Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Skinny Cords

Sometimes I get tired of wearing jeans in the winter, and I always fall back on skinny cords.  I wore this tan pair with a wool sweater and a dark chambray shirt.  Comfortable, and most importantly for me, warm.  I added the necklace that I found at the bottom of my purse earlier this month - oops.

Skinny cords also look great with a tunic top and a scarf, or a fitted blazer.


My favorite skinny cords are the Diana fit from Kut from the Kloth.  They come in thirteen colors and have just the right amount of stretch.  Loft also carries a wide selection if you have a curvier figure.

In other news, my friend Carrie, who blogs at A Lovely Little Wardrobe, is hosting Create28 Lovely Looks during the month of February.  You can go to her site for all the details, but there are three options to participate: choose 28 pieces from your closet and create 28 looks, create 28 outfits using as many pieces as you like from your closet, or create a daily outfit from the spotlighted piece which Carrie will post each day.  She will have link-ups throughout the month to showcase what everyone is wearing. Since I'm not buying anything new for my closet right now, this will be a fun way to re-mix pieces that I already own.  I hope you'll join us!

Linking up with Get Your Pretty On, The Pleated Poppy, Not Dead Yet Style, Why I Do DeclaireFashion Friday

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Be Brave And Zipline

Two years ago the boys took me ziplining for my birthday.  You will notice that my husband isn't in any of the pictures.  He conveniently had to "work" that day, even though he did the scheduling.  You will also never find him on an amusement park ride, ferris wheel or skydiving.  Just saying.

I had always wanted to try ziplining.  We planned to go the last time we were in Hawaii, but T didn't weigh enough.  Recently, a local family opened a zipline course on a retired farm about thirty minutes north of our house, and the boys asked if they could take me.  Hubby was all for it, especially since he had to "work".

After a long and tedious, but necessary safety discussion, we piled into an old jeep and were on our way up the hill to the beginning of the course. The first platform wasn't too high off the ground, but they got substantially higher as we traversed the six ziplines.  I'm not exactly afraid of heights, but I do get vertigo from time to time, so I was a little concerned.  As long as I didn't look straight down over the edge I was fine.  These two weren't bothered at all.

It was a beautiful day, and the course wound through a lush Pacific Northwest forest with beautiful views of Mt. Baker and the rest of the Cascade Mountains.

C offered to go first, and stepped right off like he'd done it a million times.

Next up was T, who didn't seem to be the slightest bit concerned
and tried to flip himself upside down.  Luckily he was unsuccessful.

And then it was my turn.  I stood at the edge, willing myself to let go.  I wanted to show the boys that I was brave too.  I finally took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and stepped off into nothing.

So much fun! I absolutely loved the feeling of flying through the air. Landing on the platform was not easy, and there was no way to do it gracefully.

Several hours and many ziplines later, we were all exhilarated, and I was exhausted from the adrenaline.  I'm pretty sure the boys could have gone right back up and started again though.

Now we had to get back on solid ground.  The final challenge was a 47 foot rappel to the bottom.  See the tiny man in the orange helmet?  It was a looong way down.

Such a great birthday present from my boys.  So much fun, in fact, that I'm taking my husband back for our anniversary this year.  He doesn't know it yet, but I'll make sure he has no "work" that day!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Drink More Water

We've heard it a million times.  I'm making it a million and one.

Drink more water.

I have been guilty of not drinking enough.  Partly because I think it's boring, but mostly because of Diet Coke.

But drinking water has so many benefits.  It's great for your skin.  It helps curb your appetite, since we often mistake dehydration for hunger.  Water flushes toxins from your body, and boosts your immune system.

One of my goals for this year is to limit my Diet Coke consumption, my favorite drink of choice.  I don't like coffee, so I usually start the morning off with a Diet Coke, and by the end of the day, I've had five or six. Although there's not nearly as much caffeine in soda compared to coffee, there's also nothing of value in a Diet Coke.  I can't even explain why I love it so much, but let's just say I get a little panicky when we're getting low at the house.

Three weeks ago I started weaning myself off, and I'm down to one a day. DO NOT try to take that one away from me.

The good news is that I've replaced all that Diet Coke with water, which I thought was going to be really difficult, due to the ho-hum flavor I mentioned above.  However, for Christmas my mom gave me a pitcher with a fruit infuser inside, and I am in love.  Our tap water in Washington is already pretty good, but now I'm adding lemon and blueberries and it tastes refreshing and far from boring.

Ronda at The Domestic Curator shared ten more fruit infused recipes on her blog, including orange-mint and pineapple-mango.  I have yet to try them, but as soon as we have a better produce selection at the grocery store, I'm making every single one.

First thing in the morning I have a cold glass of water.  I read somewhere that this is like an alarm clock for your metabolism, and it's been shown to increase your calorie burning potential all day long.  Then I fill up a water bottle with the infused water, and keep sipping from it throughout the day.

And as much as I hate to give up the Diet Coke, all of those "drink more water" people are right.  My skin looks better, my stomach isn't bloated, and so far I haven't caught any of the nasty viruses going around.

So for the million and second time, just do it.  Drink more water.

P.S.  I tried a different font on this post today, because it seemed a little easier to read.  Thoughts?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Opinions Wanted

Last summer I wrote about my lack of a makeup routine.  I'm 47 years old and have never worn much makeup, but I realized that a little touch up might be in order.

Since then I've dabbled a bit, but I'm still having trouble with my eyes.  I have naturally droopy eyelids that are getting worse with age, and most of the time I just look tired.  My friend's daughter is a makeup artist at a local salon, so I agreed to let her experiment on me. 

This is a recent picture of me with no make up on.  

And here I am after Noelle worked on me.

I need some opinions from my friends in the blogosphere.  I think she did a good job with evening out my skin tone, and I like the color she chose for my lip gloss.  But I'm not sold on the eyes.  I'm used to seeing myself without makeup, so everything looks "heavy" to me, and it's hard to be objective. There were a lot of steps, and I'm not sure it makes that much of a difference.

Thoughts?  Be honest - I don't mind!

Friday, January 23, 2015

2015 Wishlist: What Are You Coveting?

The Style Me Bloggers are back today with a really fun topic - what are you coveting in 2015?    I had to think long and hard about this one.  There are always things that I need, but what do I really WISH for?  In no particular order - 

A new leather jacket.  I have one that is twenty years old, is way too big for me, and has seen better days.  But here's the problem - I'm not exactly sure what I want.  Do I go with a constructed brown leather?  Or something drapey and black?  Or vice versa?  I have a terrible time making decisions on things that will last a long time.  It took me three years to choose a chair for our living room.  Sigh.  So I will probably keep looking, and hope the right jacket jumps out at me.  Otherwise I'll still be coveting one when December rolls around.

An anniversary trip to Hawaii with my husband.  Might as well covet big, right?  This September we will celebrate our 25th anniversary, and we've kicked around the idea of going back to Maui for a week.  Our last "alone" trip to Hawaii was in 2000 for our 10th. We've pretty much decided it's not going to happen this year, but I shall covet the idea anyway. 

Colored jeans.  I love everybody else in colored denim, and really want a pair or two for myself.  But which color?  Here I go again.

More family time.  I figured it out the other day, and there are only eighteen months until T leaves for college.  My older son will probably move out around the same time. Eighteen months!  That time will go by so quickly, and I wish I could slow it down.  But since I can't, I'm coveting lots of family adventures this year.  Which is the main reason why hubby and I won't be going to Hawaii alone.  There will be plenty of time for that in the very near future!

T is getting lots of letters from colleges, but I just say noooooo!

Be sure to check out the other Style Me Bloggers, and link up with us below!
Shoes to Shiraz | Two Teens and their Mama | A Lovely Little Wardrobe | R Squared 
Confessions of a Frumpy Mommy | Family Love Inspiration Education  
The Mishaps and Mayhem of Solitary Life | The Blondissima Positively Learning | Quilty Joy Joy
 Daily Style Finds | Sheila's Potpourri | Puppies and Pretties She thought She could Foxy's Domestic Side | Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After | Sprinkled Just Right


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ninety Days

This weekend will mark ninety days since the horrible school shooting that happened in my little town of Marysville, Washington.  And I worry.

On the surface, things seem to be getting back to normal.

The only young person to survive the shooting is home and recovering, although he has a long road of surgeries and rehab to endure.

The massive memorial fence outside the school was taken down, with the help of students, parents and community members.  There have been many town meetings and discussions about what to do with the cafeteria where the shooting occurred.  For now it is closed, and students eat in the gym.

Several benefit concerts, church memorials, and candlelight vigils have taken place. Both high schools have had grief counselors, therapy dogs roaming the halls, and assemblies on depression and how to recognize suicidal thoughts.

And yet, nothing is normal.  The scars remain, and the tiny bit of healing that has taken place is all on the surface.  Everyone is so tentative, still unsure of what to say or do. The tension in town is palpable.  Last week there was a bomb threat at the school, and the news media sent out helicopters.  Just hearing them hovering overhead sent many students right back to that traumatic place.  Every time I hear sirens I tense up.

Last month, the mother of the lone survivor, herself a Tulalip Tribes member, gave an interview to the local paper, where she called out the leadership of the Tribe for sweeping the situation under the rug.  She is angry that the shooter has been given so much sympathy, and that we have all been asked to forgive his actions.  She wonders why there has been no apology from the Tribe or his family - only silence.

After the article was published, I held my breath, waiting to see what would happen, or if people would finally start talking.  Really talking, about the real issues.  But sadly, nothing.

Recently, a friend of my son wrote a very touching blog post about her attempts to find some closure.  All of it broke my heart, but especially this:

      "it seems like things are almost worse than ever....behind closed doors, that is.
        I think all of us realize it, but think we are too crazy to actually believe that
       MAYBE it is acceptable for us to still be in pain.  Teachers avoid the subject
         because it's uncomfortable and parents avoid it because they don't know
            what to say.  Everyone avoids it because they think they are alone.

               I am asking this for myself and my peers at Marysville-Pilchuck:
                                          please, someone, say something.

        Say something besides 'It's time to get back to work!  We have tests in May!'
            Say something besides 'We have to move on' or 'You'll get through it.'
   We need to hear, 'It's ok to not be ok right now', because a lot of us don't think it is."

I know that healing will take time.  No one - not the students, the teachers, the parents or the community - can be expected to feel normal after only ninety days.

Still, I worry.....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter Trends: Tunic Sweater

My go to outfit this winter has been a pair of leggings or skinny jeans and a tunic sweater. Comfortable, warm and cute.  Because I'm tall, I often have a hard time finding tunics that are long enough to cover all the important parts.  A few weeks ago, Audrey at Audrey Salutes shared a great post on extending the length of sweaters by adding a tunic style tank top with lace detailing underneath.  Genius!  Even though I'm on a "clothing-spending freeze", I am on the lookout for just such a tank top.  I figure an item of clothing that layers under something else doesn't count, right?  If you have seen one somewhere, let me know!

Luckily, my tunic sweater came with the lace trim attached.  It was a Christmas gift from my sister who purchased it at Loft, and I love it.  I have scoured their website, and they don't seem to be carrying it anymore.  They are, however, having a huge sale on many of their other sweaters, like this pretty gray turtleneck that is only $15.88.

Be sure to come back on Friday for the next Style Me Bloggers link up.  We'll be sharing our 2015 Wishlist.  This should be fun!

Linking up with Get Your Pretty On, The Pleated Poppy, Not Dead Yet Style, Why I Do DeclaireFashion Friday
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