Monday, May 30, 2016

Monday Musings ~ Unwanted

...a few thoughts, a little scattered...

Somewhere in early childhood we all experience the first sting of "unwanted"; usually on the playground in a picking teams scenario. It is one of those moments that sticks with us, why someone intentionally decided not to choose or include you.

I can remember being in these groups, and not being chosen. I wasn't a super ball-sport kid (even though I'm tall) and wasn't chosen as a first round pick. I didn't really like those sports anyway, so not being picked didn't bother me, but given the rules of school, I often still had to participate, and that would bother me. Even as an adult I'm much more content to be on the sideline and cheering you on where you excel (sports) than having to be in the game.  I know sports is not my gift, and that is ok. Sometimes the choosing kids do is just who they want to hang out at that very moment and will blatantly tell another "we don't want you" which has happened to all of us and leaves more than a moment of hurt feelings.

As a teenager, I wasn't ever the "popular" kid, so I often wasn't chosen. This looks different as we grow up, it's no longer waiting for our name to be called to the team or the playground group, but comes in silence from others and figuring out later you weren't included. The figuring out usually came from boisterous retelling of stories and how great/fun/hilarious ___________ was, which you intentionally weren't a part of. I can remember those conversations and learning to realize, I really didn't miss much.

The unwanted came through as a young adult as well, again in different format.  The circle of "friends" who no longer include you because they know where your lines are drawn and ___________ crosses that line. These days what you've missed is posted all over social media as a raring good time left with intention for you to review. Often times those "good times" result in meaningless outcomes of those "friends".

I know, because I am human, I have excluded others and have hurt feelings and made others feel unwanted because of my actions. As I have grown up, and based on my experiences, I try to be aware and inclusive instead of exclusive to those around me.
Undulating road through autumnal forest : Stock Photo
One particularly difficult time I can distinctly remember my Mom  telling me Ecclesiastes 7:8:
"The end of a matter is better than its beginning."
when my feelings were hurt over being unwanted.

At the time it is hard to see how an ending can be good, and it certainly doesn't seem it would ever be better. But, ultimately, this was a reminder for me to persevere in what I knew to be truth {chosen} and not to succumb to what was lies {unwanted}.

I've never dug into this verse and it's meaning, but I'm currently leading a Bible Study over Ecclesiastes, (sidenote: prepare to be uncomfortable in the best way if you take this one on) and in our book "A Life Well Lived" by Tommy Nelson I've just gotten to the chapter that covers this verse.  In describing the beginning of a matter is is loud, often times all talk, meaningless words, filled with pride which ultimately result in failure.  His examples were marriage; loud at the I-do's and giving up vs the 50+ year standing strong marriage, or running a marathon while laughing and joking at the beginning, without the training and the resulting fatigue/failure at the end vs the one who trained. Ultimately, when reaching the end and realizing it's better, "there's pain, perseverance, stick-to-itiveness, courage, preparation and discipline", rooted in humility, that far outweigh meaningless, trite, empty, loud words that were the beginning. Reminds me of my Dad always saying "talk's cheap".

Every time I look back and think on a beginning that turns out to be disappointing, I can rest in the end where my pain, perseverance, stick-to-itiveness, courage, preparation and discipline will far outweigh the temporary of that beginning.  Even when it is really hard. I'm so thankful for my Mom speaking those words over me, they have given me an anchor when the waves of lies of unwanted or not chosen begin to roar.

As this world and the people I come in contact with will continue to disappoint, I know that every day I am chosen and wanted by God. There is no insecurity or FOMO (fear of missing out) with God. He has intention and plans for me that far outweigh the loud, empty and meaningless words of this world.

The story of the in between is up to me; it's the piece I can control.  My words and my actions. I don't want them to be cheap. Instead, I want them to count and reflect perseverance and stick-to-itiveness and courage and discipline. Whether I am picked first or unwanted, the end, not beginning, will matter, and, will be better.

Press on,

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Business Boutique: In Review ~ A Bouquet of Peonies

As the calendar was turning to 2016 I was thinking about goals for this year and one that I wanted to accomplish was to invest in myself somehow this year related to growing my own business. As a social media follower I have seen great conferences, gifted speakers, destination locations which would all be a dream, except they all had hefty price tags and that wasn't where I was this year.  #oneday

In early April I scrolled by an Instagram post from the {well} studio about Business Boutique; including the speakers, a link for more information plus a coupon code. I immediately clicked into the link and started reading what I could find about this event, hello coupon code and how much does this thing cost?! Here's what I found: Annie F. Downs was hostessing the event (an author I really like), it was for small business owners to "make money doing what they love" (and I have a little starter business), it was affordable and it was located in Ft Worth (one of my favorite cities and near one of my besties).

Here's what I got:  an AMAZING weekend exceeding all of my expectations!  Read on... 

After I did a little research and made sure the dates worked for me (we were finishing an audit at work and I wasn't sure I would be able to get away for Friday) I signed up. Next was thinking about where to stay; I've stayed at hotels by the Convention Center before for work, so was familiar with the area but was thinking I would end up staying with a friend due to the cost of hotels. I ended up going out on a limb (because I've never done it before) and used Priceline for a hotel, getting this great room at a fraction of the cost listed online. Still not 100% sure what I was in for, my excitement was swelling and I couldn't help but think I hadn't "stumbled" across this, it was intentional and this is where I was supposed to be, including this awesome hotel at an affordable price.  
Throughout my nearly 20 years of corporate work I've been to lots of conferences, even spoken at one and I typically check my watch throughout the day wondering when we will be free for "me time". Business Boutique started Friday morning at 8:30 sharp with Christy laying foundation for business, which was simply like a friend talking to you, sprinkling stories and coaching through a process, all the while encouraging us to pursue our God given gifts and talents, as that is where our businesses stem from. Don't think I checked my watch all morning. After a full morning we had our first VIP lunch session and I got to have a quick minute to chat with Christy. Fun fact - we both wear Nine West heels all the day long, tried and true fans of the Nine West. :) 

Here's a peek into the rest of Day 1...

Annie F. Downs is just as endearing and funny in person as her books, blogs and social media. 
A Rabbi delivered a convicting message on dignity, morality and overall goodness of being in business.
A co-founder of Elf On The Shelf told her story, and I was reminded that stories matter. 
Chanda (that same co-founder) spoke truth into me at the end of the day. 
Lunch with a panel of experts answering questions and sharing wisdom for over an hour. 
A copy of Annie's new release Looking for Lovely for each of us at lunch. :)  
Insight to taxes and business ownership from a CPA. 
Session of truth about comparison and loving MY life from Rachel Ramsey Cruze
The story of Grace and Lace and reminder to grow at your own pace in Business. 
Meeting Melissa, founder of Grace and Lace, who is so gracious. 
Christine Caine's powerful closing to the day...saying YES to who God called me to be.
Also grabbed a copy of her latest book, Unashamed, which she signed.

Leaving Day 1 I was so thankful that I had seen that little square box and post that caught my eye. This was exactly what I needed, for exactly where I am, and I believe I was exactly where I needed to be. I had a hard time going to sleep, so many things were racing through my mind from the Speakers, and believing God that I am equipped and gifted to do what HE has called me to.  #overwhelmedinthebestway

Peek into Day 2: 

The day was beautiful as I was walking over in the morning, refreshed and ready to go again. 
A passionate message from Christy on crushing fear. 
Did you know "fear not" is in the Bible 365 for everyday!! 
Natalie Hodson's message from her heart on self-worth, vulnerability and negativity in business. 
Tactical sales methods from Tiffany Peterson with a reminder business is all about using gifts to serve. 
SWSWSWSW #sowhat 
I also talked with Tiffany for several minutes during lunch on Day 1, such a genuine and gifted coach.
Go and do it now wisdom on social media from Amy Porterfield.  
Etsy how-to's from Melissa, founder of MakerySpace.
Monetizing online platform with the Money Saving Mom, Crystal. 
Non-Profit guidance from Akola founder, Brittany Underwood. 
Life balance and content development and wisdom sprinkled and poured all day from Christy. 

Beyond the schedule I took away so much from these two days: 

The tag line: Equipping women to make money doing what they love" is in EVERY aspect of this conference.

This conference applies if you want to make extra money to pay for family needs or if you want grow your business to quit your "real job" and I never felt out of place or "too small". 

Every one of these businesses is a ministry, no matter what it is called, or who served, they are using their God given gifts and pursuing dreams He has given while being responsible and generous. 

The workbook is a beautiful journal and I love good notebooks and journals. 

The Speakers took time to really listen to you in conversations, give feedback and they remember your names. That goes a long way and speaks volumes.

I was able to meet almost every Speaker and tried to get photos with them; often times the photo was blurry or not the best - but reminded, that is life - living in the moment, sometimes it is fast and furious, the people, words and experience are what matters way more than a perfectly posed and clear picture. 

Looking back I couldn't believe at 6-weeks out I could still get the VIP ticket with coaching, seriously the first 25 people who click to register and those seats should be gone. 

But, thank goodness I did.
I was right where I need to be. 

This week I was putting a bouquet of peonies in a vase they immediately connected for me; leaving Business Boutique I feel like a bouquet of peonies about to bloom. There are so many layers to starting a business, tightly bound and complex, unsure of exactly what the business in bloom will look like, each flower unique and showcasing the individuality God created in us, but collectively resulting in a beautiful bouquet. 

Because of Business Boutique I can cross Invest in me at a conference off my list for 2016. I am equipped, enabled and validated in my pursuit of business. As long as I continue to pursue God my business will bloom into exactly what He intended it to be; a bouquet of my story, gifts and heart. 

Thank you Christy for following your heart, pursuing your dreams and sharing your story with us; 
Business Boutique is a beautiful bouquet of stories, gifts and hearts. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What I'm Wearing ~ May Days

Around here, April showers brought May....showers. And, actually flowers, because rain has made everything green and growing! :) Here's some of what I've been wearing lately, and if you missed my Personal Style Post, click here, to read my thoughts on clothes and style.

It seems like every time I walk into a store or notice something someone is wearing that catches my eye it is navy. And, navy is a great color for spring.  This was a Sunday morning and included a few of my favorite things: church, coffee and a sweet friend (who's also on the navy + white bandwagon). The 3/4 sleeve cardigan is from Target and comes in lots of colors and holds up well. I've worn it a lot since I got it. However, don't buy it full price because it will be on sale, I've seen them from 20-40% off on any given day. Jeans are old Old Navy, and I'm picky about white jeans, which I believe everyone is, so wherever you find white pants you love pair them with navy!
Speaking of Target, this entire outfit is Target and I bought it as my "Easter Dress" even though I didn't wear it on Easter, because I was in the nursery and in nursery-wear; which accommodates getting up and down off the floor, rocking babies, feeding babies, bouncing babies and repeat. :) I love that hour every month. Both the sweater (it's one of those really thin ones) and skirt (hello black and blue combo) are from the Who What Wear collection for Target and I will wear the skirt throughout the summer with a T or tank instead of sweater and some white shoes or wedges. The white clutch brightened it up a bit for spring, even though it was a chilly day. 
I mentioned getting a few new tops from Marshall's (and when I looked back at that post it shows the navy cardigan from above too #repeater) lately and this is the solid one I mentioned, simple green with a bit of a flutter sleeve. This day really basic with black pants and heels. Speaking of basic, have you seen the #basic, which doesn't mean basic?  From Urban DictionaryBasic. An adjective used to describe any person, place, activity involving obscenely obvious behavior, dress, action. Unsophisticated. Transparent motives.  I hope I'm just plain basic and never #basic. If you're like me and around teenagers or heck 20-somethings, it's good to look up some of these words that don't mean what they say to know what they really mean....don't get me started on "watch netflix and chill". Argh. #steppingoffsoapbox
Another from the summer's coming bargain shopping finds...subtle pink (again the iphone doesn't capture super well), gray, black and white. Also recently found on 50% off because apparently mirror rock crystal is no longer in the line...these Kendra Scott earrings and the spike cuff bracelet. I get asked a lot about my glasses, they are from Warby Parker, which are affordably priced and my favorite thing about them: "Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need." #giveback 
Last up, this top is one I saw on JCPenney Instagram and happened to be close to a store, so stopped in to see if I could find it, and I did! When I saw the pic I didn't know the back was different, but the stripes and floral is one of my favorite combos! This is also a good work shirt. Best part of it...I happened on a day for early bird sales (40% off) and someone passing out mystery coupons at the door (I got $10) so I paid $5.40 for the shirt, tax included! Here's link to the top online {click here} which I got a medium, and now I see that it also comes in white!! Might need a 2nd one...
That's it for this week! Thank you for reading, keep in touch via Facebook or InstagramI've linked up with The Pleated Poppy  today, click over for more What I Wore posts, she has great style! 
pleated poppy


Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Musings ~ Swells

....a few thoughts, a little scattered....

Last Sunday night I sat on the porch with a couple of friends, chatted all kinds of topics, tried mango sticky rice for the first time which is delicious, watched the sun go down, stayed up late for cake and soaked in a good evening in the neighborhood. It feels like a swell to Summer building up: lighter evenings, schedules clearing, life slowing down a little. And, I love the speed of Summer. Somewhere in the year the planner starts to take over managing all the to-do and to-be and the "busy" gets the best of me, which in itself starts to exhaust me.  Every year Spring seems to be when my calendar is the fullest and nights like these remind me to slow down and soak it in.

At the same time of slowing down I feel like a different swell is building, to something bigger but unknown, and opportunity and change. Maybe it's been building, but I'm finally slowing down enough to see it. Or maybe it's just starting to build. Either way, every conversation I have seems to have a thread of intention and what seems like it "comes out of nowhere" but maybe it's just because I'm listening that the dots on a few things have connected.

I'm not trying to be vague, but it is vague where this swell could go...will it open doors? shut doors? change me? change other things? align with dreams? cross a specific path?

These things I don't know, but I'm going to believe all of the conversations are on purpose. 
That timing is intentional.
That strangers can be influential.
That I need to be listening. 
And paying attention. 
And it's ok to be unsure of where this is going. 
As long as I'm listening. 

I love the water and learn so many lessons from the vastness of the ocean, How the water can change; from so rough to make you sick to slick like glass with hesitation to disturb the calm. The swells of the ocean, driven in seasons and tides and storms and sun, just like the swells of life. 

And sometimes social media even speaks to the season.... 

Wherever this swell goes, if it dies down into simple waves or a ride that is scary, I'm going to wonder in the small, and trust God to direct the seas in my life; to sit and soak up the calm from the shores and hang on when it feels like the waves may be too strong and see how it swells. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

#LinkUp: Show & Tell ~ Personal Style

Personal of the great conundrums of the internet where you can see and compare yourself to not only what the models in online shops are wearing, but what everyone else is wearing from everyday people, to reality celebrities and A-listers too.

I snapped a pic of this quote from a magazine several months ago and have kept it on my phone, it's a good reminder, no matter what...
Personal style has to have a thread of you.
A few of my favorite things that make up my personal style... 
High Heels
Cowboy Boots 
button ups 
Business Casual because I have to
Jewelry stacks
Nike Shorts 
Leopard clutch/clutch bags

Where I get my personal style: 
TJ Maxx
rare occasion Anthropologie on sale
Small Town Boutiques
Old Navy

Sizing my style 
I'm 5'9", so picky about pant length 
I'm 5'9",so picky about sleeve length 
I typically wear a 27 pant 
I typically wear a M top or dress 
I try on all sizes because depending on size and cut, I can wear anything from XS to XXL

Some examples of my style:
Cold weather work day uniform: cardigan + scarf + heels 
Cold weather weekend: leggings + t/tank + half-zip/sweat shirt 
Jeans + Ts is one of my very favorites. 
(On this day I bought new pillows #sweetdreams)
I'm a repeat offender, this is one of my favorite button-ups, just the right light weight flannel plaid
 Since Summer's Coming... 
Long sleeves + shorts is a favorite for me personally
Dress up Gala look 
Jeans + tanks is the balance to long sleeve + shorts 
I almost always have a cardigan or jacket with me 
 More summer... 
Wedges are also on heavy repeat, the same pair in fact 
Nike shorts (or Danskin from Walmart) are my evening/weekend uniform
Dresses for church + nights out 
 Travel: I always wear layers 
Scarves are year round 
Those ripped jeans are also a repeater 
 What's interesting about personal style: 
This is a pic from the same day... 
(Left) shopping at the Rodeo all day with one of my besties 
(Right) attending a Rodeo concert that night with another bestie
All day: the same looks...not sure about what I was wearing 
Is it that out of the ordinary? No. 
Someone asked a friend if I was a snob based on seeing right-side outfit alone?! 
What in the world?  
I always love to see how people put outfits together. 
I love to complement someone's style who is unique and different than mine. 
What I can wear isn't always what someone else can wear. 
What someone else can wear isn't always what I can wear. 
We make assumptions of others based only on what they wear way too often. 
We compare to others on what they wear way too often. 
We degrade ourselves based on our clothes way too often.

There's nothing personal about copying everything someone else does. 
That's the conundrum of the internet and style, it loses the personal. 

This is why I post "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. 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.

This was from the inside of a pair of jeans, that wouldn't go over my thighs
but I loved the message and it's stuck with me, because jeans don't determine who I am. 

Just like anyone else: 
I have days I don't feel great in what I'm wearing. 
I have days I love what I'm wearing, but maybe someone else cuts it down. 
I have days I get asked about where something came from, I love to share. 
I have days I show up in the same thing someone else is wearing, I don't feel threatened. 
I love to share bargains and places to find deals.
But, every one of those days, I try to reflect my personal style. 
A little thread of me running through it. 

Who influences my style?  
I would wear everything in the Athleta catalog 
I follow a few bloggers that aren't influenced by specific stores for inspiration 
I had Pinterest, but don't ever use it.
I love looks that are both put together and appear effortless. 
I really just put things together that fit me, are colors that work for me, meet a dress code where required, that I like, that are comfortable, and that don't break the bank. 

My favorite is the Duchess
I know she has a stylist. 
But... she is always timeless and dressed for occasion with a thread that runs through of her personal style. 

I hope all of these things will also be the defining of your personal style. 
Your favorites on repeat 
Your size that is perfectly you. 
Your influences that inspire you. 
Your stores that you like. 
Your kind words to others about their style.
Your thread shining through. 

And, your smile, because it's the prettiest thing you can wear. 

Stay connected on Instagram and Facebook
Link Up posted with Momfessionals, Show and Tell Tuesday, click for more.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday Favorites ~ No Humidity, 50% off edition

It's Friday and it's been such a beautiful week here of super low, which is the Texas equivalent of no, humidity this week, I have been outside most every day after work, and that is my favorite! Speaking of no humidity I finally "upgraded" (?) to a curling wand instead of curling iron and it is potentially going to become one of my favorite things!

Since it's been a long time for Friday Favs, here are a few of my recent favs...

I stopped in one of my favorite gift stores recently and they have a small selection of Kendra Scott which included a small(er) selection of 50% pieces. I picked up these earrings and a bracelet, I have worn them so much! They are the mirror rock stone and gunmetal, the perfect "not black" but goes with so many things!!
And, here they are one of the 4 days I wore them in a row last week to work... 
Another favorite lately is the return of the bandanna trend. I love this look! Even wore it once during Rodeo 2015....
And, again Rodeo 2016 and now bandanna scarfs are everywhere! Such a fun addition to a simple outfit, and apparently I prefer my bandannas with plaid.....  
I was recently on the Nordstrom website looking at handbags for inspiration to find a fun Spring/Summer bag. I found this exact bag, liked it, and tucked it away as a possibility, a bold magenta, goes with anything, good size, etc.....then I happened to be at TJMaxx and stumble across the exact same bag for at least 50% off, if not more! #bargainshopper So, I scooped it right up! 
The only downside to Longchamp bags is they only have one small/not really functional interior pockets. And, I just can't do the everything dump in my bag, so I was on a quest to find something functional to use in my bag, which would hold my planner and a few other pens. {I have a separate one for cosmetic things.} Marshall's to the rescue, with a 3-pack for $9.99, 50% off the "compare to" price!
So, what's inside...planner, small notebook, business cards, USB drive, pens, coupons, giftcards.
Perfect for what I was looking for and keeps my bag organized. Another favorite? That one of my besties has these same organizational tendencies I do and shared in my excitement over this find.  We also share a love of pens and have recently discovered the Pilot Flexion, which is erasable and actually works vs. the Eraseable Papermate we grew up with that never erased anything!
This weekend is Mother's Day and my Mama is definitely one of my very favorite things!  I truly cherish how our relationship has grown and changed through the years as I have grown up and I am better person because she is always my Mama first and she is also my friend. This was from Christmas Day...we stayed at the table most of the day, in between cooking and eating and worked crossword puzzles and it was perfect. Also, my whole family is a lefty, except me and this pic is virtually a mirror image, including as I get older I look more and more like her. #nomakeup #nofilter
Also, she works harder than lots of people I know, helping me move once again. I know a lot of my home habits and hospitality come from my Mama, she sees things that need to be done and just does them, cleaning, organizing, visualizing, unpacking and helping me not only when moving, but any day she's with me or my brother and the littles. Moving is definitely not anyone's favorite, but getting settled in and having Mom help me is a favorite part of moving, and that we usually have a couple of good meals at favorite places.
She also helped me with one of the hardest days, losing my favorite dog and giving him a place to rest out under his favorite tree. Definitely no one's favorite, but my Mama (& Dad) love us so well on the best days and the hardest days and I am so thankful for them.
This weekend I'm headed to my favorite place to hang out and celebrate my Mama!  Here's to Friday and a weekend of low humidity and maybe some 50% off bargains while in town with my Mama! 

If you missed Monday Musings {click here} to catch up, there's a couple of other recent favs there, though one that is not a favorite, a SNAKE!! Thank you for stopping by, stay in touch via Facebook and Instagram

Linking up for Friday favs...with AndreaErica & Narci

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What I'm Wearing ~ The years old, 3/4 sleeves edition

So this summer is going to be one of the first I actually have to "dress up" for in quite some time. I've been off the last few summers due to working in education, job transition and before that I worked where jeans/casual was the summer norm. So, I've been on a quest for some new summer friendly {read heat tolerant} work wear that I can also re-use throughout the year with cardigans or jackets and let's be honest a scarf.

First up, of course I bargain shopped for new work tops, and between Marshall's and TJMaxx I think I got 5 or 6 for just over $100, all are different prints, only one is solid, which is green, which should be no surprise if you have been around here for long. Back to what I was saying, #squirrel, this is the first one and it's a navy/pink/gray/off white floral print that I paired with navy pinstripe pants. I also have some navy cropped pants, gray pants, light pink pants, so it will mix several different ways.
This dress is a repeat, one of my favorites and this time I paired it with floral heels. These are by Guess and a random Ross find one day on a whim, for cheap and I have worn them so much! If you can find a good black and white dress that is a fabric you can wear most of the year, it's worth buying. I've worn this dress with tights, boots, heels, flats and scarves from about September through April for the last couple of years. It is 3/4 sleeve and I think I picked it up for almost 75% off because it was about $8-$10 at Target a couple of years ago.  Also, I have no real tan, but thank you Jergens for faking it with me.
Again with my fabulous iphone..the color of this top doesn't show up super well, but it is a really subtle mint green with gold dots and 3/4 sleeve. I love this top and it is perfect for spring, and again is several years old. The earrings are from LaVidaLoca boutique and the monogram necklace that I wear all. the. time. is Stella and Dot and was a gift from a bestie.
Another tried and true {read: lazy girl} outfit is this jacket that honesty doesn't look good open, so I choose to wear it as a top and under it is a Hanes v-neck. #classy The leopard shoes add a little color, and I think I wore turquoise earrings this day just for fun. Honestly it's surprising that my hair isn't in a ponytail, as I think I got ready this day in about 20 minutes. It was a Friday and I was over picking out the clothes this week. The jacket is again years old, but again a classic that lasts through all kinds of trends like the black and white dress above.
Navy + black, one of my favorite spring combos! 1/2 of these pics were inside where it all looks black and 1/2 outside showing that really I did have on navy. The cardigan is from Target (this year!!), has 3/4 sleeve and is perfect for Spring. I've worn it several times already. Even in the summer when I'm wearing a tank, I typically always have a cardigan with me since the Texas business owners believe in freeze out temps. This cardigan will be with me lots!  The bag is from Barrington Gifts, where you can customize your own design including your monogram! And, the top-knot? This week's dirty hair style instead of a ponytail. :)
In Houston we are definitely 3/4 of the way to summer, meaning one of 4 days is below 80 degrees and will now endure summer temps for 3/4 of the year. :) Sleeveless edition coming up soon!

I've linked up with The Pleated Poppy  today, click over for more What I Wore posts, she has great style! 
pleated poppy

As always, keep up with me on Facebook and Instagram


Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday Musings....garanimals, snakes (!!!), books and golden-doodles

...random thoughts and goings on...

I saw this in a magazine the other day...
I love denim on denim and would wear it way more often if my job allowed, because jeans are my favorite. In fact, just Sunday afternoon I paired denim on denim with cutoffs and my long standing favorite boyfriend (from the men's department) Gap pearl-snap. I wore it with a pair of Keds slip ons, taking me back to my childhood. However, not sure I wore Garanimals because as I've looked back on pictures I wore a lot of my brother's hand-me-downs balanced with ruffles on dresses and bonnets that my Mom handmade and also helped me to accessorize.
My little nieces though, we were all about Garanimal-style dressing them, anything pink and purple and it all mixed and matched, even with their cowboy boots.
I had an adventure last week, a result of the recent floods in Houston and living close to a Bayou...after backing my car in my garage I was getting out and saw something move from the corner of my eye...
I. Do. Not. Do. Snakes. 
This was no "grass snake" and all I know was it was an ALIVE snake and I needed HELP! I knocked on one neighbors door who didn't answer, went to another one and rang that doorbell, even though it was after 9, and he came out. This kind man, #carriesamancard, and picked up that snake (you see it coming out of my garage) BARE HANDED.  HERO status!  Saved my life. Thank you God for him. I'm not sure what I would have done next, but probably called 911 and hoped the Fire Department down the street would come to my rescue.
If you're wondering, he says it was a hog was about 3' long and black and ALIVE is what kind of snake it was.
Over the weekend I sat on my porch a bit (after making sure there were no snakes on the porch), and wasted some time on my couch if we're being honest, but most of that time was reading the majority of this book until I finished it, and none of that time was wasted. {Especially if we consider I was recovering from THE snake incident.} If you've grown up in the south you will appreciate these salty stories that are laced with sweet memories and will occasionally bring tears and also make you laugh out loud. I can't wait for Sophie's next book, Giddy Up Eunice, which if I'm judging strictly by it's cover, is sure to be another favorite based on title alone. 

As the calendar turned to May, it brought a little sting, that today, the 2nd, marked 3 months without my little Barney. I was out on a walk this evening, there's dogs everywhere along the trails, and the cutest little golden-doodle puppy was out for a walk with her humans. She had such a personality and smile, it reminded me of B, and I missed him and was thinking about him as I walked away and looked at the time, it was just after 6:09, when his life ended here...and maybe that little dog was a smile from above. It seems every time I see a dog that really catches my eye it is a mini-golden-doodle. WHY ARE THEY $2,000?!?!!  UGH. So, if you ever hear of a sale on golden-doodles, I'm interested. I am a bargain shopper after all. Or a rescue puppy... 
That is one of my all time favorite pictures with my Mama and little B. 

Speaking of Mama, this weekend is Mother's Day and if you know someone who is part of the village that helps you mother or if you're longing to mother and are part of a mom's village, this is an encouraging read by Annie Downs, {click here}. 
Celebrate All The Women In Your Village
I had never really thought much about Mother's Day in this regard, until last year when a friend who intentionally celebrated me with the kindest words in a card, signed by her and her children and a thoughtful very "me" small gift, calling me a significant part of their village. I love those children tremendously and their family is a precious gift to me and I am so thankful for them and so many others who's village I get to be a part of. Annie has written great books, including a favorite Let's All Be Brave, and has a new book out Looking for Lovely which is on my list. 

Before I case you missed it...recent posts on the blog... 
Social Responsibility, what we're teaching Millennials {click here}
Lately in Lettering, including the reveal of these canvases {click here}
And a few things I've worn early spring including to Rodeo Houston {click here}

Blessings to you in the week ahead,