Thursday, March 21, 2013

WWIW | march 20

pleated poppy

Like most, I was expecting the first day of spring to feel like spring.  And like most, I've been sorely disappointed.  However, still finding the silver lining, I'm wearing all my "winter" items and still sifting out the items that are in my closet that need to be sent out.


Skirt & Tights | J.Crew * Boots | Clarks * Scarf | Italy * Sweater | Gap

This outfit prompted me to text my (far trendier) aunt when I got home.  The boots I'm wearing I bought while with her (she got the same pair), and she got me the scarf from Italy.

(too baggy) Sweater | Gap * Skirt | Gap (Can you tell where I worked for a couple seasons?) * Boots | Can't remember

Another day of my favorite color combination--black & gray.  Confession-I did not wear these boots for long.  They were exchanged for gray Toms quickly after taking these photos (thanks for all the pics, Erika!).  Second confession-this sweater stretched way out.  I looked in the mirror at one point during the day and momentarily FREAKED out thinking I had stretched out.  This sweater is now in the exit-the-premises pile in my house.

Friday, March 15, 2013

HF4F | 3/15

 photo H54Fbutton-triangle_zps678b65ba.jpg
High Five 4 Friday!
Sorry for the lack of photos!  Not on my computer right now.

1.  This is THE month for birthdays of those near and dear to me.  I love celebrating!

2.  I never thought a television show would make it into my top five, but sheesh.  Duck Dynasty this week.  Hil-freaking-larious.  Then this morning I found clips of the guys sharing the Gospel, testimonies, and how they live out their life for Christ.  Then I started tearing up.

3.  New winning lunch combination--broccoli, apple(s), and best bread. 

4.  I spent time with my friend Susan, and we went to Commerce.  I found a dress that was touted as a "travel dress."  I'm thrilled with it.  Actually, I'm more thrilled with how skinny I'm told I look in it.

5.  I went looking for a travel dress because I have an INCREDIBLE travel adventure ahead of me next month! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

thursday morning thoughts

I have nothing of huge significance to contribute to the blogging world this morning.  Thursday mornings are my guaranteed off mornings from exercise (prepping for 3 hard days in a row), and thus it is the time I lounge in bed for two hours, catching up on everything I feel I'm behind on and then get up and clean before rushing to work.

  • Other than be social, I haven't done much this week.  Each night I've had dinner with someone (yeah!), and because I'm an old lady, I've been falling asleep promptly after getting home.  
  • I've been hobbling around this week.  I did this "alpine skier" workout on Sunday afternoon, and I didn't even finish it but when I was done I was shaking and nauseous.  Today is the first day I haven't had to groan at moving.  
  • This weekend I found a ballet workout on Amazon for cheap that I purchased and worked on one night this week...I remembered to be nice to myself and to not expect perfection from the first moment.  It's intense!
  • I also started following the instructor on Instagram.  Her pictures of food and her ballet life are beautiful!
  • I tried almond milk this week for the first time.  And hopefully last time.
  • I read this article about "running on empty" last week, and it shook me up.  Hence why the life changing bread made its way into my life.
  • Much like everyone else, I've been rejoicing in the coming of spring!  I'm almost through with wearing my 4 or 5 strictly winter pieces (aka, wool), and am ready to take them to the cleaners to be retired for the spring.  
  • I wore my sparkly wool skirt this week with a chambray shirt this week, then the next day a very similar outfit was posted on Glitter Guide.  I was pumped!  Then, while I was checking that out I saw what I was wearing at the time (black pants, gray knit).  Then I deflated.
That's all I got.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

keeping it clean | laundry

Recently I was talking to my roommate about cleaning (a passion of mine, haha!), and was sharing some of the little cleaning tips and such that I have learned through blogging and those that I've picked up on my own through (much) trial and error.  I commented to her how I'd like to make my own list(s), so here we go!  Note, these are not revolutionary or ground breaking, they are mostly just common sense things that took me (too long) to pick up on.
Backstory on making that image...I work at a job with some awesome graphics programs.  I haven't invested in my own Adobe Creative Suite yet, and I didn't make this at work, so I made it at home.  On power point.  I can feel some work ladies indignation from here, and hear others laughter.  Carrying on now.

the laundry room & laundry

  • I wear skirts and dresses a lot, which means I wear tights at least 3/5 days a week if not more.  More often than not I have really damaged my tights because of tossing them in with the wash, instead of tossing them in the wash inside one of those delicate's mesh bags.  Solution?  I keep a mesh bag with my dirty clothes, so when I'm tossing the day's outfit into the hamper, the tights can go right into the bag and not get lost.  
  • Those mesh bags are a laundry budget saver saver.  I wear a lot of dresses that say "dry clean only."  Unless it has some beading on it (none do), I put them in the bag (I use a double lined large sized one for dresses and cardigans, etc.), run them through the machine, and then dry them on the drying rack.  I haven't had anything mess up yet.  
  • I also keep the stain spray/wipe things where I put my worn clothes.  I'm far more likely to actually use it when the stain is fresh if I don't have to go hunting for it.
  • I don't like washing kitchen linens (napkins, towels, wash cloths, and table-wear) with my clothes or with my sheets & bath towels (no rhyme or reason, I just don't).  My solution?  I keep a spare, small laundry basket on top of the dryer, put dirty/used kitchen linens in it, and when the basket is full, I have a full load read to go.  
  • Folding the laundry immediately when the dryer finishes is one of the most satisfying feelings on the planet to me.  It also feels like one of the most time consuming activities on the planet.  I've timed it before.  Surprise, surprise, it's not.  When I just get-it-done, it's worth the entire 4-7 minutes it took to fold it.  Every time.
  • My favorite detergent--my own!

I hopped on the DIY laundry train after my friend Mary gave me some of hers that she had made.  It smelled SO good and wasn't full of weird chemicals.  A couple weekends ago Julie and I hung out to make our own batch.  It took 5 minutes.

step 1, assemble ingredients:  washing powder, baking soda, borax, oxi clean, and soap.  These were all bought to the tune of $20 from Publix.

step 2, grate the soap.  Or as the children called it, the cheese.  You can do this with a box grater, or do as Julie did and bust out the food processor.  Box grating the soap would have added some time...this took about a minute.  Julie is brilliant, BTW.  And Si is the button-worker in this process.

step 3, dump all of the ingredients in a large, clean receptacle (we washed this one).  We got wise, and added them in layers so it'd be easier to mix them all together.

step 4, add and mix, mix and add.  Try not to breathe in the clean dust cloud.

step 5, continue mixing.  Try not to cuss like a sailor when the washing power gets into cuts on your hand.

step 6, smile at your finished product, and transfer into smaller, air-tight containers.  This makes a lot!

step 7, use 1 tbsp. ish per load.

Friday, March 8, 2013

so long, long hair.

I've been whining complaining discussing for quite a while how unfortunately long my hair was.  My bestie upon seeing me last week said, "you gotta cut that ASAP."  Well, Thursday at work I decided it was time, called my salon, and scheduled my appointment for this morning.  My normal stylist wasn't available and I was a little doubtful about going to someone different, but I was ready to get on with it.  Then, this morning when I was getting ready they called me and said the person who was going to do my hair wasn't able to come in, and would I be okay with someone else?  ...sure.

Y'all.  I hope that the person who couldn't come in is okay, because oh.  my.  goodness.  If you live in Athens, go have your hair cut by Ricky at City Salon.  I was BLOWN away (no hair pun intended).  He listened so well, was extremely kind, and did an AWESOME job.  Ask Nutan.  I don't think I've ever had a haircut that didn't end me with me calling her ticked off or disappointed.

All she heard today was a happy text, and a few pics:

Now, I'm ready to see how short it gets curly.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

WIWW | March 6

pleated poppy

This week has had it's really great ups and a couple lows, but it's going right along.  I'm torn between a "thank GOD it is Wednesday" and "oh crap, it's Wednesday!"  But since it is Wednesday, it's time for my favorite link up.

When I wasn't wondering if I looked Amish (it was the collar), I was pretty pleased with this outfit.  I was wearing one of my favorite combinations--black & brown (neutrals for the win), there were multiple textures, and everything was playing together nicely.
Skirt | Banana Republic on super sale * Vest & Blouse | Gap (old) * Necklace | Loft

Haha!  There is going to be a noticeable Tuesday picture missing because it was unfortunate.  My dress was cute, but everything about the outfit (notably my face and unwashed hair) needed some T.L.C.  On Tuesday morning I decided that it was critically important to scrub my shower, and my homemade cleaner went EVERYWHERE (including in my hair).  I thought my hair looked clean enough, but when I was blow drying it to smooth it out I kept finding baking soda, but since I was running late I couldn't wash it again...tmi?

 In an effort to not be grumpy at the cold, I'm focusing on the positives, like wearing all the things I won't get to wear when it's warm.  This is one of my favorite sweaters (it's cashmere, hard to go wrong with that).  Nutan got it for me for our 22 birthday (yes, 5 years ago) and I LOVE it.   
Sweater | J.Crew * Skirt | Banana Republic Super sale (it's how I get all my skirts)

My hair made me laugh today.  It was way big.  I was running late (I was working on some projects this morning) so I couldn't spend a lot of time on my hair (sensing a theme...) so after I dried it for a minute or so, I just grabbed a handful and pulled it back from my face, with intentions to pin it up at work.  Well, I took these photos at 5:30 and it was the exact same as at 8:48...oh well.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

bread success.

When I travelled to the Becoming conference last fall I read a book on the way up called Wheat Belly.  One of the things that really stuck with me was how early loaves of bread were described--of being dense, seedy, and dark (in color...those adjectives sound like the start of a trashy horror novel).  I never looked into a recipe, but I definitely didn't forget about them.  On Sunday morning while I was doing the blog crawl, I came across this article, and I.  was.  committed.

After my run I took off to go find the ingredients.  4 stores and $30-something dollars later, I was ready to go.  

But then because I went to 4 stores I was running late and couldn't prepare it before church, and was exhausted when I got home, so I had to wait until Monday morning to mix it up and bake it.

It couldn't have been easier.  You mix everything in either the loaf pan or in the measuring cup.  Easy easy!  I got home at around 9 p.m. last night, baked it (and held my breath when I flipped it), and went to bed while it cooled.  I think that was the most important step--the timing of going to bed while it cooled.  I don't think I have the self control to not have snacked on it while it was cooling down.  When my alarm went off at 5 this morning I bounded out of bed, ready to taste it.


I don't know how I didn't squeal and wake up my roommate.  It is SOGOOD.  Like, I don't know how I'm not eating another piece right now SOGOOD.

I tried it plain, perfect!  I tried it with jam, perfect!

And I have enough ingredients for about a dozen more loaves.  Yeah!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

of leggings and ear buds

It's a whole new kind of cold right now.  Like a miserable, stick with you kind of cold.  I got up at 7 to run at 9, but one step outside sent me running back inside.

So here we are,

Bella and I.  That was how she was sitting for a good long while, until she flopped against me to snuggle.  I think she was interested in reading this blog too.

Isn't it great how it's the little things that can bring you so much happiness?  For instance, this morning I organized my phone (while avoiding the cold):

All of the little apps in their new little homes with appropriate names keeps bringing a smile to my face.  What else brings a smile to my face?  Leggings as pants.  OMG.  I remember hating on them when I first saw the trend but now it's one of my most favorite things to wear (and I apparently have no shame).  It seems that whenever I hate on a trend, I always end up getting it before too long.  I hated on colored denim, and the other day I found myself looking at a teal blue pair (no purchase made, but I was looking).  Then, I found myself at Old Navy looking at the clearance rack for a pair of (subtly) printed jeans (again, no investment).  While the pattern was subtle, I definitely remember thinking, UGH, I'll never get a pair of those!  I've been actively anti-neon, and I think that I'll be able to keep up with that one.  I'm wearing more color these days, but my defaults are still black & gray.

What's not bringing a smile to my face--this new phase (it's probably not that new) of people wearing headphones/earbuds while driving and while in stores.  It may just be me, but it seems incredibly stupid to cancel out one of  your senses while operating a couple ton machine, and kinda rude to not be able to hear someone while you're out and about.  Just something I noticed while almost getting mowed down one day this past week by a fellow driver, and on another day after having to trip over another shopper who didn't hear a polite "excuse me."

Alright.  Time to go be a big girl in my running leggings (ha!) and face the cold.