes that's  harder for me than being given direction! I had recently renovated her brother's canvas (here) and wanted this one to be girlie, whimsy and classic all at the same time. Here's how it ended up and I will post a final picture of it hung in her room in the future! Her Mama (& Daddy) both loved it! Again, click the picture to see larger and detail. It is pink, parchment, silver and gold. 
Of course more are on the way, and if you have an order, please let me know! You can message me via Facebook and follow along for sneak peeks of what I'm working on via Instagram


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What I'm Wearing ~ Summer {Happy Hour, church and in between}

Summer routine has continued in full swing, and seems like main events I'm wearing something other than Nike Shorts are Rodeo events and Church!

I have been on the lookout for a black & white buffalo check button up since winter time, finally found this one at Francesca's this summer. It will definitely be on repeat through the rest of summer, well into fall and who am I kidding, winter. Was perfect paired with cutoffs for a Happy Hour with my Rodeo friends at one of my favorite inside/outside bar & grills that also features live music!
Francesca's Collection shirt, Old Navy cutoffs & belt, Noonday Collection earrings & feather cuff, Splendid wedges.
This was a Sunday style. I believe in keeping it real -- outside the 4 borders of a pic -- I LOVE pencil skirts, but I don't always love how they look on me. I'm much more likely to wear a shirt out over the skirt than tucked in.  I'm very short-waisted and I feel like tucked in shirt often looks out of proportion. But, I see them on friends, in pictures and online shops and always love how they look.  So, sometimes I step out of my comfort zone and tuck in a shirt. In this case a Target tank, and yep that skirt is from there too.  Found it for about $13 after seeing & passing a leopard skirt I really loved at Banana for $78, knew it wasn't worth it, for reasons mentioned above. {You can see this skirt previously worn in my comfort zone here.}
Target tank & skirt, Nine West heels, Steve Madden bag
Here's the real story of summer...lots of Nike shorts which by the way I'm loving my new Asics running shoes (more about them here). Extra lazy mornings in my PJs while spending time at my Mom & Dad's with my nephew & nieces...we (initiated by the littles) get up early and have cake + coffee before we have a real breakfast a couple of hours later.  Of course there's been lots of pool days while babysitting, with friends and with books (July book review here)...
Nike shorts, Nordstrom Camo pj shorts, Walmart cover up & Target bathing suit
And, swimming laps, which includes this outfit, but I don't post bathing suit pics. :)
Target top & bottom
This was a simple for a night out to dinner. White + Gray + Gold is one of my favorite combinations, (see another one here) and this was a different way for that trio of color.  Mixed metals too for accessories. Also pictured is my normal bracelet/watch stack, pretty much have that on every day.  Yes, that is shot gun shells, baby Jesus in the manger plus a little tiny "go" charm. All have special meanings to me.
Hollister button up, Gap belt, JCrew shorts, Noonday Collection earrings, Target flops
This is a repeat of a dress, worn previously with fringe cowboy boots for Garth Brooks which was an amazing concert and worn this night for a "Gender Reveal Fiesta" and out for a bit after. I am packing this dress again for an upcoming weekend trip! It is one of my favorites!
Boutique dress & earrings, Target lace skirt, Noonday feather cuff, Splendid wedges
Here is another Sunday Style...{reminder, follow along on Instagram to see style posts} my work friend said, the dress is an adult onesie.  She's right, dress + shoes + earrings (& bracelet stack) and done. I love dresses and this is one from last year at Target, I watched it all summer and finally picked it up toward the end of the season on clearance. It has a slight asymmetrical hem line with a fun floral print and stripe contrast.
Target dress, Nine West heels (same as above), Noonday Collection earrings (wear. all. the. time.)
This outfit was another Happy Hour for my Rodeo Committee - Meet & Greet for new members. {If you're not from Texas and wonder what the heck a Rodeo Committee does, we are a force of 30,000+ volunteers serving on 100+ committees to put on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo!} The days are way hot lately, these shorts are a terry cloth and so they are perfect for hot days. Another mix of floral, this time with polka dots. Again, it was an indoor/outdoor venue and long sleeves/shorts is one of my favorite combos so I felt it perfectly justified! :)
Target shirt & shorts, Noonday Collection earrings (see?!), Splendid wedges (same - all. the. time)
I recently took a trip out to Junk Gypsy Headquarters in Round Top and picked up this t-shirt from the bargain buggy.  Not a bargain bin, but a bargain grocery buggy because that's how it is in Gypsyville. :) The t was $12 and as soon as I saw it I just wanted a pair of scissors.  I've "re-designed" several t's before with a pair of scissors and you can see this one went from traditional unisex t-shirt fit to sleeveless (though not trendy muscle cutout arms) v-neck in less than 5 minutes once I got to my scissors. Before I could get home I had to stop for a piece of pie at Royer's Pie Haven, and if you ever make it to Round Top you should definitely make time for shopping with a side of pie. Again with the pencil skirt, this one is from Banana Republic, (work wardrobe staple) same feelings as mentioned above. And, this shirt will re-appear with the cutoffs, you should know my head is cut out because outside the lines of that pic is  recently out of the shower, hair in a towel...have to have clean hair for church, but needed to capture the before and after!
Junk Gypsy T (&short), Banana Republic skirt, Noonday Collection horn earrings, DSW shoes
Have a great week and do something that makes you a little uncomfortable this week!