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Showing posts from 2011

Conversation #126: Read this

I love the Dension Forum on Truth and Culture and read it daily.  I happen to think everyone should.  However, after reading a book entitled God's War on Terror by Walid Shoebat a couple of years ago, topics regarding radical Islam really interest me.  I recommend reading that book as well as this article.  Then I urge you to pray as well.

Conversation #125: Some news stories on my mind

Long time readers know that I like politics and I used to post about them often back in the day (especially preceeding the last presidential election).  I haven't posted much lately because I have pretty much just been so saddened by the current state of politics that I was trying to go by the motto, "Ignorance is Bliss."  Well, I think that will probably change over the next months as we get closer to the next Presidential Election. 

Anyway, this article is indirectly political.  Full disclosure, a close relative works for this company so I'm sure that I'm a little biased, but I think I am more biased in knowing about it versus my feelings about it.  For example, if my relative didn't work here than I probably wouldn't pay attention to the story, but I would still feel the same way about it even if it were about a different company in the same position.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a couple of days at our local state transportation office learning how …

Conversation #124: Merry Christmas, uh, a little late

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I do hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  I have been out of blogging for a couple of weeks because I had just been so busy with work, nightly activities, and spending much needed rest time with family.  In fact, the hubby and I are heading out tomorrow for more family fun, and I can't wait.  I am so thankful that God blessed me with my amazing family (immediate and in-law), and I'm glad I was able to celebrate Christ's birth with them.

I'm actually typing this while trying to ward off a migraine.  I have learned now that they only come generally at one time of the month (I'm sure you ladies know what I mean).  Trust me, this is better than almost daily before I started treatment, but now I REALLY dread this week.  It doesn't matter how much water I drink, caffeine I take, or sleep I get.  It just seems to happen.  I got over 8 hours of sleep last night and woke up with this darn headache.  Anyway, how do you explain to…

Conversation #123: Open to Interpretation

First, I apologize for two posts today.  The other one was supposed to post yesterday.  I wrote it during lunch, but it didn't post properly.  Oh well.




So I started reading Kayla's blog during her last wardrobe challenge, and I loved it.  I also loved when she and Amy and Erica started doing this series called Open to Interpretation.  I have no idea why, but I never thought of taking an outfit I saw in a catalog or a magazine and then recreating it or something like it with what I already own.  This has really helped me not only stretch my closet but also push me to try some new fashiony things (without going out to spend a ton of money).

Here is the photo inspiration (I just copied it from Kayla's blog):
And here is my interpretation:

Outfit breakdown: Sweater - Old Navy, $8 Striped Shirt - LOFT (from the event last week), $20 Pink pants - JCPenney, Juniors section (don't tell Stacey and Clinton), $10 Leather Oxfords - J.Jill, $30
Mine is pretty close to just being a copy,…

Conversation #122: I want to be content

I think I have fallen back down into the depths of "want."  All of the sale emails and such have just consumed my mind with "wants" that I don't need.  I haven't bought a ton lately, but I have spent too much time pouring over sale websites and such.  I'm kind of glad I'm feeling this way and sick of myself becasue that is usually when I decide to change!  I also let myself be a little bad this week with holiday goodies and exercising, and that is going to change too!

So in the meantime while I'm trying to better my mind, here are a few simple OOTD for you:
I love this vest!  Outfit breakdown: Vest: H&M, $20 (more than I would normally spend, but I love it and I'm cheap) Tee: Lands' End Canvas, $10 Cords: Lands' End Canvas, $17 Leather Shooties/Booties (not sure the difference): JCPenney, $25
I have no idea why, but I got this idea for a sweater paired with a short, floaty skirt and my leather shootie/booties, and then I found this a…

Conversation #121: A new method

So this will be short and sweet because I'm posting on my new android phone (Christmas and bday gift from the hubby). I'm very excited to try out the app, and even though I'm used to a keyboard, the touch one is working pretty well.So I'm attending a local LOFT event tonight so i may post that outfit later, but here is my work appropriate look for the day:I'm not sure how this will work with the picture when I actually post, but here is the outfit breakdown:
Cardigan: Coldwater Creek, $15
Blouse: Lands' End Canvas, $12
Pants: Lands' End, $10
Boots: Target, giftHopefully this post sort of makes sense.  I can't wait to share about the fun evening event so check back tomorrow! Oh, and the other nice thing about my phone, a better camera so at least my uninspiring outfit photos are slightly better quality. Have a happy day!

Conversation #120: It't the most BUSY time of the year...

If you have read my blog for a really LONG time (like way back on my other blog) then you know I love Fall and Winter - the holiday season just can't do anything but make me happy!  I get to see family and friends and watch cheesy Christmas movies while drinking cider and hot chocolate.  What could be better? 

(It also mean no yard work for a few months, minus the leaves that I should probably rake, but we'll just pray for a good strong breeze to blow those on their way).

Anyway, I have been busily preparing my application to take the P.E. (Professional Engineer) exam, and it is all due on December 16th so we are getting close!  I don't have much left to finish, but it has definitely been a time suck for a while.  I also took some time off to enjoy family and friends over the holidays, and it was one of the best trips back home we have had.  It was just fun and good times all around.  I miss everyone already.

So due to the fact that I'm not sleeping as much as I shoul…

Conversation #119: A series of rants - you have been warned!

phot from: http://www.mdjunction.com/forums/agoraphobia-discussions/lounge/2586944-frustration
I'm sorry, but I have to get it all out.  This last week was one for the record books for me, folks.  (oh speaking of a pet peeve/rant, one of my coworkers loves to use the word "folks" but he pronounces the "L" in it too.  Think of the word "bulk" but add "fo" instead of "bu").  Anyway, let the venting commence.

First off, this is a prayer request and just was a source of sadness for me: one of my good friends was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I thought it was so ironic that they got the diagnosis during Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it freaks me out.  First of all, she is almost exactly a year older than me, and I'm only 26.  She also just celebrated her only daughter's first birthday in August and they were hoping to start trying for more babies soon.  Due to the type of cancer and treatment, she may not be able to have …

Conversation #118: Suede Nails

I'm not sure why, but the other day I decided I really wanted some dark green nail polish.  So I bought the only dark green shade at the grocery store I could find (the makeup selection is usually pretty good, and I'm too lazy to make an extra trip somewhere else for nail polish).  Anyway it is Revlon Matte Suede finish in Emerald City, and I sort of love it.  I had no idea what "matte suede" meant, but without a clear polish on it, it does definitely have a matte finish that I guess is sort of suedesque (I like making up words).  It dries much faster than any other polish I have used, but I can't decide if I want to put a clear coat on top to see what it looks like or not.  It might be too glittery then, but maybe I'll try it in a few days and let you know how I like it.  Until then, I'll try out the matte look.  It is a nice darker green and sort of a fun alternative to a really dark, almost black nail (which I still like too!)

Conversation #117: Shopping Tips

(Photo from: http://mamasonadime.com/2011/04/retail-coupons/shopping-bags/)
The lovely Stori from It's a Wannderful Life (over in Russia right now!) asked me to share some tips I have for getting good deals while clothes shopping.  Sadly, I probably spend way too much time looking for good deals, but since I don't have kids yet I figure I have the time.  Hopefully my wardrobe will be fairly well stocked and fool proof when I start having children and become busier with family and work.  That way I'll be able to love my clothes and feel comfortable getting dressed, but I won't have to think about it!

1.Online shopping - This is my number one tip.  I do probably 90% of my shopping online.  I have usually found better prices online and I usually only shop at online places when they offer free shipping (which is fairly often at some retailers).  This is the biggest way I find good deals.  I will scour online sales and I also tend to make sure a retailer either allows in stor…

Conversation #116: Retail Detox, an inventory

Okay, I have lost count of what week I'm supposed to be on, and since I failed a bit I should really probably start fresh.  Baby steps - that is what I'm working with here.  I got my fail packages in the mail this weekend, and unfortunately I love it all.  Right now they are sitting in a pile.  I'm trying to really decide if any of it really fulfills a need and then go from there.  Of course, I want to say it all does, but I know if I let it sit for a bit I'll realize if any of it was worth breaking the detox.  In the meantime, to help me get back on track I'm going to start sharing my closet inventory with y'all using the Real Simple list I posted a link to a couple of posts ago.

Here is a cut of the first part of the list: pants.

Okay, so this list is again the "essentials" - a wardrobe foundation and so I know there will be some additions of fun, trendy items.  However, I also started realizing when I went through this that I might have a few of eac…

Conversation #115: Outfit overload

I'm not sure these will be inspiring to anyone, but I have some outfit pictures from the last few weeks on my phone so I decided to dump them here.  Aren't the phone photos in my work bathroom super inspiring?!

Casual Friday a few weeks ago, breakdown: Striped Boy Tee, Lands' End Canvas, $2 Bootcut Jeans, Gap, $20 Leather Belt, American Eagle Outfitters, $10 (?) Leather & Canvas Heels, Lands' End Canvas, $30 Necklace, Target, $3
Outfit breakdown: Red/White Striped shirt, Lands' End Canvas, $12 Ponte Pants, Lands' End, $14 Leopard Calfhair flats, BP via ebay, $30 Faux gold chain necklace, JCPenney, $12
One of my favorite recent outfits, I had a downtown meeting so I wanted to get gussied for downtown Dallas Outfit breakdown: Cardigan, New York and Co, $18 Silk and lace tank, J. Crew via ebay, $13 Black crepe pants, Talbots, $30 Black leather booties, JCPenney, $24 Necklace, Coldwater Creek, $7 (?, can't remember for sure)
Another Rangers work outfit Outfit Breakdown: Striped…

Conversation #114: Wardrobe Checklist (and retail detox update)

I read something a while back that sort of spurred me into thinking I needed to do this whole retail detox thing.  I'm just going to get it out there - it has been way hard for me and I'm super embarrassed and disappointed by that.  I did well for the first two weeks, and then I got into this buying and returning things habit because I felt bad after buying it.  I told myself that I could still buy things, but only with extra money I earned from ebay.  That worked for a while too, but then I caved to the Lands' End Canvas sale last weekend.  I bought three tees, a skirt, and a cardigan.  I think that all but maybe one tee will be going back and hopefully I can stop this extra shopping. 

Okay, back to the "thing" I read...

It was an article in Real Simple magazine targeted at helping you never buy the wrong thing again.  It has great tips in it, and the wardrobe checklist it includes really brought it all back home to me.  I started going through the checklist an…

Conversation #113: Sassy Engineer, where art thou?

I'll be honest - I have been avoiding the blog.  I have a shopping problem, and I didn't want to share that I have fallen down a bit in this retail detox thing.  I'll save the real post for tomorrow, but this is the start of week 6 and it has been a little up and down for me.  I'm so proud of the other ladies that have held strong though!  I was doing well to at least only buy things on ebay that I had money for because I had sold things on ebay.  It was at least a step in the right direction for me because I apparently can't quit cold turkey.  However, yesterday night while watching the Rangers win (woohoo!) I caved to the Lands' End Canvas sale.  Maybe none of it will fit so it will be easy to return!  Then I really need to buckle down - I blame it on my husband.  He had a birthday yesterday and I shopped for him and got back into the online shopping world too soon!

Anyway, I'll do my official update tomorrow, but I decided to start following this outfit …

Conversation #112: 100 Day Challenge week 3 update

So I took a little break this week from blogging much just because it has been CRAZY!  We actually went out of town last Thursday night and got back in late Monday night.  I have been playing catch up ever since, and so the blog is usually the first to go.  Anyway, we took a long weekend trip to Richmond and then up to D.C.  It was awesome (although chilly), and I will post pictures this weekend I hope.

In the meantime, this is my update on the Detox challenge.  Last week (before Monday) was a pretty good week for me.  I actually returned something I bought with my "already used money" so I still have that on the table.  I also even returned the sweater dress I bought the week before.  I had pined over it for a while, but after trying it on, it wasn't love and wasn't worth the break in the Detox.  I'll already confess that I used my "already used before detox" money this week, but it was after Monday so I'll wait to update on that for next week.  I&…

Conversation #111: 100 Day Stretch - week 2

Well, it is time for an update.  So far, I have done pretty well.  I will confess my purchases and then share my outfit for the day, but first a few of my random thoughts.  I know this is going to be hard for me, especially as Christmas sales start hitting my inbox, but I'm determined to have a healthy relationship with shopping once again, and this is my first baby step (not really the whole stretch, just starting it!)

I like what Misty said on the weekly link-up post today (go here to read and see other "stretchers").   She talked about the freedom in not feeling like she needs to keep up with a trend or run out and try to find something she saw online - I wanted to yell, "Amen, sista!"  That has been the biggest thing I have noticed this last week for me.  I think my head was even trying to will myself to want things, but I just couldn't find that much that I wanted.  Mostly, I think I am over the current offerings in stores so I hope I stay strong once …

Conversation #110: Family Shape-Up

So you may remember that I started WeightWatchers a few months ago, and I have continued following my plan.  This summer has been a struggle for me, but I sit at 136 lbs right now.  My goal from the beginning was 132 so I’m going to see if I can get down to that now.  Even if I never do, I feel great and I’m enjoying seeing my body change and become more tone.  I have been working out almost every morning, and I plan to continue on that for the rest of my life if possible.  I feel like I’m finally making a lifestyle change.Well, my mom started WeightWatchers a bit after me, and than my oldest sister followed.  My other sis hasn’t actually officially signed up yet, but over Labor Day weekend we decided that we were doing this together.  They need motivators and I needed extra motivation so helping them helps me.  Since I have been doing it longest, I’m motivating my sisters to workout and eat better (and more just helping my mom be accountable and give support because she has a pretty …

Conversation #109: What happened to college sports?

Photo from here.
This may not be of interest to many of my readers, but I am just getting sort of frustrated and tired of all the conference changes.  I thought sports were supposed to be about fun and competition, and who doesn't love a good rivalry.  Instead, it has become about the money.  Isn't that what always happens?

I'm also sad, because it seems that yet again, my lovely home state of Kansas is going to be kicked to the curb as always.  I know Kansas isn't as exciting as NYC, and no, we don't have any beaches, but I LOVE Kansas.  Unfortunately I don't get to live there anymore, but I will always be a Kansan, and I have tons of pride for my state.  It is full of hard working people, and maybe we just prefer a simpler, quieter pace of life.  I miss that living in a big city.  Plus, with the Internet and UPS, I have determined that I could shop anywhere, even in fashion lacking Kansas (we used to get stores later than other places).

I hate when I tell peo…

Conversation #108: The 100 Day Stretch – Retail Detox

If you read my post yesterday, you know that I put myself on a shopping ban.  Well, I was also super behind on blog reading and just happened to read Misty’s post from last week talking about the 100 Day Stretch (see button on the side).  Yes you read that right – 100 Days.  Basically, it means that we are going 100 Days without shopping.  I kind of can’t believe I just said that, but as I said yesterday, it is much needed.  Sometimes I really think God works in the small things.  I need to do this detox, but I wasn’t sure I could do it alone.  Now I don’t have to thanks to Misty!So how did this all start?  Well, I have always loved shopping, but online shopping was just becoming too much of a hobby.  Also, looking, or should I say hunting, for a good deal became almost a high for me I think.  Anywho, this really kicked into gear a few months ago when I lost weight and needed to replace some clothing.  Well, I got a little crazy and went a little overboard (as described yesterday whil…

Conversation #107: Hello again

Hello lovely readers,

I didn't intend to take a blog break.  I was out of town for Labor Day weekend, and then work got crazy busy.  Anyway, things should be back to normal now and hopefully the fall won't prove to be as busy as spring.  However, I did join a book club, we have football games, and the husband and I are doing this marriage class group thing.  They are all good things though, and I feel like I'm getting more and more involved at church and with friends, and that is what matters in life, right?

So yesterday (after I had a mini life meltdown), I started cleaning and organizing again.  You see, I deep cleaned my house about two weeks ago, but then I was either dealing with that time of the month or too busy to clean the last couple of weeks so it kind of overwhelmed me yesterday.  Mostly what overwhelmed me were these piles of unread magazines from the last two years and a stack of recipes I tore out from them.  I finally decided that I would only keep the reci…

Conversation #106: Challenge - Sunday Shoes

So I skipped out on another day this week.  I didn't participate in wear something on your head.  I had a meeting yesterday and didn't think a scarf, hat, or flower pin was meeting appropriate.  I thought about a headband, but they kind of hurt with glasses.  Oh well.  I did participate in Sunday shoes yesterday instead!  I love how heels look, but I don't always like how they feel so I don't wear them too often.  I love the shoes I chose for this challenge, but if I had to be on my feet all day they would be a no go.



Outfit Breakdown
Tank: Coldwater Creek, $10
Sweater/Cardigan: Lands' End Canvas, gift
Jeans: Gap, $20
Shoes: Talbots, $30
Necklace: Forever 21, $5

So the first picture is how I normally look at work - wearing a sweater when it is 105 outside because it is FREEZING inside.  I also tried to take a couple of pics of my shoes since they were the reason for the outfit.  This outfit is pretty simple, but I like.  I also love my mustard sandals.  Hope y'a…

Conversation #105: Challenge - Statement Jewelry

I have a confession - I skipped a challenge day this week.  Yesterday was supposed to be "take something from your mending pile, fix it and wear it."  I have said pile, but with getting ready for upcoming festivities this weekend, I just didn't get to mending anything.  Plus, I feel like whenever I sit down to sew, I owe my husband some hemmed pants first.  Anyway, all of that to get to today: statement jewelry.  Over the last couple of years, I have started collecting a lot of fun necklaces, but I had one in particular that recently made its way to my home but hadn't see the light of day yet.

Outfit breakdown
Top: Lands' End, $5
Skirt: J.Crew Outlet, $20
Sandals: J.Crew via ebay, $6
Necklace: Anthropologie, $10

I had loved this necklace in all colors for a while, but I just couldn't bring myself to even spend $30 on it (the first cut price at Anthro).  However, when I saw it hit $10 a couple of weeks ago, I jumped on it.  I love how it kind of becomes the shi…

Conversation #104: Menswear

Good thing I recently bought a great menswear vest at H&M last week because otherwise I don't know what I would have worn!  I have blazers, trousers and such, but it is just too hot to wear that stuff right now.  I also had a meeting with a police officer out at a school to observe traffic, and I just couldn't stand outside in the heat in multiple layers.  Actually, the vest was still pretty hot, but luckily it covered up the beautiful sweat soaking through my tee underneath.  Seriously, can fall please get here sooner?! (Well not until after Sunday because we have a date with the water park).

I must apologize for the picture too.  I didn't have time to run to the bathroom at work yesterday so I took these in my bathroom mirror at home (and it isn't full length and the lighting is even worse than work!)

Outfit breakdown Vest: H&M, $24.50 Tee: Lands' End, $3 Skirt: Lands' End Canvas, $25 Necklace: American Eagle Outfitters Watch: Anne Klein via ebay, $30
I was…

Conversation #103: Copycat (and something new with your hair)

Okay, I think I am back on track now for this last week of challenges.  I actually like the challenges because it really helps me get dressed each day versus limiting me.  It is sort of like having a uniform, but a fun one.  Anyway, I did combine yesterday and today into one.  I know, but I figured this has to work for me not stress me out, so this is how it worked.  I didn't really do anything exciting yesterday either.  We didn't make church in the morning, and I cleaned all day.  I did get dressed for our small group last night, but it was pretty casual and not exciting.

Without further ado, here is my inspiration photo for the copycat outfit:
I'm so cool that I had to scan my inspiration photo!  I keep meaning to join Pinterest (I have invites) but I keep forgetting to when I'm at home.  I guess you have to sign up through facebook and my work computer won't let me.  Probably for the best!  Anyway, this image came out of the September issue of Real Simple (I lov…

Conversation #102: Outfit challenge, Neutral with a Pop

This is a super lame one, but I didn't really get out on Saturday so this is what I wore for my neutral with a pop:

I was also wearing khaki colored leather sandals if that helps.  It was lame.  I was cleaning my house all weekend (like deep spring cleaning at the end of summer) so this is what you get.  Oh well!

Check out the good ones here.

Conversation #101: Jazz up your Jeans

So this is super late, but I got sick at work on Friday so I didn't feel like blogging on Friday and then the weekend got away from me.  Lucky for you I still made it to work, thought about my outfit, and got dressed!  I think it is too late to add to the official link back on Kayla's blog, but oh well.  For your viewing pleasure:
Outfit breakdown Shirt: Lands' End Canvas, $13 Jeans: Gap Outlet (years ago), $20 Belt: American Eagle Outfitters, $8 Shoes: Eddie Bauer, $40 (a splurge for me, but I had been stalking since they were $99) Watch: Michele, gift
How do you like to wear your jeans?

Conversation #100: Should this be big? (& 21 Day Challenge - skirt or dress)

Well, I hate to disappoint, but I have nothing special planned for the 100th conversation.  It really doesn't correspond with anything because I did start the numbers when I re-started blogging, and it doesn't correspond with a number of days either.  Sorry I'm lame, but I'll try to work on that.  I always think of things I want to blog about, but then I forget.  I'm trying to put them in my phone so I can remember them at a later time.  I did go to our new H&M last night for the first time, and that was kind of cool.  I restrained myself and only bought a couple of small things, but I know I'll be back.  Does H&M have sales? 

Without further ado, I got behind on my challenge posting so you get two today!  Today's challenge was to wear a dress or skirt.  This really isn't hard for me.  I love dresses and skirts, and I have pretty much only worn that to work this summer because of the blasted heat.  However, today I had to go a little more forma…

Conversation #99: 21 Day Challenge - Closet Orphan

Yesterday the challenge on Kayla's blog was to wear something lurking in the deep recesses of your closet/dresser.  I was a little worried if I would find something season appropriate because I had just recently cleaned out my closet of most of the orphans (at least summer ones).  Since we are still rocking the 100's down here in Texas, I needed something work appropriate and heat appropriate.  I searched my closet and settled upon the perfect white eyelet sheath dress.  The only reason this dress has made it through many rounds of clean out is because my mom made it for me for my high school graduation 8 years ago.  I couldn't wear this dress 15 pounds ago, and since I recently lost those pounds I decided to give it a try.  And guess what?  It fit!  I did a happy dance and then decided to make my outfit:
Outfit breakdown: Dress: made by my mom, free (well for me, haha) Cardigan: Gap, $15 (I think, on sale) Necklace: American eagle, $5 Belt: Charlotte Russe, $8 Shoes: Lands'…