Monday, November 23, 2015

Why I've Been Gone

I've been missing from my blog because of some very sad news.  A few weeks ago, my dad passed away unexpectedly.  The first week we were all in shock, and now I'm just deeply sad.

Taking care of my mom and dealing with details has kept me busy.  I plan to get back to regular blogging next week, because it will be a good distraction, and it makes me happy.

During this week of Thanksgiving, I wanted to let you know how thankful I am for all of you, and for the supportive community of friends I've found in the blogging world.  I hope that everyone has a blessed week.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Leopard And Lace And Project Runway

Since falling in love with my Hue leggings last year, I'm always on the lookout for tunic tops that cover all the appropriate areas.  As a towering giant, this isn't easy, so when I tried on this Lace/Chiffon Hem Top at Macy's, it had to come home with me.  The lightweight sweater is super comfortable, and the detail on the bottom is feminine and pretty.  I added the leopard scarf and boots for a little edge.

In other news, I hope everyone watched Season 14 of Project Runway.  If you're interested in fashion even a little bit, this show is a must see.  There's drama, suspense, talent, and Tim Gunn.  He's one of my favorite human beings on the planet, and it's worth watching just for him.  I mean, he stood up to Anna Wintour, which is no small feat in the fashion world.

Anyway.  This season's winner is Ashley Nell Tipton, a talented 24 year old who is the first designer to win Project Runway with a plus size collection.  She was drawn to fashion design because she couldn't find the kinds of bold clothes she wanted to wear.

"This industry puts a bad view on plus size women and the way we dress, and it's because we don't have options."
So she's creating her own options, and they're lovely.  Ashley's collection was inspired by 1950's-era Mexico City, and it was romantic, bright and daring.

"I would like everyone to embrace who they are in this world, do what they want to do, and not let anyone take that away from them!"
Good advice, for personal style and life-living.


Be sure to head to The Blended Blog today for some Thanksgiving decorating tips, and a takeover by Lisa!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Motivational Monday XXXII

I think this one kind of speaks for itself, don't you?

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Hodgepodge November

I've been wanting to participate in the Wednesday Hodgepodge at From This Side Of The Pond for months.  Every Tuesday Joyce posts seven random questions, with a link-up the next day.  I'm late as usual...

--Besides Thanksgiving, something you're looking forward to on your November calendar?  Actually, I'm excited that there's a whole lot of nothing on my calendar this month.  We're between sports seasons for T, and we have no November travel plans for the first time in years.  I'm hoping to get organized for Christmas and catch up on life.

--If I gave you a thank you card right now, who would you send it to and why?  My sister.  She's been my right hand helping take care of mom, and I couldn't do it without her. I'm pretty sure I've called her 50 ga-gillion times to vent, and she's always there to rescue me when I'm about to lose my mind.

--Of the breads listed, which one's your favorite...bagel, cinnamon, sourdough, garlic, banana, biscuit, pita, Naan, or plain old fashioned white bread?  I plead the 5th.  As far as I'm concerned, bread is a food group, and they're all delicious.

--What's something you have in abundance?  Is that a good thing?  Teenagers. They're everywhere.  Our house has always been the gathering place, but now that senior year has rolled around, they seem to be here all. the. time.  Eating, sleeping on the couch, playing video games, hanging out.  I think they realize that their time together is getting short.  But it's all good, because they're a great group of kids, and I enjoy their enthusiasm and sense of humor. I just need a bigger food budget.

--November 5th was National Love Your Red Hair Day.  Are there any redheads in your family?  Who's your favorite redhead?  There are many redheads in my family tree, so I don't know why it never occurred to me that I might have one someday.  This guy was born with red hair and a personality to match. And I wouldn't change a single thing about him.  He will always be my favorite redhead!

--The travel website Busbud recently calculated the most Instagrammed spot in every state.  Go here to see what made the list where you live.  Are you happy with your state's #1?  Have you snapped a photo there?  Yep, and yep.  What's more Washington than the Space Needle?  Except maybe rain, but that's kind of boring to photograph.

--What's something you've learned about yourself this year that you're grateful for? Veeeeerrrrryyyy slowly I'm discovering that I'll be okay when the boys fly the nest next fall. The steps are tentative, and I start to feel a little panicky if I think about it too much. But I'm working on me and what I'll do with myself when the day comes.

--Random thought?  As a time tested veteran of the world of retail, I've written before about my dislike of the craziness that is Black Friday.  I was very happy to learn that REI, a locally based sporting goods store, would be closing all their locations on November 27th so that employees could enjoy time with family.  You can read about their #OptOutside campaign here.  We'll be doing this instead of shopping...

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Buffalo Plaid

Buffalo is my favorite kind of plaid. 

Did you know that buffalo plaid is actually "Rob Roy Tartan", a pattern that traces all the way back to 8th century Scotland?  It was introduced in North America by Big Jock MacCluskey, a descendent of Rob Roy MacGregor, in the late 1800's in the form of heavy woven Scottish blankets.  Traded to the Sioux and Cheyenne for buffalo pelts, the pattern became known as buffalo plaid.

This is the kind of information still rattling around in my fashion major brain.  I may as well use that four year degree for something.  You're welcome.

Anyway, when I found this shirt at Old Navy, I knew I needed to add it to my collection.  It's a perfect light-weight flannel, and the popover style and rounded hem gives it a feminine touch.  As the weather gets colder I'll add a vest or sweater.

I've got my eye on a few other items.  This poncho from Kensie is adorable.

And what about these rain boots from Target?

And finally, the perfect accessory, a buffalo plaid scarf.

I bet Big Jock could have bartered for some beautiful buffalo pelts with those fashionable rain boots!

Linking up today with Garay TreasuresThe Pleated PoppyThursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayFabulous FridayPumps and PushupsHow I Style ItNot Dead Yet StyleMy Refined Style

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I Interrupt This Blog For A Little Break

Just a little break.  And not a total break.

When my boys were babies, it felt like I had no time for myself.  And then they grew, and that time got even more precious.  But then they got a little older, and I found myself able to focus on me a bit more.  Now they're almost full grown - and this school year is kicking my butt again.

I think it's both physical and mental.  There are so many things to do to help T prepare for college next year.  C will be graduating from his program in June, and we're helping him decide what the next step will be.  It's mind boggling some days.  And emotionally, I know we're counting down the moments until everything changes. This time next year, day to day life will look completely different.  Not worse, just different.

On top of that, I'm still taking care of my mom.  With the improving economy, our company is very busy, and I'm working more hours.  I feel like I wake up in the morning, blink, and crawl back into bed again at night.

The blog is definitely suffering.  My goal is to write something every day, because I want to become a better writer.  The best way to do that is practice. But I feel like some days I'm throwing a post up just because I'm supposed to. I value every single person who comes here and takes the time to read, and I want that to be time well spent.  There are so many things I want to write about, but I want to do it better.

I'm not going away completely, but for now I'll be cutting down on my posting schedule. Monday, Wednesday, Friday is the plan, although if I have something I really need to say, it might show up on a Tuesday or Thursday.

So much will be changing in my life over the next ten months.  I want to slow down and enjoy the time.  And when you visit here, during your equally busy days, I want you to feel it was worthwhile.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Motivational Monday XXXI

Every once in a while, my kids do things that truly amaze me.

Last week, my younger son experienced three big disappointments.  The most difficult came on Saturday, when his cross country team lost a berth at the upcoming State meet by twelve points.  

They had been working towards this goal since Freshman year.  To add insult to injury, the team that displaced them was only recently added to the District. Last year, the scores they earned this weekend would have sent them to State with room to spare.  It felt like the finish line got moved, literally.

After the race, my son and his teammates were visibly disappointed, and as a mom, it was heartbreaking to watch.  That night some of them gathered at our house to eat pizza, watch movies and carve pumpkins.  They joked and laughed and tried to put the day behind them.

Yesterday I had a chance to talk to T about the disappointment.  He's sad, but he knows they all put forth their very best efforts.  No one gave up, even once they knew the competition was over, and he feels consolation in that.

And then T moved on.  While I was still moping and ruminating, he spent the day working on college applications, looking at scholarship opportunities, and being his usual goofy self.  He's a little bruised and battered, but there's hope for the future, and he's looking forward.

Yep, sometimes they truly amaze me.


Be sure to stop by The Blended Blog today where Leslie is sharing about Dia de Muertos. I'm looking forward to learning more about this special Mexican holiday.

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