Friday, December 27, 2013

The Print Mix

It's been quite some time since an outfit post because honestly, I have been just plain bored with my limitations this winter. I haven't worn a pair of boots once. Exhibit A above: sandals in December.

Today I decided to liven things up with a mix of prints. Outfit boredom, be gone. :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Staycation

Along with the blessing of my husband's new job, comes the disappointment of no vacation time this holiday. This will be the first time in eight years that we won't take our post-Christmas trip to the mountains. And of coarse, this is just about the hottest winter EVER here in Florida. In effort to keep myself from getting in a slump with the change of plans, I am executing Plan B.

Plan B = Staycation.

Today, the kids and I went over to see M's new office, have lunch, and meet his co-workers. Later, we went with my mother to place flowers on my Grandfather's grave. He would have been 96 today, he passed away two years ago. You wouldn't believe the question and answer session between my 5 and 6 year olds and myself. As morbid as it sounds, it was an amazing learning opportunity for them. To brighten up the day, we opted for ice cream and laughs at Brewsters.

I have several things in mind to keep us busy and away from the house, while spending as little money as possible. As disappointing as it is to miss vacation, I feel super blessed to have been able to go for the past eight years. I keep reminding myself how fortunate we have been to travel and see things, and that really does take the sting away.

As for tomorrow, my children will be taking a trip with me to the tax collector's office to learn about renewing driver's licenses. I'm pretty sure I am going to owe them a trip to the park after that one.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Plaid is RAD!

Plaid is rad, especially when mixed with leopard. Meet my new flats, my one purchase at the annual Nordstrom Christmas party. I did good!! In other news, it was cool enough to wear tights today, and that is especially rad!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Meanwhile in Florida.....

Tank tops, skirts, and sandals.....why not when its 80 degrees outside? What's next, laying out by the pool on Christmas? I suppose the good news is I have no new winter clothes and with this weather, I don't really need them.

I am learning a lot about living in the moment right now. After going through trials, it is hard for me to stop living with a "what's going to happen next" mentality. God is showing me to trust Him, enjoy the good He is blessing us with in the now, and not get caught up in what's coming next. He will be there, just as He has always been. So, I am going to embrace the warm weather with a smile-and pray for a cool breeze until it comes. Oh, and northern friends-I will be living vicariously through your photos of layers so keep posting!

Friday, December 06, 2013

Breaks, Blessings, and Bargains

Obviously, I have been on a break. If I can be completely honest, I don't think I have worn anything close to photograph worthy since my last post. I had strep throat for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I really had a hard time bouncing back. After that, I went through about a week where I lived in my workout clothes, even if I didn't workout-just so I wouldn't have to style something. Everyone needs a break.

Before Thanksgiving, we received a huge blessing. As I mentioned my husband took a new job and was three weeks in when he got a call from a company that he had interviewed with prior. They offered him the Vice President of Sales position, and it's LOCAL! This was job number one on his list when he was looking. He is back in the industry that he loves with a wonderful company, and an amazing boss that has so much confidence in him. I am so proud. I get choked up at random times, thinking about how good God has been to us this past year, especially through the bad times. It overwhelms me to see his blessings poured out on my husband and my family.

As far as bargains, I found this top at a thrift shop. I think someone made it, because there are no tags and you can tell by the stitching. I absolutely love it! Happy weekend friends, it's good to be back!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Findings

Friday finding number one was this skirt, hung beneath another and left to be forgotten. Another Target oldie, that I may have worn once. I am so glad I snapped a picture before lunch, because I now have a lovely salad dressing stain on the front, and this may be the last time I get to wear it.

I also found that I am having pre-holiday anxiety. All of the stores are playing Christmas music already and displaying holiday cheer.....and it is making me nervous. This is going to sound bad, but last year I thought I was only signing up for one year of not shopping at the holidays. I totally downsized Christmas because of my shop fast. I made homemade gifts, and we bought less. Part of me thought that by this holiday season, I would be back to waking up at 2 am on the day after Thanksgiving, hitting the malls, and happily participating in the holiday hustle and bustle. Well, not so much. Recovering from my husband's two job losses this year means that the downsizing of Christmas is going to be permanent for now. Honestly.....I think I am afraid I will miss out on something. That my kids may miss out. How crazy selfish is that of me?

Refocus CATHY!!! Get the marketers out of your head, where is your heart? 

Have I really excepted that less is more, or is that just something I felt like blogging about at the time? So here's the deal. I am vowing to remind myself of every little gift this holiday season that doesn't cost a dime. What are the gifts that my family and I have that can't be unwrapped? The gifts that can't be bought? Just maybe, this is a lifestyle change instead of a just lesson.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hats ON!

Big news on the blog today: I am wearing a hat! This doesn't happen often folks.

This one came home with me from Target the other day. My first official post-shopfast purchase, I'm excited. I also scored this top on the clearance rack. It took me a few weeks to feel like I could commit to a purchase after going a whole year without shopping for myself. I think this is a good thing, as I was able to talk myself out of a few other items in my basket. This new prospective is going to be good for me. Happy almost Friday!!!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Old is the New Black

Welcome back to my old black dress. This just happens to be the Target Mossimo dress from 2010, when I went on my first adventure with the October Dress Project, only I did it in November. So much has changed since then, and I am really happy that my blog photography got better. I can remember setting up my Mac and running back to pose before the timer went off. HA! I don't know whether to be embarrassed that I still own it, or happy that after four years it still fits. Anyway, I was in search of something different to wear, and I haven't worn this since the final day of the project in 2010. It almost felt new.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Shades of Gray

For 31 days I have worn this dress 31 ways, hence the blog post title. Today I chose to become Anna Wintour, Editor-in-chief of U.S. Vogue. Happy Halloween!

This month has been a challenging one, and not because I was stuck in one dress. As my regular readers know, my husband has been out of a job for the second time this year, for the past 7 weeks. This has been a brand new and shocking challenge to us. Looking back, I am glad that I had this project to distract me from the stresses of bill paying, living off of our savings account, and not knowing what is coming next. 

Today started off a little rocky, but a stream of events happened that rocked my world. Throughout this crazy scary time, I have been very focused on what I should do to "fix"things since my husband was out of work. I interviewed for two jobs thinking that if he didn't have one, I should- as my business only brings in a small supplemental income. As of now, neither opportunity has panned out for reasons other than my skill set or talents. But, I felt rejection. 

In my mind: I couldn't help, I wasn't good enough, I have been out of the "corporate world" too long, etc. 

A very dear friend sent a devotion to me this morning that had me in tears, literally weeping. It talked about how we manipulate situations. We may know how to sell and idea, go the extra mile, and strategize to make our plan seem wonderful. These things aren't bad, but what if we use these skills and talents outside of God's will? To push past God's timing, God's direction, and God's plan to teach us things in the process? 

The author of the devotion, Lysa TerKeurst wrote: "Now, I can rest in the assurance that if something is to be, it isn't up to me. It's up to God. It's not that I just sit back and don't pursue things. I do. But I give what I can give without manipulation. And then wait for God to give what only He can give. So, if He makes it happen without all of my chaotic self-effort, then I will know it is His best. And if it doesn't happen, I will thank Him for saving me from myself."

Well, He saved me from myself this morning. After waking up totally defeated, I prayed the prayer again. God, what do I do while I am waiting, what is my purpose? 

Later this morning I went my son's Halloween party at preschool. I was crafting with the kids and a sweet little boy looked up at me with sad eyes and said, "My mom isn't here today." I responded, "Buddy I know she wants to be here, maybe she had to work." He said, "Yes, my mom is always working." Already emotional, my eyes filled with tears. Right then I had my answer from God. He wants me to be available to my kids during this season and trust HIM to provide the perfect job for my husband.  

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE don't take me wrong. I know that many moms need to work and would LOVE to be at a school party in the middle of the day, or spend the summers off with their kids. I don't even begin enter the debate of stay at home mom verses working mom. I support both and I believe everyone makes the choice that is the absolute best for their families. This was just the message that I felt I was being sent, for my situation specifically. I felt relief, I felt peace. And you know what, my husband got a call today too, and a door is opening. I couldn't feel more certain of who God is, and I assure you if you are waiting on something, hang in there. If you look to Him, He will save you from yourself.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Day 30-Still in the Dress

One more day to go. I must say this dress has been a good choice. It's comfortable, washes well, and it has held together perfectly. It will stay in my closet along with my blue dress from last year, unlike the first two dresses I chose. After hiding it in the depths of my closet for a quite some time, I have a good feeling I will wear it again. It's been good to me.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 28-Bright Lips and Big Blessings

Bright lips provided by Dior, Rose Harpers. Big blessings provided by the Lord above. For the past few weeks I have been telling my husband we need to have the brakes checked on our car. Especially since it is our only source of transportation right now. We took it in late last week, and come to find out we have been driving a death trap. The brake booster was bad and needed to be replaced immediately. Imagine my unemployed husband's anxiety waiting to find out how much this was going to cost. Would you believe that we are still under warranty, and that it even covered our rental car? It's true, and that's exactly how this little problem was resolved. Once again, during this trial we were reminded of how God provides. So grateful.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 25, 26, 27-The Mini Getaway

Day 25
Day 26
Amazing Chalk Walk Art Festival, Clearwater Beach
Marriott, Sand Key 
My Monkeys
Day 27
Sometimes you just have to get away. So that's exactly what we did this weekend. As much as I am surprised at what we can live without, having only one car over the past 7 weeks has made me a somewhat of a prisoner to my home.

Add my husband's company car for the past 18 years to the list of items I took for granted. 

The kids had a day off on Friday. So that, coupled with some Marriott Rewards points was all the excuse we needed to blow this popsicle stand. The only thing I didn't escape was this dress. Four more days to go!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 24-It's Fall Yall!

Day 24 and we finally have a cool breeze! Headed to a little town carnival and then to mom's for homemade vegetable beef soup, and fresh baked bread. A fall tradition, and one of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day 23-Tights

There was a teeny tiny chill in the air today-so this called for tights. I paired my plumb tights with my blue suede shoes and threw on a statement necklace. I love that my dress has pockets, have I gone the entire month without mentioning this? As tired as I am of this dress, the pocket factor may just encourage me to wear it again in the future. Maybe I won't set fire to it after all. Ha!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 22-The One Pic Wonder

For those of you who have to work with a tripod, you will understand my frustration this afternoon. The clouds, the angle, my hair, the way this shirt was falling on me, etc. I couldn't get a good picture to save my life. I am convinced my neighbors think I am either nuts, or completely vain standing outside taking photos of myself all of the time. This was the best I could do today, my one pic wonder.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 21-Layer it On

Much like layering this dress, I feel like life is coming at me in the form of layers lately. As soon as I take a layer off and feel like I can breathe, it's time for another layer (or struggle) to be thrown over my shoulders.

Life, much like this dress, can be suffocating at times. There are twists, turns, miscommunications, uncomfortableness, and hurt. But in all of it, I stand here in my layers knowing that it is all going to be good in the end.

Isaiah 26:3-You keep completely safe the people who maintain their faith, for they trust in you.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Day 20-Are We There Yet?

Although I am thankful for this dress and this project, I am ready to see the end of October. I felt so much better when I ran into a fellow dress project participant and friend this morning at church. The first words out of her mouth were, "I'm over this dress!" I laughed and was so relieved to hear I wasn't alone. We laughed about washing it at random and weird times, and I told her my story of wanting to set mine on fire. It's moments like these that put a smile on my face and will keep me wearing the dress, for 11 more days.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 19-Saturday and Missing Sanity

My husband pointed out that my blog posts have been rather short lately. I think that is due to my missing sanity. The days keep running together, and I have nothing inspiring to say. Friday my son had an allergic reaction to his antibiotic, he is covered head to toe in hives! Last night we got zero sleep trying to keep him comfortable. I am hoping for a better night tonight, and something inspiring to say soon. Until then; this dress is keeping me posting, even if the content is not great. I am thankful for this project, 12 days to go.