Spring has Sprung.

It finally seems as though spring is going to push through and that the snow and cold snaps are finally over.  You can hear birds in the morning now, and daffodils have been popping up (though they did get buried in snow a few weeks back).  I'm ready for the sunshine to start warming things up and lightening up my wardrobe.

So I set out to find some fun things in a few of the hottest cool colors of the season: peach, coral, and mint.




These are so pretty and spring-y, but then again, so is pretty much everything in Kelly's shop.

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If you know a boy or man who needs a bowtie, check out Amanda's shop.
Gus got one a couple years ago.  It is too cute.

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I love the color of this scarf.

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How pretty would Casey look in this collar??

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This gorgeous hobo bag would be the prefect spring outfit accent.

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Spring wedding?  Gorgeous spring guest book.

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Or simply decorate with this fun colorful garland.

Here's hoping spring gets to you fast!

(The winner of the ad space giveaway is Holly! Congrats!  I'll be in touch!)

Jeans.


I saw an Instagram go through my feed awhile back praising the comfortable fit of the person's jeans, and for some reason the first thought that came into my head, oddly enough, was, "Will people ever not wear jeans?"

How many times a week, on average, do you wear jeans?  Me, about 6 or 7.  I'm not going out to work, I'm home with my kids, I can style them up or down, so therefore, I wear them all the time.  I like darker washes that can look really nice with sweaters, jewelry, and heels, but I do have some pairs that are just standard jeans.  I recently delved into the skinny jeans trend and am trying out a pair of those this spring.  I would love to get a pair of dark wash trouser jeans, but every style I find is too long for me.  Tall, I am not.  My point?  I wear a lot of jeans.


And should this always be the case?  Shouldn't I try and mix it up a little bit?  I actually saw a line in an article that said that jeans are just glorified yoga pants! (Oh, horror!!)  I don't know if I'd go that far, but I get the point they were trying to make:  Since they're worn all the time, for all occasions, in all types of weather, there's nothing special about them and people will wear them in any condition- tatters, sagging, etc.


I have some nice styles of chinos hanging in my closet, and I have lots of dress trousers from when I was working.  Both have all but been abandoned.  There was a time when women (and men) rarely wore jeans.  Dresses and dress clothes were the norm and jeans were mainly for little boys and workingmen.  Now they are standard style.  Do you ever think it will go back the other way?  Will people ever not wear jeans?

Life Lately, ecard Style.






Here's to having one of those days!

Speaking the Truth.


I had a thought about commenting on blogs.

Do you comment if you don't agree with the post?

I've read some posts where I don't agree with what the author is saying.  Be it the content, the opinion, the tone, whatever it is- something just didn't click with me that day.  I usually want to comment leaving my thoughts about the subject at hand....but I don't.  Consistently, I don't say a thing.

Why not?

I previously mentioned how I feel about people who don't listen to their commenters' opinions (read here), but I just got to wondering about the people who actually do leave a "negative" comment and where they get the confidence to do that.

I suppose I feel as though, if I leave a negative comment (and by this I mean anything that is a differing opinion) that it is going to reflect negatively on me.  It is going to lead to a nasty e-mail follow-up, or a comment on my blog, or some kind of mean-girl network talking about me and my audacity behind my back.  The author is going to be thinking, "Who does this person think she is?"  I understand that a lot of that is me and how I perceive things to be, but there isn't a lot of disagreement on the smaller blogs I read (news blogs don't count- those people will say anything), so I think that a negative comment would be taken more personally and would therefore lead to more of an overreaction.

But then I think, why don't I just say what I'm thinking if it's what I'm thinking?  If I can state my opinion nicely then what's holding me back?

Do you comment if you don't agree with the post?  Or do you keep your thoughts to yourself?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Rings.

Lately I have been pondering rings. I don't have many. I don't wear many. In fact, I generally wear my wedding band daily, and my engagement ring if I'm going to be seeing people other than the Walmart clerk.  But I like rings: they look pretty and could both help dress up an outfit and offset the fact that my nails are never painted (or would that just make it worse?).  So I went in search of some lovely styles that I think would look nice on my hand.

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I've seen a variation of this style a few times and I love it.  It is so simple and gorgeous.  I love the shape of the stone and the combination of the colors.

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Another take on the style in a round setting.  I really do love the look of the inset gemstone, and the color of this one is so pretty.

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I love how simple and lovely this one is, and I like how the design would wrap around the finger.  This one is also adjustable, so I wouldn't have to worry about ordering the wrong size.

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These birthstone stacking rings, or stacking rings in general, would allow for a few different color/style options while giving a cohesive look.  I actually really like how they look together.  At first I wondered how I would feel having a bunch of rings on one finger, then realized it would be no different than my wedding rings, and I'm fine with that.

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Finally, I really, really love this.  I like the thickness of the band, which would make it more of a statement ring than just a simple band.  I've said it before, I'm not really a statement jewelry type of person, but I think even I could handle this one.

Do you like to wear rings?  Which one of those is your favorite?

Conquered (Sort Of).

On Sunday, I tackled the closet.  I had been putting it off, and then there were things in the way and my sweaters were toppling over and it was just getting to be frustrating, so I decided it was time.  It's always a great relief to clean out my clothes, like I'm lightening this great burden.  And my closet isn't bad- it's neat, it's organized, and I can see everything I own.  But, I don't always notice everything I own.  Take, for example, this fun find, circa 1992.  I didn't even know if this shop existed any more, but alas, I've been told it does.



So here's what I did:

I took all my hanging things and turned the hangers around once again.  The trick is that when you put the item back after you wear it, you put it back with the hanger facing the right way.  Then when you go to clean out again in a year or so, anything that's left facing the wrong way goes.


I also color-coded everything so I can see what's what.  If I'm looking for a blue shirt, they're all together and not scattered about amongst each other.  I got rid of things with stains (or at least moved them into a small "still fits, but don't ever wear it out of the house" pile) and things that were too small (I tried on a lot of tops).  I washed all the tops with hanger dents in the shoulders.

Sweaters got piled in the dresser, colors on one side, neutrals on the other.  I may have a problem with buying white/gray/tan.


And I'm pretty proud of the pile that's going out the door.  I actually can't believe I didn't get rid of some of this stuff the last time I cleaned out, which wasn't that long ago!


Windbreakers.  There are windbreakers in there!

I still need to tackle pants and tshirts- the layering kind that get worn over and over again and are worse than I realize- but overall I'm happy with the job that's gotten done.  The majority of what needed to be cleaned out- tops- has been done.  I got a bunch of nice new things for my birthday, so I'm filling in the gaps of what's missing.  I'll call it a success.

Have you tackled your closet lately?  Are there any tricks you always do?  Find any ancient items lately?

The winner of the Sleeping Fox Stitchery giveaway is Jena.  Congrats!  I'll be in touch.

Proper English.


May we talk for a minute?  About grammar, and its complete lack of use?  How frustrating it is to read things online only to trip over misspellings and punctuation marks used in the wrong place (or not at all).  It drives me crazy.

*When I was in college, one of the requirements to continue in the elementary education program from junior to senior year, when student teaching would be done, was to pass the first part of the state teacher test, which was a reading and writing fluency test.  One girl in my class didn't pass.  Twice.  And she was really, really mad that the school wouldn't let her continue on.  I mean, who needs to be able to read and write to teach?  (P.S. One portion required you to copy a paragraph verbatim.)

*The other day I stumbled upon a typography art print on Etsy- I'm not even sure how I found it now- and one of the words was spelled wrong.  Or rather, the person had used the wrong version of two words that sound the same, like "there" and "their".  And as I'm bringing my hand up to smack myself in the forehead, I read the listing and it says something along the lines of, "It has been brought to my attention that this word is misspelled, so if you'd like it with the correct word, just put that in the Notes to Seller."  You can order it right or wrong!  How wonderful!

*I found this on Pinterest, and I relate to this so much.

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Actually, I relate to a lot of those.  I guess I am a nerd.  But really, I read my posts three or four (or more) times before I publish them because I want to make sure it's correct.  Occasionally I miss something though, and I catch it later, and I cringe, wondering how many people saw it.

*Not exactly grammar related, but it bothers me when people make fun of people with accents, especially thick accents.  Just because you can't understand them does not make them stupid.

*Let's talk about how English gets warped, and it becomes okay to use words like "cray".  Really?  It's only saving you one letter.  Do you really want to rid yourself of all writing and speaking respect by using that word?  I have unfollowed bloggers for this.  I actually searched Pinterest to see if maybe I could find a graphic to illustrate my point, and I found no less than 1000 or so hits with the caption "cray".  This also goes for "girl," as in "Oh, girl, you know what I'm saying."  Unless you are Ryan Gosling telling me it's okay that I bought more fabric, I think we should also let this one pass on.


Really, all this is to say is that I think that good grammar is really important, and everyone should use it.  It makes a person and a society look intelligent, and how bad can that be?


*Also, I want one of everything in this shop.  So, so, so clever.

Thursday Finds.

This week is flying by, isn't it?  I haven't been able to spend an extensive amount of time on the Internet this week (good or bad??) but I was still able to gather up some terrific finds for you.  It's amazing how much cool stuff there is out there.


This hoop and my hoop shared a treasury this week.  This hoop is way more awesome.

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I adore the packaging on this, and I bet the soap is amazing, too.

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Such a pretty bracelet.  So simple, but just enough.


Everything in this shop.  Including the food.
Whoever does their styling is a genius and should come to my house- food in hand.

8 Blogs That Rock and Why by Marilyn at Pulp Sushi

This post from Randalin had me cracking up.

This blog you should be reading.

This recipe looks absolutely fantastic.

This site has a lot of pretty stuff, including jewelry that isn't too pricey.

Have a lovely Thursday, and I hope you'll come back and join me for coffee tomorrow!

Home.


We were gone all weekend.  All weekend.  Leave in the morning, come home in time to dump the kids in bed without a bath- that type of gone.  While we enjoying being out, it's really hard for us to be gone all day.  On top of the time change over the weekend, I just now feel like I'm catching up on the little things that got pushed aside.  Almost.

But today, other than bringing Gus to school in the afternoon, we don't have to be anywhere.  I need to get laundry done, fill some orders, fill out some paperwork, and other tasks like that.  Nothing overly pressing.  Maybe if there's a minute of quiet in the afternoon I can sit with some tea and a book, or catch up on reading blogs.

I really like it when I get to stay home.

Making Friends.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I had picked up this book from the library and was looking forward to getting into it:


It's a part-research-based, part-anecdotal tale of one woman's search for friends in a new city.  It's fascinating.  The author puts herself out there and tries meeting new people in as many ways as possible- friends of friends, a want ad, friend finding services, you name it.  I'm not quite done with it but her research states that people with good friends on all different levels (BFF, casual friend, acquaintance, etc.) are generally happier and healthier.

Personally, I have a hard time making friends.  I do not do well with people I don't know: I am verbally clumsy and very awkward and say stupid things.  I embarrass easily so when I start speaking my face turns red.  I am not good at idle conversation, so if we run out of things to talk about, I am most likely not going to be the one that comes up with a new topic.  It's horrible.  It's not that I don't want to be social and meet new people and have a large group of friends; I like being social- I'm just not good at it.

As of right now I can think of one oldest and dearest friend, two friends from high school that we still get together with occasionally, and some more recent mommy-friends that I've met through Gus (though I don't even know if I can count them as friends yet) on my short list.  And it is a very short list, as you can see.  I didn't have a huge group of friends in high school, I mostly commuted in college, which makes those dormitory bonds non-existent, and I don't go out of my way to interact with new people.  Add in kids and a house, and we don't exactly have time to go out of our way to try and make friends.  And it's hard to find people to be friends with.  You can't just walk up to someone in the store and ask them to get coffee.  Plus, as the author of the book points out, if you're trying to make friends and are too eager you look stalker-like, but if you don't put yourself out there, it's not like people are just going to come and find you either.

So it gets me thinking.  How many people do you have that you consider friends?  Are they new or old ones?  How do you meet new friends?  Are you someone who puts themselves out there easily or are you more clumsy and awkward and shy like me?

One think I have realized, however, is that it can be easier to make friends online.  My normally bumbling ways are eased by the ability to respond after I've been given a chance to process and think about what the person's said.  My face doesn't turn red because no one's looking at me.  If the conversation dies, it's ok because both people can get up and go do other things without awkward silence.  It pretty much erases the face-to-face issues.  The problem with this type of interaction, though, is it doesn't give you the face time you apparently need to get that healthier, happier quota.  The closer to real-life interaction, the better.  I sometimes wonder if it would be fun to Skype with people I've met online, or would it be better to keep the status quo?  When do you take online friendship to another level?  Is it safe?  How do you ask without looking like a stalker?  It's like chatting with an acquaintance and then asking if they want to get coffee, but you're not sure if you're at the coffee-friend level yet.  How confusing can you get??

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this because I really find it to be such an interesting topic- maybe because I am not plentiful in friends and would like more.  I don't feel particularly lonely, but sometimes it would be nice to have someone to hang out with without having to make a whole huge plan.  Anyone else feel the same?

Finds I Love

As I was writing this, I was kind of stuck for an opening line, so I said to the hubs, who was sitting next to me, "I need a quick one-line intro to this post."  So, per the hubs: "Check out all this cool s***, yo."  Well said, honey.


I am in love with this necklace.  I am not one for big statement jewelry, but I would totally wear this.  The whole shop is pretty cool, actually.


Greta needs this headband for Easter.  Now to figure out how to keep it on her head...


 This bag.  I think it could make almost any outfit look amazing, even yoga pants.


Wool dryer balls to replace chemical-y dryer sheets.  Do any of you use them?
I've heard they're amazing.


This mug would totally brighten up my morning.  I love the simple design.

These posts from Paige and Ayla.  Both are real, honest, and up front.

This frank post from Absolute Mommy.

Never mess with a pregnant woman who wants Cheetos.

This someecard:


Because it's never really clear.

What are your favorite finds this week?

Thankful.

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I woke up today without much to say.  I'm wiped out from the past few days, where I have been on the go pretty much nonstop.  It is hard to make a plan for the blog when I'm running from one task to the next.  We had scheduled some play dates for Gus this week, which is a new thing for us; the shop has been busy; we've had family visit and we've been out to celebrate my birthday; I've had an extra project from a friend.  It's a lot to cram in on top of all things I try to get done on a regular basis.

But as I'm sitting here, on the verge of complaining about how busy and tired I am, I am, instead, thankful.  I am thankful for my family- the whole extended lot of them- who love us and our kids.  I am thankful for a busy shop, which allows me to do something fulfilling.  I'm thankful for friends for both us and the kids, who get us out of the house and interacting.  I am thankful for extra work which brings a little extra money to the household.

It's easy to slide into complaining, but I love every minute of what I do, and I want to make sure I remember that and stay positive, even when I have no energy left by the end of the day.

What are you thankful for today?

33.


Today is my birthday.  I am 33.

Wow.

Anyone sending along some aquamarine?  I won't turn it down!


I started thinking about how a lot of people (especially bloggers) have a bucket list of things they want to do before a certain age.  I always marvel at those lists because there are usually some fun and interesting things on them, but I've never made one because I have never had that many things I've wanted to do by a certain age.  And really, I don't like to make lists like that because then there's all this pressure to get those things done.  I don't think I could handle that.

So instead, I give you my list of 5 things I never plan on doing in my lifetime:

1. Jump out of an airplane.  I don't care how many people rave about it, it's not going to happen.  I can get motion sick if I turn my head too fast to the side.  Plus there's the whole falling from really high thing going on.  You've got to place a lot of trust in that backpack.

2. Get a tattoo.  I am not a fan of tattoos on women.  I just don't like them.  I can handle them on men- and really, they look better with a whole bunch of them than just one (does that make any sense?).  I just can't think of anything that I would want permanently on my body and I would not know where to put it.  Plus, ouch.

3. Eat weird foods.  Maybe eating sheep's stomach or insects is considered a delicacy in some places but I have no interest in being brave with my meals.

4. Camping.  I have no interest.  I want a hotel with a heated pool.

5. Run a marathon.  Yes, it is quite an accomplishment.  I'm totally going to pass on this one.

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Anyone else have an anti-bucket list item to add?